LatinX Critical Creative Consortium

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The LatinX Critical Creative Consortium was founded 2 years ago by University of Texas Professor Fredrick Luis Aldama at the University of Texas at Austin in 2021. Professor joey did a full write up about that event and the impact is had on the CMC and the MGL. Professor Regina Mills of the English Department at Texas A&M and Media & Gaming Lab hosted it at Texas A&M University in 2022 (write up here). This year (2023), the event was once again held at the University of Texas at Austin, specifically in the now fully remodeled and activated LatinX Pop Lab on the 4th floor in the Patton Hall building.

“Every Fall, the Latinx Creative Critical Consortium Symposium offers students from a variety of Texas university campuses the opportunity to share, workshop, and engage with the cutting edge Latinx creative and scholarly work being done today. The day’s program includes student panels, roundtables, workshops and breakout sessions led by faculty and featured professional creatives.”

FRIDAY OPEN MIC NIGHT

The programing started on Friday night at Professor Latinx’s home with a poetry event that set a nice relaxed mood. Multiple attendees shared their works and fun was had by all. Here are some excerpts of various poets performances.

SATURDAY CONSORTIUM

The Latinx CCC’s consortium took place Saturday at UT Austin in Patton Hall in the Latinx Pop Lab. There were two tracks, a presentation track and workshop track. The opening remarks by the Latinx Pop Lab and Aldama was inspiring and set a very positive tone. Attendees introduced themselves and quickly became aquatinted. And as always, some great morning treats and coffee were provided! You can’t have platicas without treats and coffee! Here is the schedule:

Presentation Highlights

Texas A&M faculty and students were very proud to host 3 panels. The Texas A&M Media & Gaming Lab was hosted an undergraduate panel moderated by joey featuring 2 students and their works and one community presenter from Bryan, TX, Victor of the Vortex. The Communication & Journalism graduate program hosted a panel moderated by Dr. Villanueva about Multimodal Scholarship. The third panel was moderated by Dr. Mills featuring graduate students presenting their multimodal works.

We were also very excited that Professor Elena Foulis from Texas A&M San Antonio brought undergraduate students to present their multimodal projects, it was very inspiring.

Overall the there were many great panels and a lot to reflect on. The energy and positivity shared by the presenters were uplifting and facilitative.

Workshop Highlights

The Latinx Creative Critical Consortium workshops were a big hit as well and ranged from academic publishing workshops all the way to comic book making and reuse art facilitation. Carlos Kelly presented about how to publish an academic work as he has just released “Ready Player Juan,” a book about latinx and gaming culture. Cristina Casas did a zine workshop where attendees created their own works. Mary Cantu of San Antonio led a unique reuse workshop where people create saints and super heros from old donated photos and reuse materials.

Testimonials

“This is my second year attending the Latinx CCC Symposium and it just keeps getting better. The dialogues that are shared and stories that are expanded on are always ones that are beyond inspiring. The symposium allows us to connect with our community and find ways to collaborate beyond the walls of our universities.”

-Sophie Villarreal

“This was a great consortium meeting that brought together creatives who are on the forefront of making inclusive space in media, universities, and Texas.”

-Professor George Villanueva

“Bringing students, faculty, creatives together Latinx/e/a/o for Open Mic Night followed by a Latinx Critical Creative Day of sharing, learning, exploring, making was exhilarating–rejuvenating!!!!”

-Professor Latinx

Media & Gaming Lab Launch Podcasts

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The Media & Gaming Lab is proud to announce we have started producing student run podcasts. Under the guidance of Professor Jonathan Guajardo, Media & Gaming Lab students have launched two podcasts so far. Professors Joey Lopez and Jonathan Guajardo have garnered full support from the Department of Communication & Journalism and have secured a dedicated room for podcasting. The room is located on campus in the basement of Bolton Hall. The response to the podcasts have been very good and as we expand the topics of podcasts we are excited to see where the students take it.

The Pass-Back Podcast

Description:

Made by Texas A&M University students, The Pass-Back is a sports podcast for Aggies by Aggies. From Midnight Yell and tailgating, to breaking down stats & injuries. The Pass-Back Podcast dives into every topic that you, the 12th Man, want to hear about. It is a student-run podcast that attempts to engage fellow students with the current news and contentions. The hosts of the podcast are Juniors Cade Young and Jackson Moss. The podcast consists of a game preview for the week, SEC storylines, recap of last week’s game, players of the week, and it holds many other ambitions for the future. Diego Valle and Tori Hillis help edit the video and sound, as well as run the cameras and lighting. The podcast may be small, but it’s very enticing to be a part of. The entire premise is for students to have another Aggie sports outlet, and hopefully it continues far past graduation for everyone who is part of the podcast currently.

