One of the final University events of the spring 2012 term, Journeys was a thematic end-of-semester showcase of student work, part of a year-long endeavor of NYUAD's Arts and Humanities department. Planned by a contingent of Arts and Humanities faculty looking for a way to celebrate the student work created in their courses, the event took place at the Downtown Campus and featured short film screenings, musical performances, essay readings, visual arts displays, mobile application program demonstrations, and creative work from a range of classes.
"Showing and presenting work is an integral part of being both a student and an artist," said Shawn Van Every, visiting assistant professor of Interactive Media and Technology and committee chair for the event. "Offering a showcase such as this to the students enables them to have their work experienced by their peers, the University, and the public. It also offers an opportunity for those throughout the University who might otherwise not be exposed to work that comes out of the Arts and Humanities to see the breadth, quality, and creativity of the work that is being produced."
For freshman James Hosken, submitting his work for the showcase was a next logical step. "Any artist, to use the term broadly, creates work for it to be shown," he said. And while most of his projects were originally intended for in-class evaluation only, he never considered not showing them. "The showcase was there to show student work," he said. "I am a student, and I had done work. It was as simple as that."
Offering a showcase such as this to the students enables them to have their work experienced by their peers, the University, and the public
As well as screenings of his three video projects from Sound, Image, and Story, Hosken shared two other videos — a documentary of NYUAD's production of The Ramayana, which he worked on with sophomore Ayaz Kamalov, and his submission to the 24-Hour Film Race, which was also a joint collaboration, this time with freshman Jamie Sutherland. His final project from Mobile Media was also showcased; along with fellow freshman Oleg Pasternac, Hosken created a multiplayer, movement-based game for a smartphone.
The work on display was varied and, as Hosken said, highly collaborative, an aspect of the showcase that he felt was quite fitting. "I find something poetic there, in that we're a college practically built on collaboration," he said. "Whether it be collaboration between nationalities, academic disciplines, or even religions, in its own small way, for me, at least, this showcase encapsulated that."
Inspired by the energy of her fellow students eager to share their work, sophomore Sara Hassen showed "Clandestine Smile," a photograph taken during her J-Term photojournalism course trip to Umm Al Quwain, and an Android-based application created with classmate Rediet Demissie for Mobile Media. "What I enjoyed most was getting different opinions on how to improve [the application], as well as immense optimism on both works," Hassen said. "The suggestions people gave were inspiring and encouraging." She also appreciated the "moving" works of other students and the opportunity to "experience with my peers an out-of-the-ordinary situation, where emotions that don't come out in our daily lives were shared in so many different ways."