Tito Victoriano  

Tito Victoriano

“Creativity isn’t tied to the end product,” says Tito Victoriano, the College’s Webmaster. “It’s in the process. It doesn’t really matter what it is you are creating. The process is the same—the key is to make something worthwhile at the same time you’re discovering new things.”

Victoriano should know. He has been working in information technology at Trinity for 10 years, starting with a temporary position in the summer of 1995, but prior to that he pursued an almost exhaustive series of careers that, while seemingly very different from each other, all involved one key ingredient: creative expression. As for his current work with computers, he says with a smile, “I just had a knack for it.”

Originally from southern Chile, Victoriano was a first-year college student planning to major in either chemical engineering or electronics when he decided to move to Puerto Rico. There, he enrolled in psychology classes and studied visual arts before dropping out of school to learn the art of cabinet making. He played the guitar for fun and relaxation. It was the late sixties, a time of both self reflection and social awareness. “I became very interested in the immigrant’s struggle for acceptance within the dominant, mainstream society. There’s a need to conform, especially when one feels out of place. It’s a universal, human phenomenon not tied to any particular place or people.”

He eventually made his way to Boston, where he found work in a small shop building harpsichords. Throughout these years he continued to develop as a visual artist. In 1992 he came to Hartford to work for the Connecticut Commission for the Arts as co-director of the Inner City Cultural Development program, a National Endowment for the Arts-funded program that provides training and resources to artists in Hartford. Within a few years, Victoriano had discovered his “knack” for computers and come to work at Trinity.

“Like visual arts, theater, or music, the Web is a mode of communication,” he says. “It’s the newest way to get thoughts and ideas across. Only now we use a keyboard and fiber optic cable instead of a canvas or a musical instrument.” Victoriano says that he stopped painting when he became involved with computers, opting instead to use graphic design programs to create art. He has, however, begun to play the guitar again—returning to his roots to play Andean folk music, the music of his youth. He plays a nylon string guitar imported from a small shop in Spain. Of course, he plays without a pick; preferring to feel the strings beneath his fingers. It is, after all, about the creative process.

What they’re reading

Mel McCombie  


Mel McCombie
Visiting Assistant Professor of American Studies

Some readers are serial monogamists; I am the other kind, albeit with a system. I always have a recorded book in the car (currently, Jeffrey Eugenides’s brilliant Middlesex); a print fiction book going (just finished Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America); and a print non-fiction.

Roth’s book held me riveted. What if isolationist Hitler-admirer Charles A. Lindbergh had been elected president in 1940 instead of FDR? But rather than sensationalize the account, Roth uses the voice of 7 to 9 year-old Philip, whose political observations are framed by the quotidian—breakfast, irritating friends, childhood fears, and stamp collecting. The author adds a retrospective narrative from time to time to inform us about what happened, but the gravity and power of the book stems from growingly insightful observations of young Philip as he discovers the perils of being Jewish in the transformed country. Between the unassuming narrative of the boy Philip and the impossible-to-ignore analogies with contemporary events, this book rocks.

The Plot Against America makes a great counterpoint to Middlesex. Both describe forms of “otherness”; characters like FDR and Henry Ford populate both and both are in the voice of a young narrator. The unabridged version I’m listening to is read by actor Kristoffer Tabori and his gift with voices and accents makes it even richer. The book is putatively about a child who is born a form of hermaphrodite, but it is really an historical novel featuring 1920s Turkey, Henry Ford’s Detroit, the Great Depression, and hippie-era San Francisco with ongoing meditations on gender and ethnicity. Lest you wonder, the book is rollicking, funny, and Dickensian in scope.

The non-fiction I’m reading now is Redmond O’Hanlon’s Trawler, an account of the adventure journalist’s time on a fishing trawler working the North Seas in hurricane-force winds. Strange deepwater creatures are pulled up, manic behavior owing to sleep deprivation stalks the crew, and life and death chase every decision. O’Hanlon’s over-the-top prose and ear for accents can make it heavy sledding, but it’s so evocative, I’m practically seasick!


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