What are the SniteCasts?
Whether you're on the bus, at the gym, or in the park it feels like everyone is plugged into one of those tiny MP3 players with white ear buds. Usually they're grooving to their favorite music, but listeners at the Snite Museum of Art just might be learning about Abstract Impressionism.
Students in Chris Clark's "Applied Multimedia Technology" class, offered through the Computer Applications Program (CAPP), have produced a series of twenty "SniteCasts," three- to five-minute audio programs about paintings and sculpture in the museum. Sudents produce five projects in Clark's course, including a podcast, an audio program designed to be published online on a free subscription basis.
To begin this project, students received the title of an artwork and a printed description. The goal was to learn about audio recording and editing, so students were not expected to do extensive research. They did make a personal commentary, though, and questions were provided.
Prof. Clark required his students to make high quality recordings. Thanks to a production grant from the Center for Creative Computing, he was able to loan out portable digital audio recording equipment. Students were allowed to recruit someone else to do the actual reading out loud, and some chose friends with radio experience. The podcast project also demanded a background music track that could be shared legally. To meet this requirement, most of the students downloaded music from GarageBand.com, a popular source of "podsafe" music. Students recorded voice segments, transferred digital recordings to a computer, and then used software to incorporate the soundtrack.
The SniteCasts are available at this web site and through iTunes. and other services. Listen on a computer or get the series and transfer it to a media player, such as an iPod. Compatible players display a small image of the art work.