Instructor Reflection – Jason (1.1)

By Justin Hodgson

The thing about this project that stood out the most to me was not specifically the final project itself but rather the way that Victoria evolved as a compositionist during this project.  She was a solid textual writer going into the assignment, and her initial approach followed a fairly standard beginning of trying to find a topic and then trying to find a way into that topic.  But once she started to realize the potentials of the Sophie program, her entire level of engagement changed.  She stopped just trying to do an assignment and started to really invest herself in the project.  More importantly, there was an excitement in her voice when she began describing how she was able to create this “essay” in the very style she was explicating.  “There is something comic-like about it,” I remember her saying in one of our chats.  And as each draft came in and she continued to refine the project, her work and experience really embodied the potential of the assignment.

Beyond this, her project combines very simple elements and simple design choices to create a very engaging essay.  It is, to a certain extent, a performance of McLuhan’s cool media.  Except not only do readers have fill in a lot of information, they also have to interact with the bare-bones to even figure out what “gaps” they will be filling.  Thus, the production doesn’t just work in a similar style to Jason’s, it also adds the dimension of digital interface.

What I find most exciting about this project is how much information it contains without feeling like an informative report.  We not only get a clear sense of Jason’s artistic style, but we understand how Victoria feels about that work as well.  She manages to tell us and show us in the same space, often in the same moment.  And it is the multimedia platform that allows her to demonstrate, illustrate, and extend her commentary via the interdynamics between image and text and behavioral link.