Created around the end of semester in the spring of 2006 I was going to be saying goodbye to several friends who were graduating. Starting my university career in 2002 I should have been graduating then also, but my evolving plans and a couple wasted classes determined otherwise. As a student I found inspiration in a lot of things outside of the classroom . . . still, with the snow thawing and things rapidly changing that semester, I could appreciate the milestone of how the absence of friends was going to alter my experience and so I thought about making a video.
What I decided to do was collect a few of the home video clips that I'd shot over the semester to include with a photo collage of the university - kind of creating a time capsule on DVD of what the place was like then. You may think that you'd have to wait a decade or so to really see some major changes, but we actually all came to the University of Regina when things were just about to shift.
Regina, Saskatchewan had been awarded the Canada games for 2005 and in 2003, still in my first year, ground had been broken on an expansive new phys. ed building and a set of twin tower residences. Those residences have since become the focal point of the new campus and dramatically altered the green space that the university centered around.
By 2006 the games had passed and the buildings were all in full operation, however, construction had begun on a brand new lab building right next to College West - now the old residence - that we all lived in. It was probably this that inspired the photo collage more than anything. I knew that in just a few years the building would be complete and it would instantly date the footage and remind us all of the semester that that giant crane and construction created so much noise. I even mentioned the new lab building in my retrospective short, Quirks, as the park location we shot at in 2004 was now covered by a lecture hall.
I gave out my DVDs as everything concluded in the winter semester of '06, ending my collage saying 'may our time at the U of R serve as a reminder that we are always working to better ourselves'. A bit cliche perhaps, but true nonetheless.
In 2007 I found myself staying in Regina over the summer for the first time. Not really intending to make a project necessarily, I ended up shooting a lot of pictures of the campus with the weather being so nice. It's worth noting that when you're in Saskatchewan for predominantly winter months it can be tough to fully appreciate your outdoor surroundings. In any case, I created a secondary video of the architectural details of some of the campus buildings - which are actually quite notable, as both the modernist/minimalist library and classroom buildings were designed by Minoru Yamasaki, the architect behind the World Trade Center.
What came out of all these photos was essentially what I had hoped in 2006. Time has passed and with each year the landscape and tone of the university that I attended changes. I'm really happy to have both these videos to remind me of a location that I not only lived in, but experienced in so many ways. Just as the University of Regina evolved so much when I was there, it continues to inspire my nostalgia as it reinvents itself for new students.
It was only a few years ago, but as far as I'm concerned these shorts now represent a completely different time.