I’m Arthur, a 2nd year M.A. student in English here at UVic, and Media/ Communications Assistant (of sorts) at the Maker Lab. My interests are primarily in modernism, film, and media studies, but “media” here should come with some qualification: In my projects, research, and general interests I’ve been drawn to and influenced by artists, movements, technologies, and media that might be considered—in DH circles at least—archaic. 16mm vérité-style documentaries, French new wave, William Eggleston, darkrooms, bolex cameras, Eastman colour, having to care about ISO, Jean Renoir, 4-tracks, the NFB’s Unit B—these things feel so long ago, like the words “media” and “technology” almost seem out of place. I should also mention that, like Mikka (our usability consultant at the MLab), I’m entirely new to DH.
My job at the lab is in Media and Communications (things like content-editing the Maker site, filming and editing workshops, producing lab-related images and audio, planning and working on the upcoming Maker zine, etc.). The Maker Lab for me presents a tremendous opportunity and challenge to try and reconcile my tastes, ideas, prejudices and preferences in media aesthetics (so much of which are tied to what might be thought of as technological limitations, like film graininess) with new technologies, platforms, and media. Is there room for a touch of Maysles in a 30-second promotional video shot on mini-DV (rather than 16mm) and digitally edited (instead of by hand)? How does one bring old influences into play in new genres and media? Actually, I think the Maker Lab—in its emphasis on materiality, collaboration, and integration of old and new technologies—is particularly well-suited to facilitate this kind of reconciliation, and I’m looking forward to learning more about the DH world, while continuing to pursue my interests in media studies . . . only now in different, newer, digital media.