After 10 years doing video production, I've decided it's time to broaden my skills above and beyond the scope of traditional "media production".
It's a decision that I made more than a year ago, actually. I'll explain...
I was visiting New York City in December 2015 and attended a talk at the International Center for Photography called "From News to Art! Data Visualization and Visual Storytelling". There were three speakers(one of them Ramsey Nasser, whom I later studied with at School for Poetic Computation - read my blog about that 10-week experience here). Each speaker gave a 20-minute talk, and each seemed to keep mentioning — nay, praising — this thing called Processing.
Turns out, Processing is a programming language designed for artists and visual designers. So for the next year, I set out to teach myself how to program. I'd taken a Java class in college, and had found programming to be a bit tedious — the only thing I seem to remember from the class was our teacher, Mr. Farage, making endless arguments espousing the safety and efficiency of nuclear energy("those damned environmentalists!").
At ITP Camp, I attended lots of different workshops but didn't actually produce anything code-based, although, I did get obsessed with 3D printing. I produced a series of small 3D-print and concrete sculptures that played with the idea of the screen being a body of water, and the smartphone as a place you can inhabit.
While at ITP Camp, I attended a "salon" at School for Poetic Computation in Greenwich Village. The salon was basically two days of artist talks. I remember being particularly taken with the work of Japanese husband and wife creative team, Exonemo. It was a great experience, and then people and the place were very exciting, and felt very subversive, in the best way.
ITP Camp lasted all of June, and then I went back to Dallas.
In August, I applied for the 10-week Fall semester at SFPC. I was accepted in September and moved back to NYC in early October.
The 10 weeks at SFPC were some of the most exciting, most grueling, most challenging weeks in recent memory. Read my blog here. I blogged every single day in that 10-week period —68 days to be exact. Again, I did not code much(I did learn how to use the command line to push projects to github — a major victory), but I did end up creating a project, "SFPC Blog", that explored the digital documentation of an intense alternative learning experience. For our class' final showcase at the end of our term, I installed the blog as an installation.
Present-day, I decided to stay in New York. Granted, I am having to re-establish myself here, which is a definite challenge, but there are lots of things I really like about NYC. Mostly, that there are people like myself here — people who are inquisitive, rebellious, well-read, and idealistic. I've never been so out of my depth, and I prefer it that way.
Currently, I'm a video production intern at Eyebeam, an arts and tech non-profit, and I'm teaching myself front-end web development and VR development, while taking freelance jobs as they come. All while trying to stay sane and resist in Donald Trump's nightmare funhouse version of America.
I still do video work but I am expanding my skills. I no longer see myself as just a cameraman/video editor/video producer/writer(I realize that's already a lot of things). Sometimes, I call myself a "creative technologist", although there are many in this city who are way more qualified to call themselves that. However, it hardly matters since there is no metric or standard for what a creative technologist actually is :)