Matt Kenyon, guest speaker

New media sculptor, Matt Kenyon, gave a fascinating lecture on his internationally acclaimed work, exhibited and collected worldwide by institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

One of the things he did was created a legal tablet that had the names of Iraqi civilians who had died printed microscopically to produce the lines of the paper. He gave everyone in attendance a sheet, so we could all peer at it up-close and see it was true.

My favorite story was how he created a sculpture of oil cans eternally spilling oil and for some odd reason an oil company rented the piece for an event.

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First Versus Third

We were introduced to Unity for this project, a program that is both amazing and overwhelming. We had 2 weeks to build our own video game. I chose to work by myself so I could say it was mine – every aspect, from design to implementation. I spent an average of at least 4 hours a day learning and practicing/playing with Unity. I love the program, even though I’ve only scratched the surface. That being said, I was not able to get to creating things like sound, or replacing the tiny robot avatar with one of my own. Everything else is mine. I’m jealous of the team that had a pixel artist and a coder. In hindsight I think it would have been great to work with 2 people like that…

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I really wanted to make a game that shed light on how first-world consumerism effects other societies around the globe. I thought that if I put the 2 players next to each other – juxtaposing – then people would infer how the 2 relate, even if my artistic interpretation is an exaggeration, there is still a correlation between our material-drive and the change to the global ecosystem.

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Right now the water just rises automatically, but I really wanted it to rise a little each time Player 1 collected stuff. I thought (and even programmed and tested) I’d add a boat crossed the horizon at a certain time – that way Player 3 could hop on it and escape the rising waters – but then I decided against it when I remembered the examples we were shown in class were a¬†player couldn’t win. I wanted to portray how I really feel – that the RL version of Player 3 has little hope at the rate Player 1 is going. And Player 1 doesn’t really have any option but to needlessly shop.

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My biggest inspiration for this was the “Story of Stuff” …I already had this idea in-mind when I went to see Naomi Klein and it was interesting to see that the very first thing she led with (well, it was in the opening video) was the idea of water’s rising and displacing people due to climate change.

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