Last October, The Medium published a profile on UTM student and artist Dmitri Tcherbadji (aka D , and his plan to encourage art for and by UTM students. This year, his plan is nearing completion, and will start on Wednesday March 4 with a contest.
The culmination of Dmitris project is a web site (www. dmitrisanimation.com) intended to, in the words of its creator, get students artistic take on the campus. Although the site is still in its beta stage, according to Dmitri, its pretty close to what its going to look like. And just to make sure everything works smoothly, Dmitri plans to have a professional programmer fix bugs and streamline the code prior to the sites official debut.
The sites main feature is a topographic map of the campus, drawn in the style of a pencil sketch and host to a perpetually wandering alligator doodle. On this map, students will be able to place digital artworks related to UTM — videos, drawings, photos, prose and poetry.
For example, if you kissed your sweetheart outside the Kaneff Building, you would place the poem you wrote about it on that part of the map. If, however, you wanted to place post-breakup hate mail, well, that may be a problem — moderators of the web site will check all postings for quality and intention, as well as to prevent spam accumulation. The contests winner will be recognized by having his or her piece published on the site. They will also get a certificate of participation and possibly a gift certificate (Dmitri is still arranging for that.)
The contest hasnt officially begun yet, but Dmitri encourages students to send in their work even after the contest ends so that they may be able to view it years later. Similar sites may exist by then, as Dmitri is thinking of developing web sites for other campuses. Less artsy or more bashful students can assist in the development of the project in ways other than artistic expression. Volunteer positions are available in advertising and PHP and action-script programming.
This projects importance to UTM as a community is important enough. It has been often argued that UTM does not have much of an identity beyond a greener, more serene colony of St. Georges empire. Of course, this is not the projects only purpose. The way Dmitri sees it, at a time when the government limits creative funding, when our national ethic endorses making money instead of art, and when a troubled economy threatens independent theatre troupes, literary journals, and filmmakers, projects such as these enable creative expression in the otherwise unfriendly world of media. With this in mind, are you ready for March 4, or as Dmitri would probably put it: Are you ready for D-day?