About this blog
The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view
Monday, April 4, 2011
Blog post written by Matthew R. Reis, Cinema & Photography major and Art History minor '13, FLEFF Intern, Hasbrouck Heights, NJ
MR: Why Ithaca? What is it about this town that keeps you living and working here?
PMJ: I was in Ithaca for 18 years, and saw a lot of changes. Over the years , I was deeply involved in the community with activities, groups and individuals. The very particular nature of Ithaca, particularly during the years that I lived there, was certainly very attractive to me and conducive to my development and my work.
I associated with very engaged and dynamic groups of people for a long time. So they really opened a lot of opportunities for me and enabled me to certainly grow and experience things myself. They also helped to shape my thinking. Ithaca was a very conducive place to live. It wasn’t a large city and it wasn’t a very small rural village. So given its cosmopolitan population it was really a very exciting and dynamic place to be for those eighteen years.
MR: So you’re no longer living here?
PMJ: That’s correct. I left in ’87. I was born and raised in Chicago. At the present I live in Athens, Ohio where Ohio University is located.
MR: How long have you been involved with FLEFF and in what capacity? Or is this your first time attending?
PMJ: This is my first experience with FLEFF. I’m very much looking forward to it.
MR: So how did you come into contact with the festival? Did you contact Dr. Tanya Saunders and Dr. Patricia Zimmermann (co-director of FLEFF) or did they start a dialogue with you?
PMJ: Patty Zimmermann contacted me. Of course I’ve known her since the mid ‘70s so to hear from her is not particularly unusual. She got in touch and asked if I was interested in participating.
MR: Have you worked on projects in the past with Dr. Zimmermann?
PMJ: I can’t say that we worked on a particular project together although we have certainly been mutually involved in a number of projects over the years. I was teaching at Ithaca College for several years and, of course, we were colleagues at that time.
MR: I see that you have a large web presence. Your website is well designed and you're part of virtual reality world “Second Life.” So how has the web affected your personal life, your art and the business side of your projects?
PMJ: Well, like most people certainly in this country, the Internet has drastically impacted my life and work. 1995 was the first time I went online. Since then there has been a steady deepening of my involvement with the Internet and it has been profoundly important in terms of what I think about and the nature of the work that I do.
In 2006 I began working in “Second Life” (SL) and other synthetic world environments and that’s been quite transformative (in terms of my work and the kinds of research that I do.) And at this point I would say that the majority of my paid professional activity is related to synthetic world development in “SL” and other grids. So the web’s been a major shift in what I’m trying to do, what I want to do, and what I think about.
To continue reading please look below for part 2.