“When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.” Hunter S. Thompson, shared by Dana during a video meeting.
“When in doubt, reach out.” Nita and Rose during another video meeting.
This is not “business as usual” – what is the Studio for Interrelated Media in the age of a pandemic and economic breakdown? How can our community respond to panic, fear and uncertainty? How can we invent innovative solutions to impossible problems? How do we restructure our priorities? How do we support ourselves, each other, our families, our neighbors? What can we do to lift spirits and model hope?
We want to recognize that there are many, many people in very challenging situations – losing their jobs, housing, and food security. We want to know who you are in our SIM community so that we can help.
Do you have:
- Safe housing?
- A phone?
- Internet access?
- A Laptop?
- Working from a different time zone other than the East Coast (EST),
- Have a primary caregiving role in your household or current living situation,
- Have work responsibilities that will greatly impact your schedule,
- Health issues (you do not have to disclose specific conditions or symptoms but please let SIM faculty know if you are ill),
- Primarily using a smartphone to communicate?
If you need assistance related to any of the above issues, please contact the SIM faculty and staff, the staff in the MassArt Counseling and Wellness, and/or in the Student Development offices at MassArt. We are all standing by waiting for your call. We need to know if you need specific technologies or internet access in order to be in touch and continue with online learning.
Please refer to this Massart FAQ page for specific issues – https://massart.edu/covid19-faqs
We want to invite you to participate in any way you are able over the next 7 weeks – to collaborate, provide each other with both individual and group critique, and to continue our goal of creating a transformational experience together. It will be a once in a lifetime (let’s hope) class.
Many of the ideas below were generated in a video conference call with a subset of SIM students (pre-scheduled March 19 SIM Major Studio producers, the Godine and Eventworks teams) and faculty. We want to hear ideas from everyone but felt we couldn’t have a video call with 70+ people and had to start somewhere. Here are few structural decisions, ideas, and calls for participation to get us started.
- SIM Major Studio will maintain class time on Thursday afternoons 1:30 – 6:30 as a meeting place and an emotional anchor. We hope to start each class with a short ZOOM meeting with as many folks as can participate and then break off into smaller collaborative groups. Dana will be setting up a ZOOM invitation with instructions asap.
- We will still have small groups – we first invite all the producers already scheduled for the next 7 weeks to propose either,
a.) create a social distancing collaborative project (see ideas below) or b.) organize and manage an online critique group where SIM artists can share work in a shared google folder and video conference on ZOOM or Google Meet to discuss (these groups will have rotating faculty participating). We will continue to use the this page https://inside.massartsim.org/thursdays to keep track of groups scheduled during class time but feel free to create other SIM community collaborations outside of class time!
- Announcements – We will keep a running Google document of announcements. We will need to assign a moderator or notetaker for each Thursday to manage this.
- We invite you to think about and write up a personal plan for how you will spend your days that includes a list of resources and materials you have access to, as well as a list of 5 humans that are your support team.
- We would like you to not worry about “credit” – this is a global emergency. We want you to participate, communicate, and support each other. We will not be keeping track of Producer or Presenter credit however, it is imperative that the faculty is in touch with each and every one of you.
- We will create a “phone tree” to make sure everyone is connected to someone in whatever communication technology that works for them.
- Faculty advisors will be attempting to reach out to you one on one over the course of the next 7 weeks via email and/or Slack.
Socially distant communication methods:
- Talking on the phone
- Video conferencing (Google Hangouts/Meet, Zoom, Slack Video calling)
- Google Meet is available to any community member who has a @massart.edu email account. You can send invites via the Google Calendar tool by “adding a conference when you create an appointment. It is as easy as hitting the “Join Meeting” button when you get and email invite, please check to make sure your devices meet the “Video Meeting Requirements” in advance: https://support.google.com/a/users/answer/7317473
- Walking outside while talking
- Sign language
- Here is a list of multi-player games that Nadia put together.
Possible group ideas:
- Drop equipment in locations for folks to use (with Clorox wipes!!)
- General critique groups using massart portfolios or google drives folders to collect work.
- “Fireside chats” check-ins designed by student producer – topic oriented?
- 6 feet apart group singing or dancing outside nursing homes or neighborhoods (at least until shelter in place order is implemented!)
- Snail mail letter writing
- Geocaching technologies applied to humans?
Resources and tools that might help:
- SIM site research page – we will be continuously adding to this.
- Lynda.com – https://www.bpl.org/learning-tools/online-courses/
- MassArt resource page
As usual, it is important that the equipment you currently have is kept safe and is returned as soon as is possible. While all the return dates and deadlines will be extended, final grades and restrictions will have to be honored until it is all returned. We will help you do that when the time comes. Just don’t drop anything in the ocean. We have a LOT of gear out and about right now and our studio will not be able to run without it once this emergency state passes. The next few weeks will reveal when/if we can get on campus to check in and out equipment.
Keep yourselves well (physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually). We recognize that this situation is uncertain, disruptive and anxiety-inducing. The MassArt Counseling and Wellness Center is available to support on the phone, please contact them if you need it. They have also provided this resource on coping techniques if you are experiencing anxiety. If you are feeling overwhelmed, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the main line 1-617-879-7760. These accounts are monitored, M-F, 9am – 5pm, and one of the counselors will reach out to within 24-hours. After 5pm and over the weekend, please contact 911 if it is an emergency.
Additional Mental Health Contacts:
- You can talk to a live, trained counselor at Crisistextline.org by texting 741741.
- Volunteers are also available 24/7 via phone through the Samaritans hotline at 877.870.4673.
- National Suicide Prevention Life Line-1-800-273-TALK
Special thanks to Professor Sandrine Schaefer for their contributions to this page.