Podcast Links:

People Involved:

  • Cade Young – Host
  • Jackson Moss – Host
  • Tori Hillis – Producer
  • Diego Valle – Editor/Technical Director

12th Woman Sports Podcast

Description:

Our names are Jordan and Sophie, and we are both students at Texas A&M University. Whoop! We are running a women’s perspective sports podcast called the “12th Woman” where we discuss multiple topics every week with each other as well as our special guests. Check us out on YouTube and Instagram!

People Involved:

  • Sophie Sheets – Host/Producer
  • Jordan Harsh – Host/Producer/Editor
  • Diego Valle – Technical Director

Podcast Links:

JOUR 359 Reporting Sports

Jonathan Guajardo and joey had the pleasure of hosting Angelique Gammon’s JOUR 359 Reporting Sports class at the Media & Gaming Lab Podcast Studio in Bolton 010. Before coming to the Lab the students were given a hands on overview of general video production equipment. Then in the lab the video and audio boards were explained and within minutes the students were doing podcasting and really getting into it. Having this turn key space has been great and within just two months we have built a community that is expanding at a rapid rate.

The future of the Media & Gaming Lab Podcasts

It is our hope to facilitate more programming and expand our reach so that more students can engage with the lab as they look to enter the world of podcasting. Currently we plan on adding the following podcasts:

  • Popular Culture
  • Skateboarding
  • eSports Gaming
  • Cozy and Casual Gaming
  • Media & Gaming Lab

If you are interested in being a part of a podcast or have an idea for one not listed, feel free to reach out to us and we can talk more about making your dream a reality! We look forward to building new collaborations and growing this endeavor within the lab.

SUMMER 2023 ReCap

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Arden visits us again!

The summer of 2023 was a crazy time. We had a lot going on. Arden Duffield was able to make his way back from NYC and we hosted multiple meet ups and workshops, we put a whole series together and Arden’s spirit really carried the lab forward. Arden also joined us on multiple collaborative meetings, such as when we met with the School of Performance, Visualization and Fine Arts Faculty and Grand Stafford manager Rob Hitchcock to talk about future projects.

In addition we had visits from Kaye Cruz where he and Arden were able to go do some local news coverage. Elizabeth Holmes made international news going to federal prison here in Bryan/College Station. It was great getting to see Arden get some hands on experience.

Also we would all like to congradulate Arden for getting into NYU! Well deserved in our book.

Lab expansion and resources

Additionally joey worked on the lab on multiple fronts. We are currently in talks with the department to physically expand the lab, we are fortunate to have Andy Castillo (Paper Street Studios), a CMC member who does 3D renderings; he created a full fly through of the future space and gave the idea “life.”

In parallel the lab proposed a whole equipment budget for more audio and video equipment for production and the lab space in general. So stay tuned as more develops.

Rick Pulos lend technical skills to local theater

Ph.D. student Rick Pulos worked with the Bryan Theatre Company of BCS and their production of Cabaret over the summer. Specifically Rick Pulos was charged with developing sets, lighting and other tasks, such as developing video promotions. Rick has been developing a documentary about the BTC of BCS and we all look forward to seeing his film once it is completed.

Will loves to make noise! We love to Document it!

joey also got to cover Media & Gaming Lab collaborator and mentor William Connor Ph.D. of the School of Performance, Visualization and Fine Arts as he worked on creating multiple physical instruments to be used to create a sound track for a filmmaker working on a documentary about space for NASA.

Will is a musician, musicologists and instrument builder, amongst many other talents, a polymath for sure! Watching Will problem solve and create his instruments with minimal materials has been an education for sure. Not only did joey follow him on campus, but went on multiple “music store” runs, where Will would thrift for “things” he could incorporate into his instruments.

Will’s kind character is very intoxicating, everyone who would walk by that had questions about what he was up to would get a full explanation and often demonstrations! We cannot thank Will for being part of our lab and all he contributes.

Media Lab Visits Synth Makers, Developers & Players in Austin, TX

Durning the summer, joey, Will and Corina went and visited Brandon Wiley and Jeremy Zunker, two synthesizer enthusiasts based out of Austin, TX. It was great seeing some of their designs, talk shop and ideate on future collaborations. One collaboration we walked away with is hosting a Symposium aka “Synthposium,” in downtown Bryan, TX at Tavo coffee.

Turning up the Volume at the Media & Gaming Lab

joey also worked on making the Media & Gaming Lab feel more welcoming, building a customer speaker system for the turntable, adding more vinyl, more posters and Nintendo Switch docking station.

Grants & Collaborations

We made headway on all the Fall 2023 grants and collaborations including

  • Lorefest Fall 2023
  • BIPOC Poetry & Recital Workshop
  • Communication & Journalism Broadcast Facilitative Learning Workshop
  • LatinX Critical Creative Consortium Fall 2023, UT Austin

So stay tuned for more blogs about all that we are up to!