ITP Camp 2016

ITP Camp Blog

ITP Campfire Stories: Jody Culkin

Written by Ruta Kruliauskaite on June 27, 2016, 7:36pm


What were your favorite moments at ITP Camp so far? I have many favorite moments: I’ve come to every single camp, I seem to be a Camp lifer. I went to ITP as well, I’m an alum. ITP Camp is kind of like camp when you’re a kid and you have friends that you only see at camp, so there’s a bunch of campers who’ve come here for many years and I only see them in June. And also, of course, the staff and faculty of ITP -- it’s great to see all the people I know who are here all year round but I really see them only in June. I also really love using the digital fabrication equipment and every year I try to learn something new -- I’m really excited about Othermill, which I haven’t really used yet but I’m waiting for my bits to arrive from California any second now. I also enjoyed leading a couple of sessions which I ran with Eric Hagan on Beginning Arduino, which was really really fun, too.

How do you find ITP and ITP Camp similar and different? ITP... When I was here as a student I was sort of relentless in a way that a little bit horrifies me now. I would track down my teachers and I would hound them to answer my questions, so I could get my projects done -- I don’t really do that at Camp. Camp is a little bit more like a little taste of this and a little taste of that. It’s harder to get really big projects off the ground in a month, unless you’ve really started them considerably before the start of camp. It’s more like a place to test out and try out a lot of things, techniques, and it’s great. But what I mean is that ITP is more focused on actually finishing projects: at least I would focus more on finishing my projects at ITP than at Camp -- here I usually finish them a little bit later.

What’s your latest passion? That’s sort of hard to say. It’s funny: I keep returning to cardboard. I worked with cardboard a lot way before my days of digital fabrication. I’m making a bunch of little cardboard theatres that will be used for a series of animations that I made… I want to make a separate small handbag theatre for each animation, and I’m returning to cardboard again as a really wonderful material. I also love the laser cutter: every year I think: “Well, I won’t spend so much time with the laser cutter”, and then I find myself just cutting some other kind of material with it.

What’s the favorite art piece you’ve ever made? Why? It’s a good question. It’s a little bit hard to say. There’s one piece that I made years ago for a Creative Time: they sponsor a lot of outdoor public projects and they used to do a piece called “Art on the Beach”, which was where the Stuyvestown High school is now. My piece was called “Vacation Homes of the Future” and I made all these different structures that were set inside the sand and people could climb into them. There was a performance that happened there as well. I’m not even sure it’s my favorite piece but it’s a piece that I like very much: I partially like it because it was public and because people really interacted with the piece. You know: I would come back and I would see people kissing on one of the pieces and reading the newspaper on another one. That’s why that piece comes to mind.

Explain to a five-year old in one sentence…

Arduino & microcontrollers… I would say that Arduino is a way to control objects by using different kinds of other objects. Laser cutter… it’s a printer that cuts instead of draws.

Any advice to future campers? I think my advice would be to be very open and to go to sessions that you don’t expect to be particularly interested in. Some of my best experiences have been things I wasn’t sure I was particularly interested in but I went to anyway. Also get here early in the morning if you want to use a laser cutter -- that might be my best piece of advice.

Watch video for more responses from Jody:


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