Photos by Catherine Goce

This time last year, I was contemplating what my future in the sports industry would look like. I had just wrapped up my first year as the Silhouette’s sports reporter and though I gained a ton of valuable skills and experiences, I was really unsure if I wanted to continue as a sports writer.

Though despite my doubts, I saw the doors that opened for me through this job and I decided to give it another shot in my final year.

I took on this role because I knew that if I wanted to find a job in the sports industry, everything that I did outside the classroom would matter the most. Being a multimedia and communications student at McMaster has taught me a lot of the skills I need, but the practical aspects of the sports industry one can get at programs at Ryerson University or Brock University are not offered here.

So along with writing for The Silhouette I took on four major sports-related extracurriculars. From running women’s football on campus, to helping the men’s basketball team figure out their social media presence, I tried to get as much experience as I could.

This, along with my previous internship experience, allowed me to figure out what exactly I had a passion for. I knew that I could write, I had two articles every week for the last two years to prove it, but I also knew that it was not something I was passionate enough about.

Running women’s football gave me a chance to work out my organizational and operational skills. A major part of the sports industry is game operations. Although it is a bit different to what I am used to as a comms and media student, I have always had an interest in planning and carrying out projects.

This role had me overseeing over 150 students, both student-coaches and players, and organizing tournaments; it was no easy task. In my frustration I quickly came to realize although I once had an interest in sports operation, it was not something I envisioned myself doing long-term.

It was not until I was working with the McMaster men’s basketball team creating creative content that I discovered what I was truly passionate about. It combined the media skills I learned in class, my personal interests and my sports media knowledge.

Giving a team who struggled on the court an online presence that did not just reflect their losses was a fun challenge. We immediately saw the positive feedback in an increase in followers and activity.

Now that I figured out my passion, it all began to seem so simple. Apply to social media positions for different sport teams in organizations? I can do that no problem. Although it was not enough.

Part of looking for a job, especially in the sports industry, is through networking. This is something I have always struggled with, so it was something I challenged myself to do this year. I first met with Camille Wallace, digital media specialist for Team Canada, who reminded me how my job as sports reporter already helps me to build these networks.

As I had started the year before, I continued to interview alumni who work in the sports industry and found a mentor in Vanessa Matyas, Marketing and Media Manager at NFL Canada.

NFL Canada’s Marketing & Media Manager Vanessa Matyas on her journey from McMaster to her dream job, and how hard work and perseverance led her there. https://t.co/TiBu0xd8kq pic.twitter.com/Ln8gt6wVRd

— The Silhouette (@theSilhouette) March 11, 2019

 

Through her advice and help, I have been able to fix up the resume I used to see no flaws in, and even land myself my first dream job interview. Unfortunately for me, due to still being in school, I was unable to move forward in the interview process.

But with positive interview feedback under my belt, I am now ready to take on the job search by storm. I know it will not be easy, but I have been, and I am ready to work hard and use what I learned while at Mac in and out the classroom.

When I look back at the beginning of my journey four years ago, I never would have thought that I would be here today. Although I do not have it all completely figured out, leaving Mac with a sense of what my purpose is something I am grateful for.

As senior year comes to an end, I am extremely grateful that despite my doubts, I gave writing with the Sil another chance. Even though there were many times I felt like I was in over my head, I could not have imagined my senior year any other way.

 

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Photos C/O Yvonne Lu, James Ramlal

By: Andrew Mrozowski

Stop. Take a second and look up from this article. You’ll most likely see everyone around you on some form of technology, be it on their phones, tablets or computers. We now live in a world where we are so heavily dependent on technology. According to Yvonne Lu, people should be more conscious about how technology affects their identity.

Originally starting off her undergraduate career in commerce, Lu realized her passion laid in a different faculty. Lu began working in marketing and communications but felt like something was missing. She decided to take on a double major between multimedia and theatre and film.

Now in her final year at McMaster, Lu decided to combine her two disciplines into one overall thesis, taking the form of an interactive multimedia installation and a physical performance called interFACE, as part of the School of the Arts Honours Performance Series.

https://www.facebook.com/yvonne.lu.trinh/posts/10157497355097216

 

The concept for interFACE came to Lu over this past summer when she was employed by a music video company to be their social media coordinator. Although typically not very active on social media in her own life, Lu found herself getting jealous from the various platforms that she managed as there was an overall feeling that everyone was doing better than her.

