I’m inspired almost daily when I hear—and see—what CMCI faculty, students and alumni are up to: They’re forming new knowledge through research, digging into tough issues and using innovative methods to create media.
You may notice—as we did while this issue of CMCI Now was taking shape—how many of the stories in these pages center on images and representations.
In a process he started out of curiosity, Pat Clark, an instructor in critical media practices, uses visualization tools to make connections between the world we can see and the world that exists on a much smaller scale. He creates images that appear to be something other than what they are by taking photos and video through a microscope.
Alumna and information science PhD student Jordan Wirfs-Brock (MJour’10) is studying how to use visualizations and sound to convey complex information, and sophomore Will Brewer illustrates environmental issues with 3D images.
As part of Carnegie-Knight News21, a national reporting initiative that brings together top journalism students, Tessa Diestel (Jour’18) and Ashley Hopko (Jour’19) traveled across the country to report on hate crimes, racism and intolerance. They found that telling individual stories through video and multimedia puts a personal face on a difficult topic, and the importance of this work is being recognized. As we were going to press, we learned that the project won a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award in the college category.
“Images can reveal, but they can also conceal,” says Sandra Ristovska, an assistant professor in media studies. Born in Macedonia in the 1980s and shaped early on by images of the breakup of Yugoslavia, she has dedicated her career as a filmmaker and media scholar to exploring the intersection of visual images and human rights.
And back to Pat Clark’s images. Our magazine cover art, Blue Landscape, is not terrain after all, it’s molded tissue paper stained with a variety of blue inks. By taking a photo through a bright-field microscope, which has an incredibly shallow depth of field, he produced what looks like a landscape from minute materials and textures. We’ve included a key for his extraordinary images that appear in View, and you can experience some of the multimedia versions in this online edition.
As you enjoy this copy of CMCI Now, I wonder if these stories might change your image of us. Let us know what you think of the new college, and stay in touch. We’d love to know what’s happening in your part of the world.
Lori Bergen, PhD
Founding Dean, College of Media, Communication and Information