We caught up with some of EDP's graduates to see what projects they have been working on, what they plan on doing next, and to hear advice they would give to incoming EDP students.
Kristin Stransky Mallinger, MFA 2014
EDP allowed me to explore the technical areas I was interested in and exposed my art to new technology and devices. This allowed me to develop more interesting and interactive concepts for my work. Experience outside the program? I was a teaching assistant in NYC for Bluestamp Engineering. It was a six week project-based summer program for high school students. I was able to help many of the students to successfully design and complete their projects over the six weeks. At the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, I led a series of four teen workshops as part of the Teen Drop In Program. Lessons from these experiences? Practical making skills and creative problem solving skills, like those gained in EDP, allow students to contribute in very meaningful ways within engineering, computer science, and other fields. Being able to explain things in a way that most people will understand is a critical skill to master in EDP. Advice? Try new things and explore multiple ideas while in the program. Future goals? My goal is to continue building a career as a professional artist and teaching. In a few years, I would like to pursue a tenure-track faculty position. Current project? My work will be part of the Bright Young Things exhibit at GOCA UCCS, from July 10 - August 29.
You can find more of Kristin's work at kristinstransky.com
Leo Kacenjar, MA 2011 (DMS)
Effects of the program? With a critical frame, technology can add utility to society and make everyday experiences and interactions more meaningful. Current work? One of the more exciting projects at The Open Media Foundation is our work with the Colorado Channel, where we stream and archive every session of the Colorado State House and Senate. "She Said, He Said" leverages voice recognition/audio analysis libraries to create an audio thumbprint for each legislator, enabling a whole new level of access to our legislators. If it works, you can look up every time your legislator discussed any topic or referred to any issue you care about. "She Said, He Said" (SSHS) is going to take up a lot of our time for the foreseeable future. So stay tuned. We recently built the Piton Foundation’s Community Facts Tool. Community Facts exposes free, neighborhood-level data about the health and well-being of Denver-area families and communities. Lessons from these experiences? Ideas on paper are a lot more useful than ideas in the mind; use technologies with the largest and most active communities; even if these technologies are less developed, support is more likely to be had. Advice? Practice solving problems not mastering technologies. Breaking problems into manageable pieces and finding common patterns grants freedom to apply the technology that best fits the situation. This approach applies well from commercial software engineering to interactive art. Future goals? My ultimate goal is to leverage my technical skills to benefit, create meaningful experiences for and critically engage society through innovation.
Brandon Gellis, MFA 2015
As an EDP student, the depth of my conceptual work has grown tremendously. I have learned how to be a stronger conceptual thinker and have been able to incorporate numerous emergent technologies and techniques into my art. Experience outside the program? As part of the Digital World’s team [at the Museum fur Naturkunde in Berlin], I developed digital resources for in-house exhibition spaces, copyedited exhibit text, and designed and coded a Web interface for the museum’s first specimen database. Lessons from this experience? I have gained a greater appreciation for how art can enhance the communication of scientific principles between scientists and the greater public, the importance of international research in creative digital media practices, and the importance of educational outreach. Advice? As EDP is centered on experimentation and challenging your skill set, stay focused, open your mind to experimentation, and always ask questions. Future goals? My goals are to encourage artistic exploration for all young artists and to teach in higher education. I have accepted a faculty position as the new graphic arts and digital media assistant professor at the University of Wyoming. Current projects? In addition to beginning my new and exciting position at the University of Wyoming, I look forward to teaming up with a few friends to make exploratory textiles and digital art projects.
See more of Brandon's work at brandongellis.com
Jinnie Templin, MA 2015
My time at EDP has really taught me how to teach myself new skills, and I think that's pretty crucial when you're working with new technologies. In terms of my work, I'm so much more empowered to make my ideas become reality. Experience outside the program? I attended The Association for the Study of Play 41st Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas and presented some early stage prototypes of my MA Project. On top of all of the interesting feedback I was able to get from seasoned play professionals, I was excited to hear myself called something I'd never thought I'd hear - an inventor. Lessons from this experience? Don't underestimate the value of technology. The technology doesn't have to be complicated in order for you to do something interesting and different with it. Future Goals? I'd love to combine my passion for play advocacy and my drive to create to help others discover the power of playfulness, especially when it comes to technology. Advice? Don't be afraid to take risks and experiment. Some of the greatest successes I've experienced in EDP have blossomed out of massive "failures". Current projects? An EDP colleague of mine, Zoe Doubleday, and I are starting a blog inspired by our trials and tribulations in emergent digital practices. Makey Muse will serve as a resource for new makers, people who want to start incorporating simple electronics into their craft projects, but don't have a basic knowledge of circuitry and electronics yet. Zoe and I hope to share our passion for DIY and DIWO (do-it-with-others) and provide a bridge from craft to hacked craft. Zoe and I are hoping to launch Makey Muse in the summer 2015 - stay tuned!
