• Ruthanne Harrison

Where we've been...

This semester, which started out so unassumingly, has ended with so much uncertainty for all of us. I have been particularly grateful for this class for many reasons. Having had this experience of learning online gave me insight into how to move the classes that I teach to an online format very quickly. I also found it grounding to be able to be immersed in reading, research, and working creatively. This seems like the perfect time to be learning about emerging media, being able to apply what I am learning, in a relevant way, to my work as both an artist and a teacher


My final project is a short augmented reality video called Endure, which is a story about moving forward after the death of my father, and then the death of my mother soon after. It concerns their influences on me as artists and makers, and the creative struggles that ensued. But as the semester went on, and the world began to deal with the pandemic, the story seemed to become more generally about struggling and enduring through loss. One of the things I learned about storytelling: sometimes the story that you start out with is not really the story that needs to be told. And the real story will surface if you let it.


While working on the project, I was reading about the Dadaists.Their ideas and vision influenced the content and aesthetics of what I was doing. I could relate to the sadness and confusion they felt in dealing with a world where everything had come apart, and also to their irreverent way of moving forward into a new reality.


As I was working on the final project, at times it felt very dark. As a counterpoint I began a series of light, playful AR pieces, which I called Little Performances. Some of these started out as experiments to try techniques. But then I began to hand build little “stage sets” out of found materials, and created objects in a 3D modeling program to use in the sets. I shared these on social media, just to make anyone who viewed them happy. So when I submit my final project, I will also add these in. They were part of the process, and I enjoyed the results. I plan to keep working on the Little Performances.


This summer, I will be taking the Immersion: AR, VR and 360 Realities course. I am excited to be continuing on this path, and can’t wait to see what’s ahead.


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