Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Machines Have Already Won

It's hard to believe that it has been over a decade since the completion of my undergraduate degree. Today, one of my students at Dominican University of California pointed me a TED talk with Neil Harbisson. ( The idea of relating patterns of sound to patterns of color and value is absolutely fascinating. Whenever possible, I try to get my students to relate the process of drawing and painting to other art forms such as music.

I had completely forgotten about my 2001 undergraduate thesis project on mechanical click phenomena (MCP), which to this day still feels unfinished. I even let go of years ago. The project is on old Zip disks, DAT tapes and mini DV tapes in a closet, but I would love to look at that stuff again, especially the videos. As I approach the completion of my MFA, I am already imagining a doctorate degree focusing on yet another focused, but scholarly project.

My dreams since graduation back in '01 almost always involve something related to a thesis project. I am either working on mine, or looking at someone else's that is lightyears ahead of the curve. And yet, those shimmering images and ideas from the fog of dreamspace are completely my own. It makes me wonder if the thesis experience was in fact a mild form of trauma that plays itself out in different ways night after night. (I'm not exaggerating. A former classmate shared with me a recurring nightmare involving Jennifer Morla humiliating him during one of our Friday morning crits.)

A deep catharsis seems to spawn from successful authorship and the ownership of an original idea.

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