The Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts and Black Public Media announced the first cohort of its new residency program, called Black Public Media Residency at the Carson Center. The recipients, all of whom are developing creative technology projects, are artist Johannes Barfield, of Albuquerque, New Mexico; educator Rae Phillips, of Shreveport, Louisiana; and artist Andrea Walls, from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Megan Elliott, founding director of the Carson Center, and Lisa Osborne, director of emerging media at BPM, originally designed the residency to provide access to specialized equipment, studio facilities and workspace, which can be costly for independent creatives to access. After reviewing all of the applications, they decided to add a fourth element to the program: formal instruction.
Elliott recruited assistant professor of emerging media arts Dan Novy to teach Unity, Blender, and Lens Studio artists and brought recent graduate Kayla LaPoure and fourth-year student Ebben Blake on board as assistants. education. The two-week on-campus experience focused on skill development, watching augmented and virtual reality experiences from 2015 to present, discussing and analyzing these elements, and working independently.
“The first year of the residency program really exceeded all of our expectations,” said Elliott. “We recently saw the progress of the three artists on their projects at the end of the two week period, and it was so rewarding to see their progress and success in using new technology. We are thrilled to be part of expanding access to emerging technologies through these Black Public Media residencies.
Barfield, who is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of New Mexico, is developing “Ancestral Plane,” a third-person action-adventure video game about an ancient archaeologist who returns looted artifacts to the communities they originated from. Barfield is aiming for the more indie and arthouse side of the gaming spectrum.
Phillips is already in production on School Sagas, an oral history project that features interviews with students from formerly segregated schools and exposes continuing disparities in the United States education system, including modern segregation through magnetic programs. elite and extracurricular costs. The project currently includes a traveling exhibition and a documentary. The project received support from the National Park Service, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Bishop Blue Foundation and Red River Radio.
Walls, a conceptual artist and poet, is curator of the Museum of Black Joy, a hybrid archive and exhibition space “of non-traumatic black life in Philadelphia and beyond, using traditional storytelling and emerging technology to recognize and advancing experiences rooted in black joy.” The site features his street photography and video collages.
The Carson Center and BPM designed this residency to serve Black filmmakers, artists and creative technologists – given the well-documented low numbers of Black filmmakers, executives and artists working in the tech industry and the high cost of acquiring specialized equipment, such as motion capture rigs, professional 360 cameras, and VR headsets and training on equipment and software of emerging technologies.
In addition to one to three weeks onsite at the Carson Center, the residency is offering a $5,000 to $10,000 grant from Black Public Media to further develop their projects. The residency was funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.
“We kept saying this summer’s program would be our alpha test, and it exceeded all of our expectations. Megan and her team at the Carson Center were so welcoming and so collaborative,” Osborne said. pros. They created mods from scratch based on artist feedback and requests. It was a fantastic experience all around, and I can’t wait to go back next year. I can’t wait to see the type of applications we will receive in 2023.”
Founded in 1979, Black Public Media supports the development of visionary content creators and distributes stories about the global black experience to inspire a more equitable and inclusive future. The non-profit organization, which is primarily funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, provides quality content to public media, including PBS, PBS.org and BlackPublicMedia.org, while training and mentoring the next generation of black filmmakers. Its emerging media program, BPMPlus, is funded by the MacArthur Foundation, private donations, and other funders.