For our Intern Spotlight series, which gets to know our interns and highlights the different opportunities within our internship program, Margaret, our spring Human Resources intern, interviewed video intern Bridget O'Carroll about her experience.
Our fall internship positions have been posted; apply today!
Butler University, BS Arts Administration, BA Digital Media Production
Design, Publishing, and New Media
Where are you from?
I’m from Arlington Heights, Illinois, although I like to quote Kurt Vonnegut and say, “What people like about me is Indianapolis.” I went to college there and love it so much.
Why did you want to intern at the MCA?
I’m super interested in museum video. As communication gets easier and interactive media becomes more accessible, it’s imperative not only that museums keep up with the times, but push the envelope further. I was looking for a museum that doesn’t just make commercials, but treats video as an important way of understanding artists and exhibitions. Before applying I watched the Kerry James Marshall video that accompanied the exhibition, Mastry. It’s such an amazing insight into his work and sets the tone for experiencing the exhibit to its fullest.
What are some of your responsibilities as a Digital Media intern?
The MCA has a huge breadth of video work, from filming live performances held in the museum to creating documentaries about artists featured in the exhibitions. As we approach the museum’s 50th anniversary, the video team has been digging through the archives to present and celebrate stories about the MCA through the years. I research, record, and edit all kinds of videos to tell the MCA’s story. For example, I have been researching what is in the video archive, assisting with interviews with teens participating in the MCA SPACE program, and editing all kinds of footage, from artist interviews to accessibility tours.
What has been your favorite experience interning at the MCA (so far)?
Working on a story from beginning to end always fills me with such fulfillment. At the start of my internship, the team interviewed Takashi Murakami for his upcoming MCA exhibition; now we’re in the middle of working with the footage, researching other material, and producing the final video for the exhibition that opens the month after I finish my internship. It’s been such a joy to see the whole process unfold and be as hands-on as I have.
What’s your favorite piece currently on display at the MCA? Why?
Eternal Youth has some excellent works on display right now. I particularly like Jennifer Bornstein’s photographs from her Family Pictures/Intervention series. For this series, Bornstein asked strangers to pose with her as if they were family members. The portraits complicate ideas about identity, family, and images as truth. I’m fascinated with identity. I’m always looking at how people claim or disavow identities in their work, because even if it’s completely fake, the experience can give you a tiny glimpse at their true selves.
What’s your favorite thing about Chicago?
The people and the lake. For me, Midwestern cities have this comforting effect and Chicagoans’ attitude toward life is definitely a part of that. The spirit of the city is infectious. I love the lake so much, too. I think it’s pretty amazing that we have this ongoing relationship with a body of water that has literally and figuratively shaped Chicago.
If you were stuck on a desert island, what three things would you bring and why?
A knife, a dorky bucket hat, and a bottle of Sriracha. While people always say they would bring books or movies, surely you would grow to hate whatever you brought, and I’m not super into being sunburnt or eating bland fish.
What advice do you have for prospective interns?
Come with questions and don’t stop asking them. The museum is small enough that if you are curious about another department you can reach out and ask everything you’ve always wanted to know.
What’s something that has surprised you about the MCA?
It’s great to see how many departments and people work together to make the museum happen. Even if you understand that there’s a lot going on behind the scenes to make something happen, it’s another thing to see how everything actually happens and actively be a part of it.
What are your plans or goals after interning at the MCA?
I’m looking for jobs right now, so hopefully I’ll have a full-time job working with video and online communities. I’m especially interested in using interactive media and video as a tool to make artists and collections more accessible.