Sunday, October 11, 2009

Fall Colors and Unusual Art Styles on Gotland

University of Gotland logoVisby, Sweden

This was my first official time teaching in my new post as a part-time professor at the University of Gotland. The university put me up in a very convenient apartment right off the town square, with a supermarket and lots of restaurants close by.

On Monday I gave the first-year students an introduction to the game industry and then the first homework assignment I've ever given: to find an artist or art style, and a musical style, to go with a genre. On Friday they showed PowerPoint presentations of their results. These are fairly young students, but many of them did a very good job of researching the project, building the presentation, and arguing for their choices. There were some nice and distinctly unexpected combinations -- a Fauvist take on the survival horror genre, for example; and a lot of arctic photography accompanied by Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings. Unfortunately there were over 50 of them, so we couldn't see them all.

I had an extra day on Gotland, so I borrowed the University's minivan and went for a drive around the island. It would be wonderful for cyclists -- no steep hills and very little traffic, at least at this time of year. The landscape consists mostly of pine forests intermingled with fields, but there were a lot of aspen trees as well, all turning glorious shades of yellow and red at the moment. I had a picnic by the shores of a long inlet of the Baltic at the north of the island, Kappelshamn, and then went on to find an outdoor museum of traditional Swedish buildings at Bunge, not far from the ferry port at Farösund. Unfortunately it was closed, but I got some pictures from the outside, which I'll upload to Flickr in due course.

I'll be back in November. Visby will soon become a second home at this rate.