Final Project – NYC:2050 – Final (ish) thoughts


This week has been spent on getting other final projects that fell by the wayside up to snuff, but I am going back into NYC:2050 mode like crazy before Friday’s screening in Non-linear Storytelling.

I am proud of the work we’ve done thus far, I’m pretty happy with the outcome, and I view it as meaningful work. But group work, combined with video production is time consuming and challenging. The making of the video just takes hours to do very mundane tasks, and I worry that time could have been spent more wisely working on a project proposal than actually producing something that on a $0 budget may not have the strength to make people look differently at a problem. I also do feel like creating this project and following through hindered with the process and methodology of the course. Despite trying, we only had success interviewing one person before we just needed to get into full production mode. I also didn’t have the opportunity to play and make and see where that leads…there were too many dependencies on a script and I had to buckle down and work towards that.

But if the foundation for a good idea is in this project, I view it as important work, and I’d love to, given time, iterate on the original, and especially do interviews for real talking-head information that could be supplemental in the video experience. I know that actually giving people facts that helped us arrive at our wacky scenarios of the future would likely further help them ‘get it’ and learn more. Also, a call to action would be very important at the end – where can they go to learn more?

In terms of my presentation, I was glad that (I think) I didn’t run over time, unlike most! I was lucky in that I had something to screen, I couldn’t really go into to much context about my whole process, I just had to set it up and go. I do wish I explained Interlude and interactive video and how the medium worked, however, that was an oversight.

This course has been such a revelation for me: I had always considered myself an environmentalist and cared about what humans were doing to the planet…but this class enabled me to look at the big picture, the wicked problems, and see how everything is so interconnected and how big a problem it is. Not necessarily a heartwarming final thought of the class, but I personally haven’t given up – I think people can make a difference…why, just tonight the province of Alberta, home of the tar sands and the Conservative bastion of Canada voted the New Democratic Party as their provincial government (the NDP would be publicly pulverized in the U.S., guilty of too many thoughts of socialism). And though I don’t put much stock in words like ‘fate’ or ‘destiny’, I do think I’m destined to end up in helping the cause, one very active way or another.

I just have to figure out my path. Which I think has offered a bit of tension for me throughout this course, as I don’t necessarily think of myself as an artist. I’m not even sure if I’m a maker, or a designer. I’m just a former media pro who sees the power of technology and interactivity, and I’m still trying to harness that and find me niche (though throughout my life I’ve been pretty good at not finding a niche, being a jack of all trades and a master of none). When I see wicked problems like those within the Anthropocene, I tend to want to be high and mighty, get involved in politics, try to be a charismatic leader of the future. Not really make art or be creative, except creative about political paradigms. But, I’m not so certain that’s at all realistic or the best use of my skill set. And I sort of hate politicians, and would be too sensitive for the job. But a tension has formed for me between what I want to do and should do within this slowly brewing global catastrophe, and I think it’s going to take awhile to reflect upon everything and figure out how I most want to and can tackle this problem. But I can thank this course for helping me navigate through this content and introduce me to a new way of looking at things, and now I just need to apply it towards what I really want.

That’s a lot of rambling. Here’s the Interlude link to our video, which will be updated again and again (or at least once) before Friday morning:

  • marina says:

    Shaun your post so heartening and candid. I think there is too much preciousness in general about defining one self as a capital A Artist – makers come in all forms. ACTIVATOR might be a better word. And I’m not giving up hope either! Thank you so much for your generous reflections here.

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