“As soon as we see other seers, we no longer have before us . . . that phantom of ourselves. . . . Through other eyes we are for ourselves fully visible. . .For the first time, the seeing that I am is for me really visible; for the first time I appear to myself completely turned inside out under my own eyes.” (Maurice Merleau-Ponty, The Visible and the Invisible)
Aperture celebrates vision—new ways of seeing—from multiple perspectives in a variety of formats. These essays, screenplays, and new media represent critical and creative work by students in BYU’s media arts program. Aperture is student-generated, with minimal faculty involvement, and uncovers not only understandings and creations of media and its related systems, but also findings of new distribution venues. Students not only create these works, but also collaboratively work to revise and finally present them. There has been a long-standing desire to find a way to showcase student writing and critical studies in the same way student films are publically shared in the annual BYU Theatre and Media Arts Final Cut Film Festival. At long last, Aperture provides the means for that showcase.
Optically, an aperture is an opening through which light travels. These works open and focus light, sharing it through their expression of material—letting us see visions of the world. This journal is designed to share the openings and focused visions of media arts students. These openings and visions share the thoughtful expressions of the creators’ creative and critical exploration of media, themselves, and the world. This collection of essays, screenplays, and new media deals with ideas that range from desert wolves and sheep, blockbusters, a robot named Gertie, and dangers of forgetting the world to models of digital governance and economies.
This range of ideas found in Aperture helps to demonstrate the multiple ways we see and know ourselves, especially through the lenses thoughtfully created by others. These shared visions open light to not only others, but to ourselves. We see light through the eyes of others, but ultimately what become visible is ourselves. This shared light gives us access to insights that were previously invisible. We use these insights about media to explore our connections to the world. The exploration of ourselves is possible because of the light shining through the shared apertures.
Foreword by Sharon Swenson, Ph.D.