“Although there definitely were positive and negative experiences, always being on social media and seeing that people younger than me were doing cooler things than I was, working with huge producers, big companies and getting more responsibility than I was… a lot of the times I felt jealous. It’s why I felt I was a step back, I understood why others were successful and a lot of it was trying to catch up with people,” explained Lu.

interFACE examines how young women interact with technology and how this oversaturation impacts their identity as they grow up. Stemming from a vignette of experiences, the multi-disciplinary art experience allows attendees to delve into the development of identity to look at similarities and differences between how we portray ourselves online versus in person.

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id="264" gal_title="interFACE"]

“The question to consider is whether or not social media and digital technology enables us to do more things, or if it consumes us and we are at the whim of the mass media,” explained Lu.

This form of installation is experimental as it features two parts. Viewers will first embark through an audio-visual capsule, which is an audio-sensory experience that saturates the audience in a world that Lu and her team have designed to convey the importance of why we should pay more attention to our own identities. Next viewers will be seated to enjoy the physical portion which expands on what they have observed in the audio-visual capsule.

“This is not something that you would see in traditional theatre. It’s not a narrative or linear piece. We are creating a visceral experience for both our collaborators and audience. We want them to feel that they are in the belly of the beast,” said Lu.

For the thesis student, what the audience takes away from the experience is the primary objective of this piece.

“There isn’t a specific message I want people to walk away with. It’s live theatre and it’s all about interpretation. For us, that’s kind of what I want audiences to walk away with. Questions of what they felt. It’s an emotional journey rather than a narrative,” said Lu.

Show times for interFACE will run on March 28 at 12:30 and 8 p.m. and on March 29 and March 30 at 12:30 and 7 p.m. at the Black Box Theatre in L.R. Wilson Hall. Admission is free.

 

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In preparation for our interview, Yigi Chang laid out a table full of his artwork and crafts. He had coasters featuring the gaping anuses of men, which he carefully painted, felted, resined and assembled. He had cum rags with open-mouth portraits, a button with a golden crown of cocks and an intricate penis bookmark. He was drinking coffee out of his signature “Cup of Joe Mug”; with a naked man doing the backstroke, erect cock poking out of a swimming pool of his own cum.

Chang’s art, especially in his crafts and prints, convey a visual joke. The images are often so ludicrous in concept that it is difficult to always categorize his art as strictly erotic. His work is intended to lift the spirits of his audience. Laughter is Chang’s method, but he ultimately uses it to dispel the shame and guilt associated with sexuality.

“There’s a lot of baggage that comes with sex and I want to alleviate all of that,” said Chang. “I want to remove the historical, negative stigmas that are associated with homosexuality.”

Eminent Coronation Yigi Chang

“If I can make someone laugh, I can break the tension, frustration or anger that’s directed towards me. I feel like that’s a footing that we are now sharing together.”

While Chang has obviously embraced this expression of sexuality, practicing erotic art as a teenager was not without that shame.

Growing up in Markham, Chang recalled not having access to a large gay community. As a teenager who often found himself home alone, he had to explore sexuality and sexual experiences through his art. He used his art as an excuse to watch pornography on the early Internet, insisting that he was just looking for photo references.

There's a lot of baggage that comes with sex and I want to alleviate all of that. I want to remove the historical, negative stigmas that are associated with homosexuality. 

 

Yigi Chan
Artist

With the help of porn and sport and fitness magazines, Chang was improving his sense of anatomy and refining his line work. But Chang was still embarrassed the moment that he finished, and he would draw over the same page with another nude body, gradually obscuring each image.

“I sort of built up this layered and linear style, and that’s how I disguised what was going on,” explained Chang. “At the end of the day it would be like this line orgy where no one could be distinguish what was happening. Every now and then you would see an explicit part; you’d see a little butt here, you would see a foot there and then have to delve into it to unravel what was happening.”

As much as Chang attributes his artistic interest to being a horny teenager left to his own devices, he is recognizes that his fixation on sexual subjects is a result of his queer experience.

Bumper Buns Yigi Chang

“As a queer youth you are confronted a lot, through societal norms… you’re forced to question your sexuality.… Oftentimes for me art was ‘art as therapy’, but it was self-directed therapy. I couldn’t even recognize that it was a moment for myself to reflect… and to process. It was a way for me to process my queer experience growing up.”

