Marginalia, Graduate Blog

Justin

Tell us a little bit about what you were doing before you came to Columbia.

I received my first acceptance letter to Columbia College Chicago’s Interdisciplinary Arts MA program while living in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. I was making promotional videos for a few N.G.O’s that were helping provide clean water, housing, food, and education to communities that did not have access to these resources. At the same time, I was teaching music with a local artist named Rin Yame who started an art school for children in the city.

I was super excited to have been accepted into Columbia’s Interdisciplinary Arts program. I felt like it would provide me with the perfect preparation for starting this art school with my friend Rin in Phnom Pehn. The MA program was amazing, and in the end, I decided to apply to the Interdisciplinary Arts & Media MFA program. I then received my second acceptance letter to Columbia College Chicago. In the year between finishing my MA and starting my MFA, I have had a number of amazing opportunities to work with some incredible artists here in Chicago because of the connections I made at Columbia.

Why did you choose Columbia for your graduate study?

I was hanging out with my friend Bobby, talking about some of the art projects I was involved in and how much fun they were when he stopped me and said, “Justin, You should check out Columbia’s Interdisciplinary Arts program. You would absolutely love it. You should just apply. What’s the worst that could happen?”

Bobby told me more about his experience in the program and what it was like living in Chicago, and I knew I wanted to go through this program.

Now, having completed my MA, I can say that it was even better then I expected. I chose to work on my MFA at Columbia because my MA experience was so positive. I have never experienced as much support in an academic environment as I have in Columbia’s Interdisciplinary Arts Department. I am super excited to be working with this faculty again in the fall.

Tell us about a project you’re working on that you’re excited about.

My interest in travel and exploration has led me from anthropological endeavors to my current artistic pursuits. In my site-specific performance piece, A Difficult Situation, I discuss the global food shortage as I eat a delicious meal behind a group of dumpsters in an alley.

In a recent performance piece entitled Windows Mind Window, I explore what might be an over dependence on technology in our culture. In this performance, Microsoft’s Office Assistant “Clippy” leads an individual through a series of psycho-therapeutic exercises. The patient’s “thoughts” are projected on a screen behind him, and his internal voices are heard through a multi-speaker sound system. I also use electroencephalographs to monitor my brainwaves, and that data generates an eerie soundscape.

In my class Code/Language, I am excited to be building a software drawing machine that will incorporate several different programming languages.

Do you want the student perspective on the Interdisciplinary Arts & Media MFA program?
Email our Ambassador at arts.media.mfa@colum.edu

It Will All Be Over Soon

by Justin Botz

So I just finished installing my thesis project, I just have one final paper to turn in and I’ll be done with my MFA!  Woohoo! It has been a long …

It Will All Be Over Soon

So I just finished installing my thesis project, I just have one final paper to turn in and I’ll be done with my MFA!  Woohoo! It has been a long …

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

Another stellar Salon

by Justin Botz

The Interarts salons are always a great time to show work and see what other faculty and students are up too. With Presentations from three students and three faculty, our April …

Another stellar Salon

The Interarts salons are always a great time to show work and see what other faculty and students are up too. With Presentations from three students and three faculty, our April …

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

Check out Media Student BJ Allen’s Solo show “Edgewater Oriented Ontology”

by Justin Botz

Second year Interdisciplinary Arts & Media student, BJ Allen, has been rocking it at usual, and I’m super excited for the opening of her solo show on April 2nd, titled …

Check out Media Student BJ Allen’s Solo show “Edgewater Oriented Ontology”

Second year Interdisciplinary Arts & Media student, BJ Allen, has been rocking it at usual, and I’m super excited for the opening of her solo show on April 2nd, titled …

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

IMAGE UNIT

by Justin Botz

There are a number of ways to get involved with the Interdisciplinary Arts community outside the classroom. For the last 3 years (2 of which I have served as Vice …

IMAGE UNIT

There are a number of ways to get involved with the Interdisciplinary Arts community outside the classroom. For the last 3 years (2 of which I have served as Vice …

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

The Job Search Begins

by Justin Botz

Only a few more months before I finish my MFA, but the job search has just begun. There is some natural anxiety as I begin this transition from grad school …

The Job Search Begins

Only a few more months before I finish my MFA, but the job search has just begun. There is some natural anxiety as I begin this transition from grad school …

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

Artist Books

by Justin Botz

Classes start this week for my final semester! Only A few more months before I complete my M.F.A. Program! I have been able to take some amazing classes while in …

Artist Books

Classes start this week for my final semester! Only A few more months before I complete my M.F.A. Program! I have been able to take some amazing classes while in …

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