It is all about the story

It is all about the story

Laura Belik on the Arts + Design Mondays @ BAMPFA | Public (Re)Assembly talk series
Visualizing the World: The New Reporting from the UC Berkeley Journalism School on January 22nd, 2018

JSchoolUC Berkeley’s Journalism school started off the Arts + Design lectures this semester by showcasing their understanding of assemblage through the various works and projects their students have been involved in the past few years. Journalism today is one of the key professions that has been learning how to reinvent the way they communicate with this fast changing world we live in. But one thing seems to remain the same: the focus of the discussion is not about the medium they use, but it will always be about the story they produce.

After Dean Edward Wasserman’s introduction, professor Richard Koci Hernandez came to the stage to show the works of New Media students. “While the dean asked you to put your cellphones away, we [the New Media department] encourage people to do quite the opposite”, the professor joked. He emphasized how smartphones and other portable devices have been revolutionizing the way one can record and make stories: “we use the potential the internet gives us in order to re-assemble and present stories”, Hernandez understands the online world as the mobile web, thus, as a way for us to understand mobile stories. Some of the works presented were actually recorded and generated solely through the use of smartphones, for example. “It is the power of the tool you have at hand”. The New Media department also explores how to combine different kinds of media in order to better communicate with today’s users. Videos are made available online, and many times their content is also presented as a webpage, for example. Audio recordings, animated films, and 3-D virtual reality are also some of the means being explored by students.

Professor Ken Light joined the conversation, and presented some of the photography works that have been produced at the J-School. Stories can be told through images, and this is a tough goal to achieve. Professor Light often works with his students to think about creative story-telling through pictures, such as in the photo-book project he shared with the audience. As he points out, photography has many moving parts. It is interesting to think about assemblage through story-telling, and to see how each medium has a different take on it. The very last session was presented by Professor Monica Lam, on Video and Documentary works. As she reminded us, there is no better way to understand the student’s works than to actually see and interact with them. The night ended with the moving and inspiring documentary “Hale”, by Brad Bailey (Class of 2017).


Laura Belik (PhD Student, Architecture) reviewed the January 22nd, 2018 talk, Visualizing the World: The New Reporting from the UC Berkeley Journalism School  as part of the Spring 2018  Arts + Design Mondays @ BAMPFA series. To learn more about the series, see below:

What is the role of public assembly in our current moment? And to what degree are new models necessary to respond artistically and technologically to our political climate? After a highly successful launch of Arts + Design Mondays @ BAMPFA in Spring 2017, Berkeley Arts + Design is pleased to present a new suite of exciting lectures that explore the theme of “public (re) assembly” from a variety of perspectives. The word assembly carries a range of associations. It challenges us to think about the democratic right to assemble; it recalls the artistic history of assemblage. It provokes us to imagine new systems of arrangement that respond to a digital age. It asks to consider how UC Berkeley might re-imagine the “school assembly” as a site of social transformation. Learn more here.