Chang continued to thrive in the arts throughout high school, ultimately leading to his enrollment at OCAD University where he received a BDes in illustration. He decided to use his thesis to bring queer culture to an unfamiliar audience, with his own dash of absurdity, fantasy and visual humour.

Queer as Folklore is a series of illustrations that present modern day fables that explain the mythological origins of gay culture. Some of Chang’s personal favourites include the origin story of the “Glory Hole”, which are holes in wall used for anonymous sex, but were originally invented when unicorns teleport into men’s bathroom stalls and accidentally drill holes in the walls with their horns. Chang depicts a half-dog, half-human “Self-Sucker” that originated oral masturbation, and a mythical, giant pair of scissors that lesbian couples use to untangle their pubic hairs.

A Humble Tumble Yigi Chang

The tonal decision behind Chang’s work goes beyond visual gag. Queer as Folklore invites those outside the LGBTQ+ community to not only understand their slang and language, but to participate in this tongue-and-cheek and humorous attitude that is sometimes forced onto queer sexuality.

“I think it was something that Dan Savage… who is a sex columnist [said]. As a queer person, when you come out, you have to go to your [parents] and say, ‘Hey I’m gay’. What they hear is ‘Hey I suck dick’. Subconsciously that’s the image that they are seeing so you’re always confronting the extreme image. So you have to deal with it a bit of irreverence. I think humour has always been the coping mechanism.”

By alleviating the tension and seriousness of sexuality, Chang’s work both embraces the power of sexuality, while recognizing and combatting the cultural and political forces that try to control that power.

Chang’s artistic journey has been one of liberation, not just for himself, but also for an audience that he has invited to share in his love for sexuality. It is in this love for the body and a love for laughter in spaces where there once was shame that is apparent in every line he draws.

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By: Sarah O'Connor

1. The Book of Lost Things - John Connolly

This heart-wrenching novel follows David, a young boy in WWII England who is struggling with his mother’s death and his father’s remarriage. David turns to books to deal with the extreme changes in his life when suddenly the books begin whispering to him in his mother’s voice. As David follows the voice he ends up in the land of fairy-tales, only it is warped and much darker than anything Grimm could have written. As a television show the audience would get a chance to explore the macabre fairy-tale world that seems to “take” children as David searches to save his mother and restore his life to its original state. It would also be nice to see a show that’s set in the fairy-tale world that actually has some darkness to it (here’s looking at you Once Upon a Time).

2. The Millenium - Stieg Larsson

This popular book series has been made into a film twice, in Sweden the entire series was made into three movies but in North America only the first book made it to the big screen. This popular thriller mystery series featuring the fierce investigator Lisbeth Salander and once-famous journalist Mikael Blomkvist as they solve (and later become accused of) murders and disappearances actually did very well in the box-office, though much better in Sweden where the book series is set than it did in North America. Once again, a television series would have been a fantastic choice for the book series as it would have allowed a more detailed look at the cases Salander and Blomkvist were trying to solve as well as a deeper look into the protagonists (particularly Salander’s) dark pasts. The Millenium series could have been a grittier crime show that slowly got audiences into the darkness of the crimes instead of throwing it in their face as movies do.

3. The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern

A must-read novel for any lovers of magic, The Night Circus focuses on the performers at the mysterious Le Cirque des Rêves which comes without warning and is only open at night. While the novel focuses on many aspects of the circus, including the group of people who made it and how it began, it also includes the story of Celia and Marco. A daughter and son of two rival magicians the two (who are children at the beginning of the novel) are prepared for a duel against one another when they reach adulthood, when they expectantly fall in love. The Night Circus is much more than just a romance and it would be the perfect book to adapt into a television show in order to see the different back stories that led Celia and Marco to the circus and how the circus has affected those who created it.

4. A Series of Unfortunate Events - Lemony Snicket

This popular books series about the three Baudelaire orphans who deal with one tragedy after another had a majority of fans disappointed with the movie adaption in 2004 that combined the first three books into one movie. The main complaints towards the movie stemmed from the fact that the movie was more comic and light- hearted than the dark themes of the book which held more of a dark edge (the books are definitely an acquired taste). Had the books been adapted as a television series, audiences could have had the chance to understand the Baudelaire orphans as individuals rather than as a group. As well there would have been more time to explore the mysterious past of the Baudelaire’s family and their numerous relatives (whom the orphans had never met before the deaths of their parents) which was only briefly hinted at in the movies (what was with that spyglass anyways?).

