Marginalia, Graduate Blog

Excavating the Image

Justin Botz

eye

eye

I just finished taking a bunch of pictures of my eye with a microscope, and yesterday I went to class with a camera strapped to my chest.

Pretty normal stuff for my class Excavating the Image, taught by Mark Anderson. Mark had just gotten back from ISEA (International Society for the Electronic Arts) 2012 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and he had a bunch of awesome stuff to show us, including a video of a woman who had made interactive musical plants.

That said, I think it’s finally time to talk about one of the awesome classes I’ve been taking this semester: Excavating the Image.

EXCAVATING THE IMAGE:

When my classmates and I started these 6 week intensive classes (there are 3 this first semester), Paul Catanese told us that we might feel something like whip lash from all of the stuff we were going to be presented with. He was right, but it has been good.

In this class, we have become the organizers of optics, the collectors of light, and the masters of images. More simply put, we’ve been introduced to a large array of image capture technologies that are available to us students in the Interdisciplinary Arts & Media MFA program.

I have been exposed to so much in this class that it’s felt like a little digital image boot camp, but it has been good. Mark really knows his stuff and has communicated it well to his students.

Certain tools have sparked my imagination. I’m excited by the possibilities each one of these tools has. But, here’s the thing I have to keep in mind: technological proficiency is not enough in a fine art environment. Work needs to be made that is conceptually strong and not simply “eye candy”. The faculty in the Interdisciplinary Arts department often reminds us to develop a cohesive body of work that follows a unique “Line of Inquiry”. Now that I am familiar with all of these tools, I need to figure out what I really need in order to say what I want to say. I might not need everything I’ve been exposed to, and that’s ok.

Excavating the Image

I just finished taking a bunch of pictures of my eye with a microscope, and yesterday I went to class with a camera strapped to my chest. Pretty normal stuff …

Interdisciplinary Arts & Media MFA Justin Botz, justin.botz@loop.colum.edu
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

The Graduate Experience