During the summer of 2020, Eyebeam hosted its first ever fully (Digital) Day Camp for 30 high school students across the country. Taking into account the moment of multi-crises, this fully digital, arts and technology summer camp was guided by these areas of focus under our theme Rituals of Care:
• Caring for the digital self: privacy, data use, and surveillance
• Caring for the physical self: digital wellness, practices of self & community care
• Reimagining technological and non-technological forms of togetherness
In recognition of the enormous shifts in what students are faced with this summer, Rituals of Care changed from a two-week, Mon-Fri program into a five-week, bi-weekly program. Full-day classes were shortened to 2 hours to lessen digital fatigue, and students were compensated $300 for their time spent learning
During DDC 2020, students designed care zines for their community’s needs, learned about the importance of data privacy and built their own VPNs, experimented with sound and visual manipulations in Max/MSP, and built cross-cultural solidarity through conversations framed around excerpts from Emergent Strategy and the Combahee River Collective Statement. You can also check out this presentation for a virtual archive of DDC 2020, co-created with the students!
In this workshop, students imagined and envisioned systems of care that are sustainable, reciprocal, collaborative, and restorative. Via group discussion, and the creation of an online guidebook, students documented and archived visual conceptions of new-alternative models of collaborative and communal care through Are.na and Google Slides.
In this workshop, students learned how communication across the web is encrypted. Part lab exploration and part oral history, they came away with tools to understand exactly what different actors on a network can see of their data, and make the choices to protect privacy online. During the workshop, students had built their own VPNs, captured their own data, and analyzed it using the popular, open-source tool Wireshark.
This workshop focused on using Max to create an audio/visual instrument. Using either live input or prerecorded audio samples, students learned how to create their own audio/visual instruments that anyone can play through a few simple button presses, or by clapping their hands. Students also learned how to use a live video feed to shape and manipulate sound. A piece of music expresses something, but how can we communicate that same something using video? When something happens in a video, for example, a person raising their eyebrows or opening their mouth, can we make the computer respond in a specific, expressive way?
Through this workshop, students learned how to create space for themselves and their communities to hold grief, sadness, and anger; to move away from constant, instant consumption of Black death, COVID-19 crisis, the horror of white supremacist state violence from media to really process what is going on and create space for their emotions. Students also walked away with a deeper understanding on strategies for organizing online spaces, and realize their autonomy in being leaders, organizers, shape-shifters, adapting to their environments while keeping true to their vision and politic.
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Digital Day Camp is made possible by Capital One, The Rodney L. White Foundation, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Eyebeam is also grateful for the long-standing visionary support of the Atlantic Foundation.