Howdy and greetings from College Station, Texas! While it’s been a while since our last post on the Convergent Media Collective website, it is not for lack of engagement. As a matter of fact, the previous months have been some of the most jam-packed in recent memory, and we haven’t had time to update the website as much as we should. So, here is a little recap of some of the major changes that have taken place within the Collective:
As you may be aware, in the Spring of 2017, the Convergent Media Collective lost its academic home at The University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) when Dr. Lopez left the institution. However, following the secession from the university, the program didn’t falter and kept expanding throughout the expansive limits of San Antonio. Meetings continued to be held at locations such as Dr. Lopez’s HiFi store, Dreamonoids, which he runs with founding CMC member, Christian Rios. In addition, we held events at other select locations around town such as Launch SA in the Downtown Public Library.
2018 and early 2019 brought with them some amazing changes for Joey Lopez, Ph.D. as well as founding CMC member, Jonathan Guajardo. After serving as a Lecturer in Texas A&M University’s (TAMU) Department of Communication in the 2018-2019 Academic Year, Dr. Lopez will officially become an Associate Practicing Professor and Director of the New Media Lab at Texas A&M in the Fall of 2019. In addition, Jonathan Guajardo will be joining the TAMU faculty as a Full-Time Lecturer and will assist in building the New Media Lab while teaching new media and traditional communication courses in the Department.
The scope of this news cannot be underestimated, as these appointments in College Station provide our Collective with a new home base and provides a unique opportunity for inter-city networking. Over the coming months, here is what you can expect to see from the Collective:
- We hope to expand on Dr. Lopez’s and Professor Guajardo’s research in the fledgling field of Entrepreneurial Communications, which they will be conducting both at Texas A&M University and within the greater Central and South Texas area.
- We will be hosting BarCamp San Antonio in 2019, which will provide scholars and citizens a unique opportunity to share their research and ideas with like-minded individuals outside of the restrictive nature of a traditional academic conference.
- As alluded to above, we will be developing a New Media Lab at Texas A&M whereby students, faculty, and staff can be empowered to collaborate and create projects that have far-reaching implications beyond the proverbial brick and mortar of an academic setting.
- In the Spring of 2019, Dr. Lopez received a $10,000 Texas A&M University ITS equipment grant which enabled him to acquire necessary full-scale production equipment to facilitate the Department’s vision of new media-centric academic pursuits. This equipment will be able to be used by students and other CMC members who want to “Make Stuff, Take Risks and Be Awesome” (as per the Former ACTLAB’s motto).
With all these changes taking place, it is necessary to note that the work of the Convergent Media Collective transcends our new academic home. Over the following months, we will be circling back and highlighting more of our members’ current endeavors. Many integral CMC folks have gone on to become highly successful both artistically and professionally, with many also choosing to venture into the realm of advocacy. So, stay tuned for more articles, video updates, and social media posts, because not only is the Collective alive and well, we are in fact venturing to new heights and making advances every day to live out our mantra. So, in the words of Yebediah The Converger, “Keep on Converging!”
I (joey lopez phd) was able to make it out to the 2019 ACTLab Conference for the first day, first presentation and wow did it impress!
Happening in Austin, TX at the Vortex Theater, the 2019 ACTLab Conference was organized by Heather Barfield along with the support of many ACTLabbers like Jon Lebkowsky and Sandy Stone.
While I was only able to attend the beginning of the Conference due to scheduling conflicts, I was able to catch Honoria Starbuck’s workshop. It was great to see a room of familiar faces and new ones alike. Honoria laid out her premise for the workshop, which was to have the audience create their own “How-To” abstract pieces of art. I worked away quickly on mine and then walked around recording everyone else’s work. What I didn’t pick up on til half way through was that not only was she having us make these pieces of work, but that we would be exchanging and doing interpretive performances of the works. It was a hoot to watch the performances. It took me right back to Make Stuff, Take Risks and Be Awesome. I want to give big shout out to Honoria for putting on an awesome workshop and rejuvenating my spirit!
Here is a short video I created that documents the workshop & some photos: