2012, You’ve Got Big Shoes to Fill

The Gunner's Assistant

Be gone, 2011!

By most reports, 2011 was madness: there were more violent revolutions and celebrity terrorist deaths than ever before; the Earth made many attempts to rid itself of us through fire, flood and famine (usually in successive weeks); the US realised that Apple was making more money than the rest of the country combined, so decided to stop attacking nations of people on the other side of the world (instead setting up camp in Australia, where no one will notice); and of course Capitalism worldwide continues it’s death throes in increasingly baffling ways, but thankfully we still had plenty of coin to spend on celebrity/royal weddings and fireworks – probably thanks to our friendly miners (the small ones, of course). 2012 promises Armageddon. I suppose that’s an impressive hand, but I’d prefer that it wasn’t played just yet. There’s plenty to do this year, and Earth spinning off its axis and into the sun would give me the shits.

Top of the list is starting my PhD in March. All the relevant hoops have been jumped through and I plan on continuing the study I did for Honours in 2011, by looking at the potential for experiential media to allow communication and expression of those who aren’t able to use verbal or written language. That’s a very long sentence which covers a vast range of ideas, so between now and March I need to find myself a secondary supervisor (likely from the UNSW Psychology faculty, to rein in my art-school-freedom-of-expression) and begin to focus on how I plan on researching this area. My experience working with Aspect last year was a positive one, so whilst I hope to continue that relationship, I don’t know if this research will be strictly looking as those with Autism Spectrum Disorders or not at this stage.

I’m enjoying using Max 6 at the moment, so I do plan on it being my tool of choice for constructing interactive experiences. I think it hits a nice middle-ground between power and flexibility, and won’t get in the way of a case-study-style research project. Also in the world of creative coding, I will hopefully pick up a couple of tutorials at COFA, teaching introductory classes for Processing and Arduino. There is an effort being made at the moment to make interactive media more accessible to students – something I personally feel strongly about, so it would be nice to become a part of that process.

Having just banged on about uni, I do plan on trying to take it a bit easier this year. Work/life balance I think they call it. This is probably as close to a New Year Resolution as I’ll get, and I hope to rant in more tangental and vague non-study-related-directions on this blog throughout the year. Strangely, my past rants seem more popular than posts with any useful information. Maybe the Mayan’s foresaw the impending tirade that will take place on this website in 2012, the weight of which will cause the Earth to implode upon itself. Good thing I’m off to Thailand in a couple of weeks. I hope they don’t have the internet.

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