Down Under: The Media Basement

Grant Holub-Moorman

“Technically it’s B4.” It used to be where Jerome Liebling taught photography, then it was Gunther’s office. These days if a prospective student stumbles down two flights of stairs in the back of the library or if an Amherst bro desperately searches for a binary bathroom, they just might find John Bruner’s playground.

He props his office door open when he’s in, standing behind three screens, simultaneously transfixed and poised. Walk by and he’ll glance at you. You greet Bruner, Bruner greets you. Approach the door and he’s ready to teach you the entire Adobe suite.

Bruner runs the Media Makers Lab, better known as the Media Basement. Thirteen Mac desktops containing every conceivable program. If you think Bruner’s babies don’t have the software you need, that will not be the case for long. More than just cluttered screens, the Media Basement has analog synths, keyboards, and really expensive microphones in a soundproofed room, a high-res camera set-up to shoot professional pictures of artwork, a full film studio and stop motion animation rigs. There may be a couple alumni camping out in the uncharted depths that extend beyond the lab.

Point is, it’s all there for you. And guess what? None of it is going to be free and accessible the moment you leave college. Want to make better posters for your newfounded Crochet and Croquet student group? How about adding a little extra flare to the GarageBand beats that got you kicked out of your fifth grade class? Vaporwave? Do yourself a favor and mosey down the stairs and say hey to Bruner, he highly recommends the standing desk.

The Media Maker’s Lab is open 11:00-midnight M-F, 2:00-10:00 weekends.

More info by emailing jbruner@hampshire.edu

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