Erinn is a Parsons Mobility student studying Art Media Technology (AMT) this year at Parsons Paris. Recently I got to talk with Erinn about her experiences with the new program, what it’s like being a student in Europe, and more specifically Paris. I hope you enjoy this snapshot into Erinn’s world, and her opinions on the new Art, Media, Technology program at Parsons Paris.
What Do you Study at Parsons?
In New York, i’m a Communication Design major. Communication design encompasses a variety of two-dimensional related design processes, such as graphic design, web design, anything consumer design related. As a mobility student studying abroad at Parsons Paris, i’m in a program called AMT, where I get to explore many of the concepts from Communication Design in New York, but i’m not limited to them. It’s a much broader program. It’s my third year studying at Parsons.
What is AMT?
Its anything art, media, technology related. I like it because its a really broad major, and everyone can choose to express themselves however they want, and can explore what they want in the realm of art media technology. In New York, Art, Media, Technology is the division of Parsons where BFA and AAS majors such as Communication Design, Design and Technology, Fine Arts, Illustration, and Photography are housed. In Paris, they’ve developed this group of majors into one, so there is room for students to explore a broader range of media. We are able to discuss the projects one on one with our professors, allowing us to develop a curriculum that suits us best on an individual basis. What’s great about this is it makes for a really diverse classroom, as well as a diverse set of work.
What kind of work do you do?
I started out in photography, but then I realized I wanted to broaden my skills. I was interested in many parts of design, so I chose communication design which allowed me to take miscellaneous classes across the school of art, media, technology, along side technical core classes for Communication Design.
Being at Parsons Paris, my work varies from week to week, one week i’ll be making a video, the next a book, it can change frequently as the program allows for flexibility. And being Europe allows for a lot of different kinds of inspiration, so that also effects the product of each project as well.
What made you decide to come to Paris?
I wanted to explore the globe. I knew that Paris was a really good cultural center, and a hub for travel. Also, geography is something that really interests me, and i’m really inspired by human mobility in art. I knew I was interested in documentary style work, and I wanted to see how my own style could be influenced by my European experiences and travels. I am also very influenced by fashion in my work, so it seemed like a good time to be in Paris.
Where have you traveled?
I’ve been fortunate to get a lot of traveling in on weekends, and holiday’s this last semester.
London, England – Copenhagen, Denmark – Helsingborg & Göteborg, Sweden – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Basel, Switzerland. Within France: Paris, Normandy, and Orléans
What are some projects you’ve done?
Anonymous Introductions was a series that I did throughout the semester where I placed disposable cameras across Paris, with bilingual notes attached asking people to take portraits of themselves that encompassed the time and place of the photo, “Anything to show the world or yourself”. I left each camera for a day until all the film was used up. I developed the photos and posted them on my website < springerinn.com/anonymous > where they still remain. I brought the project to an art festival in Orléans, France where it got a good response.
These photos capture a certain spontaneity that, for me, made the project a success on its own. I just provided the cameras and picked the locations to place them. Some of the photos really stand out to me, and now every time I walk through Paris passed these locations, its almost like the portrait is a ghost of the anonymous moment that was captured. The inspiration for the project came from the idea that so many people pass through tourist destinations such as jardin des tuileries and the love lock bridge every day, taking the same sorts of photos, capturing that moment that hundreds of others have shared. But by taking a photo with the disposable, people volunteered to share that moment, and add to the series of intimate portraits.
Another project I did was directly influenced by my travel to Prague. I made a video documentary of my weekend in Prague. It was a subjective documentary of one of my closest friends who was studying abroad there. It was a fun experiment working with and editing a different style of video than I was used to. Nothing was forced, it was more of an exploration through our visits together.
I also made a video branding project shot in Montmartre which was completely inspired by Paris. One of my friends who happened to model was in town so we styled her in Parisian beige and spent the day filming to reflect the prompt of “motion”. Montmartre was my favorite part of Paris at the time, and I knew I wanted to explore motion through movement of the human body, so everything started to fall into place. When it came down to the editing, the video turned into yet again,another style of video– a fashion oriented, branding video.
How has this year influenced you?
I can feel already after just one semester that I have grown so much as a person. Having been thrown into this new environment, it’s taught me to be more relaxed— your art comes from the inside out, it’s important to keep this in mind above all things. Sometimes when working in design, this element of relaxation gets lost in trying to be very technical. What AMT has shown me is that with a broader platform, I have many more elements to pull from. If I’m unhappy with one thing, I shouldn’t let it get to me. I feel that this year has allowed me to see so much, and now I have a lot to say about so many things– not everything, but still, I feel I have much more to say as a designer.
Do you have any more recommendations in Paris?
Take full advantage of Charles De Gaulle — haha.
To see more of Erinn’s photos, check out her website: http://springerinn.com/
and for videos : http://vimeo.com/springerinn/videos