Hello everyone, my name is Kevin Pendergast. I am an Interactive Arts and Science student entering my third year. If you have not heard of the Interactive Arts and Science program, or “IASC” for short, it is a small program which focuses on digital design. The type of work I learn includes web design, graphic design, animation, 3D modelling, sound design, and VFX. I am from Mississauga, and went to high school at Mentor College. After I graduated I took two years off where I spent most of my time working at The Beer Store Distribution Centre delivering beer throughout the GTA. As for my hobbies I am a causal gamer, I also enjoy playing and watching sports with soccer and hockey being my favorites. Since working at The Beer Store, I have become a craft beer enthusiast.
I have had an affinity for computers since I was young and in high school I picked up Adobe Photoshop and began learning to create space scenes through the internet. Brock’s IASC program seemed like the best fit for a post-secondary program as I knew I wanted to do something within the digital design industry, however I had no idea what that was.
Now that I am in my third year in the IASC program, I feel like I am gravitating towards digital special effects and web design. Unfortunately, I am still lacking a significant amount of experience with special effects, however this year will give me many opportunities to not only learn, but to also apply special effects in multiple courses.
Early on starting to read the Introduction to Digital History chapter, I immediately noticed Gertrude Himmelfarb’s comments made back in 1996 on the internet where she said, “the Internet does not distinguish between the true and the false, the important and the trivial, the enduring and the ephemeral. . . . Every source appearing on the screen has the same weight and credibility as every other; no authority is ‘privileged’ over any other.” Himmelfarb’s words made me think of two current issues: fake news and net neutrality. These are two topics in the within digital humanities which I follow and have an interest in. Some of the ‘promises’ of digital history include the new storage capabilities where a terabyte hard drive can store a ridiculous amount of documents in a variety of different file formats. Furthermore, the digital revolution has drastically increased accessibility of historical documents which could only be accessed through physical copies prior to the advent of the internet. The ‘perils’ of the digital history include the manipulation of online content which is especially true with photographs with programs like Adobe Photoshop. In addition, new digital capabilities foster a culture of laziness in some. This is evident in the rise of multiple choice testing where a computer can mark thousands of test scores without an educator’s assistance. I am excited for this course as I love working with digital media in new and interesting ways. HIST 2P26 will give me an opportunity to discover history in a way I greatly prefer.