Damien McDuffie⎜Exploring Blackness in XR- AR, VR, & MR

Summary

Damien McDuffie joins us on The Official Stuck On An Eyeland Podcast. Damien is a writer, strategist, creative ecosystems builder, program director, and community consultant. His main goal is to help ease the process for Black creators in the XR industry and create cultural archives that are preserved for generations to come through AR.  Damien and I had a great conversation about the realities of navigating the tech industry while Black and how XR can be used to impact the people around us.

Notable Time Stamps:

Objectives: 

17:00-17:17   “Trying to build an AR platform for Black art and a Black cultural archive. Really figuring out ways to use all of our archives and use photos and family heirlooms and things like that to add value to them and add different AR experiences to them in different ways”

17:27-17:45   “AR allows you to bring some of these real valuable things like archives and papers that are precious and all of that without having to really kind of handle them and now you can add some production behind it and you can do all of these other things with it” 

20-30-20-54  “That was one of the things that kind of got me in the impetus of wanting to create a platform. One, to make the creation of AR experiences easier for Black people in particular but because I was able to have these experiences and bring people into using AR that would not have really kind of even messed with it or glanced at it” 

22:48-23:10  “I like the idea of controlling the technology and not just being the content creator cause that’s what I want to do, I want to create the content but I want to make sure at least whoever I’m creating for at least is going to be some Black tech platform and if it’s not there then I’m going to try to do something with that.” 

XR Industry: 

2:50-3:03 “Being connected and talking to creators around this new space, there’s a lot of enthusiasm around XR around AR in particular” 

8:50-9:09 “The great thing about mixed reality is that it’s magic but also a great thing about it is that it’s just math really. Functionality and tools, right? There are going to be two different people that are gonna take the same tool and think about it in a different way“ 

16:33-16:52  “I know the value of data science and all of that but I never saw an entry way for me to be motivated enough to kind of go after it. Once I was able to bring the creativity in, then it was like oh, okay now I’m looking into just getting my skills up.” 

Getting Started: 

9:39-9:52 “The thing is you have to find your teacher, you have to find the right person that you can tolerate hearing that also can tell the right stories that allows you to learn” 

11:58-12:02  “Learning in the way that you know you learn best and exploring that” 

11:29-11:53  “They’ll make a reference of you know, an image target, or an asset, or a 3D object, or whatever that is and then I just take that information, isolate it over here and just use my history as a researcher and historian, learn as much as I know and then I can come back, rewatch it and now when he says it I understand what he’s saying the first time that he says it.” 

27:22-27:32   “My main goal was really to understand enough to know how to ask the right questions and to get what I needed to get” 

Development: 

20:56-21:10  “I’m the archvst with the Dr. Huey P. Newton foundation so part of my role is figuring out creative ways to get all of these archives out so people can see them while not always just being on the internet” 

21:12-21:34  “We did a pop up exhibition for a memorial with Dr. Newton and it was in my neighborhood in west Oakland and we had people from 5 all the way up to like 75-80, elders and things like that interested in wanting to have the experience because of what the content was. 

24:37-24:58  “I come from a background of journalism and creative non fictions so writing those stories and in that it’s about 3% Black and if you’re talking about Black males in that MFA crowd or whatever, it’s very very slim and it’s the same thing when you crossover into animation. “ 

Key Links: 

Website: https://hueypnewtonfoundation.org/ 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/damien-mcduffie-mfa-10928513 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wordxlife/?hl=en 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/wordxlife?lang=en 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/damien.mcduffie 

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