Wednesday, May 26, 2010

ATLAS students display their capstone projects

The creative works of students in the ATLAS capstone projects course were installed in the ATLAS building this month. Video versions of some of the projects are now posted on YouTube.
The capstone projects course includes a series of lectures, demonstrations, portfolio development, open lab sessions, meetings, critiques and a significant reading and writing component. Students explore issues and theory, then produce a final project depicting a specific theme. The projects can be in any medium and several used both physical and digital media.
The course is the final stage of the 21-credit ATLAS minor in Technology, Arts and Media. Like all ATLAS courses, students come from any major on campus. They bring a diversity of experiences, interests and knowledge in producing their capstone projects. (More information about the minor and courses available is at

Here are some examples of their work:

• "Color Portrait of the Late 18th and 20th Century Paris"
Kendal Anderson, a Film Studies/Studio Arts major, used a Flash-based animation to feature photographs and artwork portraying Paris in the late 19th and 20th centuries.
"The piece is meant to portray the feeling and the beauty of Paris primarily by way of color and abstraction," she writes. "My goal for this piece is to captivate the viewer and draw them into the experience of a specific place and time -- the colors and imagery become almost hallucinatory as one image morphs into another."
View the video by clicking here.

• "Digesting a Gust of Wind for Breakfast"
Danielle Larson, Advertising major, used strips of cloth draped over a canvas as a screen to project this video. The artwork depicts a form of "Techno-Stress."
"As a student of culture, I am addicted to technology. Yielding innovation, design and connectivity, technology has been an integral part of my daily routine," she writes. "However, technology is my highest source of anxiety, which I've dubbed 'Techno-Stress.' Trying to stay on top of endless programs, services and devices; mastering skills, unlocking shortcuts, gaining organic ease within an interface is always met with something newer, faster, better, different. It's exhausting.
"To me, artistic (specifically visual) innovation is intriguing and certainly more meaningful. However, to create progress in the artistic space, you must integrate new media, technology and creative methods. As I've experienced in this program, the distinction between technology, arts and media is becoming less and less tangible...
"I can't seem to truly get away from my devices. Finding a moment to just breathe has become unjustifiable. Rather, we wake to our e-mail ringing our phone, three new events added to our day's calendar, while digesting a gust of wind for breakfast on our way out the door."
View the video by clicking here.

• "NIKEvolution"
Brett Macartney, Advertising major, Technology, examines the Nike brand since 1964.
"Nike has become among the top in its category, not only for product quality, but also advertising campaigns. Some of the most memorable print ads, television spots and advertising slogans have been born from this brand.
"This project shows the road this brand has taken from the beginning, through all the advertising campaigns and to what it stands for today," Macartney writes.
View the video by clicking here.

• "My Life in Boulder, Colorado"
Molly Oliver, a Communications major depicts scenes in Boulder and the Rocky Mountain region with a series of visual animations and time-lapse video.
"The objective of my project was to include scenes from Colorado that are unique to my experience," Oliver writes.
"Over 10 hours of footage has been condensed into this three-minute depiction of life in Boulder, Colorado. This time-lapse video is a compilation of some of my favorite memories here at CU."
View the video by clicking here.

• "ICT4D: Making the Change in Underdeveloped Countries"
Koby O'Brien, an English literature major, examines how Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D) can assist underdeveloped countries by providing tools and knowledge for development.
"ICT4D creates projects that provide struggling societies with technology, giving them more opportunities within the economy and a voice for change. Watch this video to find out more about what ICT4D projects can accomplish and the steps that need to be taken for them to succeed."
View the video by clicking here.

Bruce Henderson is director of communications at the ATLAS Institute. He worked as a newspaper reporter, photographer and editor for 20 years before becoming an associate professor of journalism at CU, where he taught journalism and new media publishing for a decade.