How To Survive Art School: Sink Your Hand Into Every Raspberry Pi

Take it all in. Try different fields. Don’t be afraid of barriers. You’ll find your learnings useful in the end.

Some people are born with an innate instinct which directs their decision making. This comes in handy during crunch-time, especially when you need to choose a career path after art school. For MA graduate Gregory White, exposure to different courses narrowed his interests to find his passion. Gregory shares how he was able to use hindrances as the drive behind his work. It could be the same for you. 

1. What do you know now that you wish you would have known when you started Art School? What would you have done differently?

This is a tough one. If I were to start art school today, I would use it to develop my sound and interaction design skills. I’d also work on the long list of projects I’ve started, but will probably never get round to finishing.

What I cherished about art school was the freedom to experiment, and try out everything that I came across — one day sound art, the next 3D modeling, and after that pattern design! It was so valuable for me to get a broad understanding of the different fields that are out there. I was exposed to swathes of new influences that I would never have come across on my own. Now that I’ve been through that process, however, I feel very happy to narrow down on a more specific area of interest, and really explore it in detail.

2. How did you get ambitious projects off the ground whilst at art school? What were the kind of barriers that you faced?

Interestingly, my most ambitious project started because I was facing barriers and had to think of ways to overcome them. I wanted to show my recent piece In C++, a software interpretation of composer Terry Riley’s In C, using an array of speakers that the university had. It turned out that they weren’t going to be available for the exhibition dates, so I had to make my own solution. I ended up finding relatively cheap ways to build my own speakers, using Raspberry Pi computers and small amp circuits. It completely transformed the project and was much better and more visually interesting as a result!

CRT monitor and Canon zoom lens by KitMapper to create and display Gregory White’s In/Ex-terior, a photo and video collage project on the relationship between interior and exterior space in London’s Barbican Centre. On show as part of Metasis, Goldsmiths’ MA/MFA Computational Arts degree show.
 
 
 

3. What do you do now?

Now I’m working as a freelancer specialising in sound and interactivity. I really like working with artists who want to include sound and interactive elements into their work, and collaborate with them to help develop their practice. I’m also working in more traditional fields such as audio editing for film and video, and am starting to do more composition again — something I’ve missed greatly!

 

We cannot wait to see what the future holds for Gregory. His immersion in various fields have provided a platform to intersect the arts, music and technology. If you want to follow Gregory’s next project or hire him for your own, check out his website and follow him on social media.

 
 

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