Nisma Zaman graduated from ITP in 2011. She grew up in Ithaca, NY. We asked her four questions about her time on the fourth floor, where she’s working now, what advice she can offer a current ITPer, and finally, what new “thing” she’d like to learn.
What was your favorite class while at ITP?
I enjoyed every class that I took at ITP, even the unplanned ones (like Designing Living Systems) that I switched into because of other class cancellations. But I’d say Big Screenswas probably the most rewarding because of the experience of the public exhibition at the IAC. My project partner, Minette Mangahas, and I created Gastronomica, “an exploration of the visual and sensory power of food that is abstracted, magnified and layered.” We enhanced our skills through the technical processes (HD slow-motion videography, post-production in AfterEffects, exporting for IAC’s “Watchout” system) and enjoyed our content-related journey (exploring our cultural heritage through family recipes), and we stayed pretty much on schedule throughout the class, thanks to teacher Daniel Shiffman.
What are you working on now and where?
Thanks to Amy Khoshbin (ITP 2009), I work full time as a Digital Media Producer and Manager on the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation (yes, that’s a mouthful–we call the project “MAP” for short and the museum the “Gugg” internally). The most enjoyable part of my job is interviewing artists and editing the “artist profile” videos. I planted concept seeds for an interactive map, which manifested as MAP Navigator, and the cross-referencing of themes, which manifested as MAP Currents. Off-hours, I’m constantly generating ideas for personal projects, many of which are video or app-related.
What advice would you give a current ITPer?
DOCUMENTATION. It’s so important to document every single class with personal notes and/or public posts, and key project processes via photo and video. This documentation comes in handy down the road when you’re trying to remember what you did, and the photos/videos are important for your online portfolio, getting jobs, showcasing your accomplishments, and for memories. Organizing and backing up your files regularly is also essential (my hard drive crashed while at ITP and thankfully I lost very little because I had backed up; others I knew hadn’t though and lost weeks of work). There’s so much more to be said in the realm of advice, but I’ll save those for conversations. Overall, the two years at ITP were a whirlwind at hurricane speed, especially in hindsight, so relish every second and every part of the experience.
If you could learn a new “thing” (language, place, person) right now, what would it be?
I want to time travel. But I’ll settle for world travel in current time. I’d like to visit the major contemporary art and interactive art fairs, biennials, and events over the next decade. I’m also always trying to learn new tricks in the Adobe software I use. I still keep trying to find time to update the coding skills I learned at ITP. I see attendance at an ITP summer camp in my future.