Christine De Carteret, Current MA Student
The most important way that EDP has impacted my work is by encouraging me to think critically about the digital future. It can be easy to get swept up in tech crazes, but it is important to understand the implications of the technologies we choose to adopt. Experience outside the program? I started at CP+B as an interactive development intern in summer 2014. I was on actual client work for the majority of the internship and managed to pick up enough skills that they offered me a full-time position at the end of the summer. I worked on front-end development with a little bit of physical prototyping, but I also learned a lot about the process of building and distributing a website in general. Lessons from this experience? Learning to code in collaboration with others did more good for my coding abilities than anything else. The most important thing I've learned is that there are plenty of people out there who are willing to help you reach your goals, but you have to be the first person on that list. Be aware of what you bring to the table, and be able to articulate your goals and advocate on your own behalf. There's always going to be a new technology to learn and master. There will always be new obstacles to overcome. Advice? Regardless of your professional goals, learn to code. Future goals? I ultimately see myself as some sort of creative director over expressive/artistic/cultural digital projects. I plan on finding opportunities that will allow me to combine my interests in code, design, and creative concepting so that I can conquer on all fronts.
Mario Zoots, MA 2014
Being an EDP student helped me learn to experiment with new types of media that I previously hadn't worked with. Experience outside the program? I was one of ten Denver artists commissioned to create a Red Bull cooler. We had an exhibition of the coolers and a contest juried by local curators and celebrities. I won second place, sold out my work, and was awarded to be in a group show a t the Scope Art Fair in Miami. It was a great experience, and I was totally honored to represent Denver in the show. Lessons from this experience? Keep making YOUR work - good things can happen. Advice? It's a tough road, but the knowledge gained is invaluable. Hang in there! Current work? I am teaching 4D foundations at Metro State University in Denver. I started my residency as a visiting artist at a local non-profit called Platte Forum. I am also putting together an exhibition with local high school art students and have a solo show at Svper Ordinary in Denver; mostly collage and Giclee transfers.
See more of Mario's work at mariozoots.com
Bryan Waddell, MA 2013
It's easy to talk about creative practice and theory with other designers and makers, but talking creative approach with technologists without speaking or knowledge of their daily language was a wall I knew I needed to break early in my professional development. EDP really allowed me to take my design and making practices to a whole new level. Advice? Leave no stone unturned; Always think about the next level; Network. Current work? I oversee all of GTC's Digital Production departments dealing with new fabrication methods and design practices via emerging technologies for retail, branding, and custom decor. We just finished two major ground-up projects for Victoria's Secret and ESPN Studios. For Victoria's Secret, we were tasked with creating a major sculptural work that tied directly into the materials of the building located on historic Bond Street in London, England while creating the illusion of motion with visual complexity. For ESPN, we created a replica of the top half of an antique refrigerator as a piece of pop art so children's drawings from the local hospital could be displayed in the on-air talent break room. Lessons from this experience? I have a much greater understanding of what it truly takes to run a business, and I now know how to get them to an achievable solution within their budget with minimal design compromise. We're seeing apprehension with major brands and corporations - the more individuals enter the creative field that truly have a solid understanding of code, electronics, and deployable tech, the faster we'll see this apprehension disappear.
Eric Schneider, BFA 2013
In EDP, we were always taught to strive and create with technology that pushes the boundaries of both art and design - in doing so, we set the path for the world to follow.This caused me to dream big, which is exactly my approach during the ideation and conceptualization phases of my designs; everything is achievable in some fashion. Advice? Never stop moving, adapting, and creating. Current work? My official title at Chaotic Moon is Creative Technologist, Hardware. I am one half of the two-person team that makes up the creation end of BASE (standing for BadAsS Experiments). We build creative, inspiring, and cutting-edge solutions for problems that align to our clients' current and coming needs alongside the studio’s vision for the future of technology. The drones that were covered on CNN ended up being one of 3 projects we launched during SXSW; Tyrone Drone was my primary project from ideation to execution. Lessons from this experience? The iteration process moves and evolves to each specific project, constantly transforming past completion - being realistic about timetables and expectations is key. Never undersell yourself while at the same time being careful of overselling yourself. Future goals? Eventually I would like to open up my own, service-based, hardware-specific technology and design studio, or travel the world. Whichever path I choose, a 3D printer will be involved and I can promise you I will always be designing and creating. Upcoming projects? One of my main goals this year is to build one project a week, many of which will be open-sourced experiments or papers. The Orchard is a collaborative installation in which Chaotic Moon and Gensler Austin teamed up to create a 30-foot-tall pneumatic tree installation providing an interactive experience with light and sound. I focused on both hardware and interaction design for this project. Fitcoin was an idea that Matt and I came up with, starting with a single question, “What if there was a way that fitness wearables could translate into bitcoin mining?” So we answered that question with Fitcoin. Fitcoin measures the length and intensity of your workout and translates that into CPU time - chomping away at a blockchain.
Student: Chadwick Friedman, Master of Arts
Course:EDPX 4010: Emergent Digital Tools
Senator Duino is a self roaming robot that uses a Ping Sonar to navigate. The Senator is powered by an Arduino Uno and built on a Parallax robot chassis. Senator Duino recently had a conference with some concerned citizens to answer their questions. Refer to the videos to see how Senator Duino responded to the citizen’s important issues.