Art + Design Approach

I am an alchemist at work in the Sonoran desert. My conceptually-driven 'pataphysical projects stem from technocultural analysis, demonic possession and Dissociative Trance Disorder, spiritual / ontological / phenomenological quest, suicidal ideation, and hyperactive media immersion. My critical design processes involve a heavy dose of research, iterative creative tinkering, and experimentation and dabbling in areas at the edges of my cognitive and bodily limits. The aesthetics of my work reflect a long standing interest in horror and science fiction. Additionally, as an american tagged as "Generation X" growing up, my pop cultural knowledge is rooted in skateboarding, punk rock, hip hop, underground / experimental art + design / comics / film / video / animation, and video games. My work has been shown in a variety of exhibition spaces, museums, public / commercial sites, and publications. I have done freelance and studio based media design projects for over 20 years. I have published research with psychologists, scientists, and engineers involving optical dynamics and visual perception. I have received numerous grants and awards in the fields of art, computer graphics, and education. The focus of my current work has moved past gallery or museum-oriented Art "objects and images" (Art games) towards the field of game and interactive design (art of games), with a particular interest in the therapeutic value and critical / exploratory capacities of the form. I also enjoy drawing, playing with algorithms, making music, and building instruments.

Teaching Approach

My job is to equip students with the best knowledge, tools, and savvy that I can possibly give them. My teaching strategy is simple: to structure generous, low-risk learning environments where creativity is a must, play is encouraged, critical thinking is enhanced, collaborative problem solving is fundamental, and technical wizardry occurs as a byproduct of solid creative and conceptual ideas. I view my classroom as being similar to the "practice spaces" that musicians play in: students are encouraged to "jam" with their classmates and to test out their ideas through various art and design processes with a low fear of failure. I also have my students work on projects involving non profit agencies from around the community to help build their resumes, to learn how to network and deal professionally with clients, and to gain a sense of the potential impacts one can make on the world as an artist or designer. As automation and artificial intelligence continue to render technical software processes obsolete, my focus is to try to develop qualities in my students that are not easily duplicated by intelligent machines (such as rational compassion, media literacy, critical intelligence, and creativity). The projects in my classes are typically geared towards developing occupationally relevant software methods, but also mix in bits and pieces of media theory, art and design history, critical/creative idea development, and high level design thinking. Technical things that I teach and learn include: most apps in the Adobe Suite and their free or cheap counterparts, Cycling '74 Max, Ableton Live and other DAWs, various 3D apps, Unity, Processing, Arduino, and Javascript. I am currently developing a textbook focused building a fundamental yet pliable set of digital skills and creative problem solving techniques. I am also decent with power tools and hazardous materials.

christoddmedia at gmail dot com

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