After the failures of AAU
A positive development happened on the summer of 2014. Gerardo Vargas “transferred” to Pacific Northwest College of Art to course the Low Residency Visual Studies MFA program. There he designed his coursework around 3D art both digitally and traditionally (sculpture and installations). Also, he was exposed to experimental animation trends that questioned all he thought he knew about animation.
It was a great time for self-discovery and experimentation. During the next 2 years, Traces-Retraced was reborn and metamorphosed into a 13 minute short film centralized on three social justice themes with 4 main characters. A huge difference from the chaos of 14 characters and story lines that had no importance or relationship among themselves.
Best part – discovery of Open Source
The best part of the positive development, mentioned above, for Gerardo Vargas, was discovering that he could create an entire animation studio based only on open source software and hardware. He had good knowledge of open source software thanks for Blender and LibreOffice. But during his studies he learned about Zotero for research, Natron for video compositing, Kdenlive for video editing. There is variety of Linux operating systems also.
One of the social justice themes of the film is socioeconomic issues and how society keeps fomenting inequalities. Another theme is racism and it’s relationship to the socioeconomic issues in current society. The third theme is technology and how it keeps the vicious circle of the first two themes, and how it can actually stop its out of control spiral twist in favor of humanity.
Open source software is a great alternative, probably the best alternative to use to fight social injustices of socioeconomic forms. One example of discrimination in society is how some educational options are only available to well-off families. The so call Ivy League colleges, the heavily expensive production software, the societies and clubs created to leave some people out are just a few examples.