Art is a Light and it Never Goes Out
Student Awards Winning Digital Project Illuminates the Power of Collaboration
March 19, 2021
Anika Niva, Alances Vargas, Alexa Forberg, Jackie Lando, Matthew Castronova, Rebecca Moran, Zach Har, CO-, Digital Content, 2020 Student Awards winner.
Art is often portrayed as the act of singular, suffering genius. Part Byronic hero and part bathrobe clad Brian Wilson. But the act of creation is commonly a collaborative one: a coming together of people and ideas to make something new.
Ricœurian hermeneutics argues that we best understand ourselves by understanding others. In interpreting, engaging and collaborating with one another, we gain new insights into what makes us tick, but we are also happier. Rochester Institute of Technology students Anika Niva, Alances Vargas, Alexa Forberg, Jackie Lando, Matthew Castronova, Rebecca Moran, and Zach Har produced an experience that eloquently illustrates the power and beauty of collaboration by utilizing technologies that typically allow us to stay apart.
CO- is a theoretical interactive exhibit that encourages visitors to convene, collaborate and connect. In the exhibition space visitors are presented with a floor to ceiling projection of a starry sky with colourful “sprites” (akin to fireworks or Tinkerbelle) dancing, but not engaging with each other across it. Utilizing Bluetooth controllers that resemble bracelets, the visitors can connect to each other, as a visitor connects with another, so to do the sprites. The exhibition goers can continue to connect in daisy chain fashion, ultimately completing the circuit to reveal a final, brilliant scene of sprite convergence. However, you truly can’t do it alone, if you try to connect your own controllers together the sprites will whither and die. Collaboration is truly key in CO-.
In a particularly 2020 twist of fate, this Student Awards winning piece in the Digital Content category that is all about human interaction and the beauty of creating through communing, was completed remotely as the pandemic pulled us apart. However, it is a testament to the creatives involved and the human spirit in general that they carried on; their sprites undimmed.
If you have illuminating student work, be it made individually or collaboratively, be sure to shine a light on it by entering it in the 2021 Student Awards. The deadline is May 21, 2021.