BA Candidate - Art, Technology, Humanity; minor Computer Science
After growing up in a small town in northeast Massachusetts, Austen came to Gallatin with the intention of studying the entertainment industry. The interdisciplinary nature of Gallatin soon pushed him to realize that he was not interested in one specific art medium, but rather what interested him are the interactions between creators, their work, and the consumers of the works.
In the fall of 2015, Austen studied abroad at NYU Prague where he took the Gallatin interdisciplinary seminar “Civil Resistance in Central and Eastern Europe: Reflections in Literature, Art and Film” with Monika MacDonagh-Pajerová. By studying the works produced as a way of resisting the rule of an authoritarian regime, this class showed him that the act of creation gives individuals and collective groups the ability to express their inner worlds despite external oppression, and illustrated the power that art has to influence culture and perception on a societal scale.
Through Gallatin, Austen is able to study the ways in which we interact with art and technology, as individuals and a society. In addition to his coursework in English and art, he is also pursuing a computer science minor, and studying comics and virtual reality to understand how art and technology allow each other to develop.