At the start of Spring Quarter, University of Chicago students and faculty embarked on a remote learning journey. As the UChicago community engaged with the digital platforms, Lect. Marc Downie challenged his undergraduate students to push past the boundaries of technology.
Known for his virtual reality courses and earlier residency at The Richard and Mary L Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry, Downie believes that remote learning will provide students with an ideal venue for investigating technology. In his course, “New Media at a Distance,” students are working toward regaining control over technology during this experimental time.
“In the last month, suddenly everyone has come to understand the importance of being able to dismantle technologies and reassemble them at home in our own ways,” he said.
Students have designed new video effects or interactive games by investigating the code on the Zoom platform while encouraging different programs to interact with one another.
“Our first sketch was to come up with an interesting intervention on Zoom (audio or video), and in our third class everyone appeared on Zoom with different effects they had tried,” explained Neha Lingareddy, a third-year pursuing a major in computer science and a minor in media arts and design. “I did a motion-responsive and audio-responsive piece, where I was visible to others on Zoom only when I was moving or speaking.”