We caught up with MA/MFA in Transdisciplinary New Media student Andrew Voxakis to get an insight into what the program entails and how he’s been finding it.
Tell us where you’re from and what you’ve studied before coming into the MA/MFA in Transdisciplinary New Media (MTNM) program?
I was born and raised in the US, in the Maryland, Washington DC area. As far as what I have studied, it has ranged from degrees and certificates in English, Photography, Graphic Design, and Game Design. I am always on the hunt to learn a new subject or process, hence my constant education.
Describe the MTNM program in a few sentences for those who aren’t familiar with it.
The MTNM program is one that allows people of diverse backgrounds to converge on different projects. The multidisciplinary aspect of everyone’s background, provides unique skills and outlooks to make a project stronger and well-rounded.
How has your background contributed to the program?
Well, I think my obsession with learning and discovering new things has provided a specific perspective to the program. Often times, if I don’t know how to use a program or a process I at least know a bit about the functionality of it. For example, I don’t know every computer program out there but most likely have a general knowledge of its function and capabilities. This has helped me when working with people who know the program or process better than I do because I can speak to them in their language and know what to expect from them.
What kind of backgrounds do your peers come from?
This is one of the things that I love because all of us come from a range of backgrounds. People from Fine Arts, Interior Architecture to Design.
What has been the most rewarding project or experience?
I’m not sure if any one project was specifically the most rewarding since they all have contributed to the greater whole experience. I will say that I really enjoyed working on a project that involved making a 3D scanner made entirely out of pinhole cameras. To top it all off, we were able to present it at the Saatchi Gallery in London for the LowTechLab project.
What kind of external resources are available to you as MTNM students?
We have been introduced to many people and contacts within the world of art and design that created a networking platform for projects, and therefore hopefully for future careers.
What are you going to be working on this semester, and what will you be focusing on?
I’m working on a lot of projects that involve many types of concepts, ideas, and materials. The classes so far have been ranging from Narrative Development to Interactive Design. The one I will focus on the most this semester will be the Lab class where we are submitting projects to different institutions such as art shows, competitions, and residencies.
I think I am going to focus on this project the most because last year, I really fell in love with the concept of Nuit Blanche. So, wish me luck because I am really excited and hopeful that I can get something featured in it this year.
What do you find most inspiring about studying in Paris?
The thing I find most inspiring about Paris is the general respect for art and culture. I respect and love, first, the sheer amount of museums, and moreover, how well there are put together in terms of the quality of work within them. I find it amazing that the city supports so many different public art projects like Nuit Blanche, as mentioned before.
Where do you find inspiration?
I get inspiration from many places. I am very much a collector of new information and I am constantly trying to understand both people and ideas to feed my curiosity. I also have a fascination, oddly enough, with mortality and my limited time on earth. It inspires me to “get on with it” and create things that I can hopefully be proud of.
Actually, recently this question has been on my mind on a deeper level; attempting to figure out what really does inspire me and why.
Finally, if you could only take three books with you to a deserted island, what would they be?
Anything from the series Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams or The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice. And my art journals. They are all books that I couldn’t separate myself from for different reasons. TheHitchhiker’s series because it made me think about reality differently and made me laugh in the process. The Vampire Chronicles as they were novels that enveloped me in their universe. Lastly, my journals because I have been hashing out ideas for years and I love going back to the older ones to give me ‘re’inspiration and to show me my journey as a human and artist.
Check out more works by Andrew on his website.