* Press Editor’s Note: We were pleased to see Christopher Gallardo-Ganaban graduate from Capilano University and complete the CultureNet program this year. He was kind enough to share his departing reflections on his experience with the program. With his permission we are publishing them here for the benefit of younger CNET students and for those, like Christopher several years ago, who may now be considering entering the program.
by Christopher Gallardo-Ganaban
Capilano University’s website describes CultureNet as a “two-year multidisciplinary program designed for students interested in examining contemporary culture with a focus on how people interact with technology.” By definition, this synthesizes exactly what CultureNet at Capilano University entails. But that does not nearly characterize my personal experiences in CultureNet.
Two years ago when I finished high school, there was only one thing certain: that I would go to school to finish an undergraduate degree; I did not know what type of degree I would be pursuing. With the one school that I’ve wanted to go to since the age of six rejecting my application because I missed the admission average by merely two percent, I was faced with making a decision between schools that were not my first choice.
I picked CultureNet as it seemed the most versatile out of the list of programs to which I was accepted. I could not anticipate what an Associate of Arts Degree in Culture and Technology would get me. I might as well have flipped a coin to make my decision, because I knew I would be applying for another school within the next two years anyways.
My CultureNet intake year consisted of no more than five students with varying interests and educational backgrounds. We took three core courses together each semester as a cohort with other students who were not in CultureNet. At first, the courses we would be taking seemed unrelated. English, Communications, Art History, Anthropology, Computing Science, and Geography were just a few of the courses that we were required to take; the link between these disciplines was neither obvious nor apparent to me.
During my two years at Capilano University, I was immersed in the world of Marshall McLuhan, Sigmund Freud, Michel Foucault, René Magritte, James Carey and Karl Marx. The courses we took had very different perspectives on culture, yet many disciplines borrowed ideas from each other. The representation of reality was a recurring theme; we traced the history of technology and media and how they influenced the world as we see it. As I took more of the courses required by CultureNet, I felt as if I were escaping the matrix. Not only did I learn more about the world surrounding me, I also learned more about the world with respect to who I am and my part in it.
At the midpoint of my program in CultureNet, I had the opportunity to attend SIGGRAPH 2011 with a media pass representing CultureNet. I was honoured to have had this opportunity to cover the conference via articles and tweets for the readers and followers of the CultureNet Press, an online publication by CultureNet.
At the end of my program, I walked away with a better understanding of society and the world in which we live, a better understanding of myself and what I want to pursue, and also a set of friends and contacts whom I will keep in touch with for many years to come. I will be continuing my education at Simon Fraser University with the intent to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree with a joint major in Communication and Interactive Arts and Technology.
My experiences at Capilano University were rewarding. In addition to completing a well-designed multi-disciplinary program and finding my educational path, my university experience was also enhanced by the extremely helpful professors, small class sizes that promoted discussion, and the additional clubs and activities that the school offered.
I would recommend this program to those who, like me, are questioning their career and educational path. CultureNet is a fresh, innovative program that covers many disciplines in Arts and Social Sciences; if you are passionate about the arts and culture, CultureNet may what you are looking for. If you are still not convinced, don’t hesitate to schedule a meeting with either an advisor at Capilano University or the convener of CultureNet to find out if it could be the program for you.
* Press Editor’s note: Christopher Gallardo-Ganaban is a 2nd-year CultureNet student who was granted media credentials to cover the 2011 SIGGRAPH Conference in Vancouver for Press. Below is the report he filed.
This morning, SIGGRAPH 2011 opened its doors to the exhibition portion of the four-day convention. Open August 9-11, 2011, the three-day exhibition brings together thousands of computer graphics and interactive technology professionals to a place where they can interact, connect, network, collaborate, and ask questions about the products and services they each offer. With over a hundred exhibitors, the SIGGRAPH 2011 exhibition boasts not only well-known and established industry leaders but also those recently emerging into the industry. Whether you’re an artist, a techie, a student, or just someone who is interested in the field of digital arts, there is something there for you.
There are many different booths to check out, so it can be quite overwhelming trying to decide where to begin. There are a few booths that are a must-see for anyone attending the exhibition. Here is a list of booths worth checking out. For your convenience, it has been divided up into categories depending on your interest.
CLO Virtual Fashion specializes in 3D simulation of clothing. They specialize in tools that could be useful for those in the fashion, gaming, and film industries.
WACOM produces an array of tablets and pens, each designed for different styles of art and types of artists. Check out their booth where they will have demonstrations of their latest line of products which might be of interest to artists and hobbyists alike.
Parallels specializes in PC Workstation visualization software. Parallels is announcing, launching and demoing Parallels Workstation 6 Extreme.
If you’re familiar with Harry Potter, Alice in Wonderland, Spiderman 3, and 2012, cebas Visual Technology is responsible for creating the software used for the special effects in these award-winning movies. They are announcing a new version of “thinkingParticles” with GPU and also a prototype showing for “finalReader” 4 GPU.
Toon Boom is an industry leader in digital content and animation software. They are unveiling Harmony 9 and Storyboard Pro 3.
3D3 Solutions is a research and development company that creates 3D scanning and visualization technologies. Visit their booth and try out one of their 3D scanning technologies. Sit on the chair and have your face scanned and transformed into a 3D Image.
Ask about the various programs offered at Capilano University and watch demo reels of works created by the students themselves. There will be instructors, students, and alumni there to answer any questions you may have. There is also a 3D camera you can play around with, the same 3D camera used by the Film programs at Capilano University.
If you’re interested in animation, this is one booth you don’t want to miss. Animal mentor is an online school that teaches character animation. They are presenting their new product called Animals and Creatures: Master Class that teaches students how to animate quadrupeds, fantasy creatures, and flying animals.
Come see three of their latest student games: Scarfell, Nexus, and Dead West. Full game demos are available at the booth as well as faculty, staff, and students for interviews.
Organic motion is a provider of computer vision software and markerless motion capture systems. They are presenting their new product called OpenStage which emulates body movements with a 3D model. They have presentations throughout the day showing the power of this technology
Google will be presenting their line of products that people may or may not be familiar with. They are also handing out yo-yos.
Come find out the “magic” behind Pixar movies and what makes them so appealing. Also, Pixar will be handing out RenderMan Teapots 1pm every day. Be sure to get there early because they’re bound to run out.
With so many things to see at the SIGGRAPH 2011 exhibition, be sure to allow yourself enough time to see everything. If you haven’t bought your ticket yet, they are still available at the door, starting at $45 for a one-day pass. To all of you attending the convention, have fun! Feel free to comment below if you find another must-see at SIGGRAPH 2011.
CNET student Jordan Harbord is featured in the 2011-2012 university Viewbook in an article on the CultureNet Program.