Maryssa Barras

The Silhouette Intern

Alumni Association hosts Welcome Wednesdays

Starting on Jan. 23 the McMaster Alumni Association will be hosting Welcome Wednesdays. Once a month students will be welcome to visit the Alumni House for free coffee and bagels from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Members of the Student Relations Committee will be present for information on how to get involved on campus. Registration is required and free at alumni.os.mcmaster.ca.

New mentorship program launched

On Jan. 23, Communication Studies and Multimedia unveiled a new mentorship program where upper-year students are paired with first and second-year students. A meet and greet social was held to introduce and pair up mentors with mentees. This program was the result of a student-led initiative and will have continued socials for mentors and mentees to bond.

City of Hamilton issues cold weather alert

There is a cold weather alert for the City of Hamilton as of Jan. 18. Cold weather alerts mean that temperatures are expected to go to or below -15 C. The cold weather could reach up to 10 degrees lower than average for this time of year, is expected to last all week, and could potentially warm up over the weekend. Students should be advised that the cold-warm trend will continue for the weeks to come.

Humanities launches Experiential Ed. centre

The Faculty of Humanities is launching the Humanities Target Learning & Experiential Education Centre (HTLC). Funded by the Faculty of Humanities and full-time Humanities students, the HTLC was passed by students through the McMaster Humanities Society Referendum with the goal of increasing career exploration an experiential opportunities for Humanities students, and will be hosting events throughout the semester for interested students. The official launch is on Jan. 21 in CIBC Hall at 10:30 a.m. Students, faculty and staff are all welcome.

Study finds 905 residents oppose austerity cuts 

A new study by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) found that over two thirds of residents in the 905 region of Hamilton do not want the governments deficit-cutting agenda to compromise the quality of university education in the province. 86 percent of residents oppose university funding cuts, and 75 percent oppose shifting the cost of higher education onto students with higher tuition fees.

Guests from Ontario universities, local artistic practitioners and professionals in the multimedia industry came together on Nov. 7 and 8 for the inaugural “macGRID” conference and workshop.

Spearheaded by David Harris-Smith, Assistant Professor in Communication Studies and Multimedia, the conference was centered on the growth and development of the macGRID community: a simulation research network formed around high-performance virtual world software. The software, OpenSim, uses mixed reality and avatar technology to develop virtual connections between the university and practicing artists and professionals in the multimedia and motion graphics industry.

“The macGRID community has been designed to be redesigned,” explained Harris-Smith as he welcomed numerous representatives from the design industry to the first day of the conference.

“Our goal is to bring together researchers and practitioners through education, simulation, training and artistic expression to facilitate networking and collaborative research.”

The macGRID community was developed to link together the physical and virtual world in a mixed reality that would involve computational manipulation to create any desired output. The intended purpose of the system is to allow researchers and artists to continue their work in the virtual world when the physical world is unable to provide the desired resources. The grid would be able to bridge long-distance connections and overcome limitations of the physical body by providing virtual means for movement and action.

Key note speaker Alan Sondheim – author, teacher, cyberspace theorist, tornado chaser and self-professed “independent scholar” – braved Hurricane Sandy to leave his New York home and open the conference with a discussion on the object of “real.” He explained that although physical bodies can be binding, virtual reality systems allow for a branching away from physical limitations.

“Virtual worlds were God’s gift – that is, if there were a God, but there isn’t – to humanity,” he said in his talk. “You can have someone log in from China, Denmark, Africa ... and have them join in, help us, work with us,” he explained as he discussed the endless possibilities of working through virtual realities.

Sondheim not only discussed the practical applications of the technology, but also the artistic. He showcased a series of videos he developed through the manipulation of motion graphic technology that was then electronically transferred and showcased through avatar characters and creations.

The conference continued on through the Thursday, featuring a series of guest research presenters discussing their plans and intentions for the macGRID community.

Professor Harris-Smith hopes to continue developing university-industry bonds through this endeavour and use virtual worlds and mixed reality as a platform for social and scientific experiment. The grid is growing and physical boundaries are gradually being lifted to include broader research options.

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