Ebe Odonkor

For the initial thesis project, I have decided to collect personal stories from Ghanaian WWII veterans because I had been told snippets of my great-uncle’s WWII experience when I was a child, and thought they were heroic and interesting.

Moreover, WWII vets played a major role in the struggle that lead to Ghana’s independence from the British Empire. Not many Ghanaians know this fact. I thought their accounts of socio-political life during and after colonialism would be of great interest.

Armed with this bit of information and conviction, I traveled to Accra, the capital of Ghana, and started my search for WWII veterans. I have to confess that I was a little skeptical of finding any veterans to interview, considering the life expectancy of the region is 56.

I hit a bit of luck when I was informed that the previous government, under President Jerry John Rawlings, had housed most WWII vets at Amasaman, a suburb of Accra. After an hour’s drive through heavy traffic and on the newly constructed highway to Kumasi, my assistant and I arrived at the Legion Village, armed with sound recording devices and two camcorders.

We came unannounced, so we had to knock on a few doors and make our intentions known before settling down for an interview with the five remaining WWII veterans living in the village; most of them were living with their grandchildren. The first day (it took us three days to get every veteran on tape) of interviews seemed more rehearsed than the freestyle, ignore-the-recording-devices environment I had envisioned. But, by the second and third day we were comfortable enough with each other to let go and just converse.

UNFAMILIAR VOICES Social Collaboration as Collective Performance

Anne West

Digital + Media set in motion many growth rings within RISD. My memory of the first shift began with lines laid down on an empty 4th Floor of CIT by Bill Seaman. With Bill, and the broad reach of his mind, came a multi-nodal vision for inter-disciplinary exchange.

In essence, he created a “fate map” for RISD graduate study, remaking our creative culture through new conversations across media and technology. Out of this one disciplinary initiative arose ever-widening patterns of influence upon our tools and methods of exploration, as well as theorizing. From the outset, this department generated a spirit of openness and speculative generosity.

Michael Tauschinger-Dempsey


The era of the constant automated tracking and evaluation of citizens has begun; only time will tell what the consequences of this new reality will be.

One thing is clear: artists and activists…are needed more than ever to show society new ways to reflect upon and take action against the hostile takeover of omnipotent corporations unfolding right under our noses.

Out of Service

Claudia O’Steen

Arc of Visibility

This work points to a never-ending process, a series of attempts to measure an infinite line, to chart the color of the sky, to capture the single point where a shift occurs in a limitless expanse. Using altered surveying equipment I document the sea and the process of being in between two places.

Departing from the familiar, I begin a process of navigating the unknown. Through this transit, I extend my own boundaries into un-encountered territory and embrace the unforeseen. Using devices that refer to both the past and the future without positioning themselves in either, I displace fragments of landscape, allowing you to experience places and events in many ways at once. These constructed tools take in light and reflect my surroundings, allowing me to measure and record my position in relation to the infinite horizon line, or the apex of a wave.

Seeing, counting, and measuring are ways of understanding; creating tools to record and quantify these measurements allows me to understand them in relation to myself. Using these devices, I attempt to orient myself by examining place via the lens of personal experience and primary observation, often selecting points that are ultimately impossible to calibrate against.



Vivian Charlesworth


In Tectonics, I navigate the sublime border between the realms of reality and dreams, and construct a disembodied space where the vast and the minute coexist.  There, personal history and mythology are interchangeable, artificial and natural landscapes are juxtaposed against each other, and scientific theory becomes a sort of religious experience.

This film was inspired by the “Song of the Dunes,” a natural phenomenon that occurs when wind passes over sand.


Janet Shih

My generation is one of natives to a digital landscape, where much of our adolescence and development has come from time spent online rather than in backyards or parks or elsewhere.

They—as in the media and its representatives—like to write about me and the seemingly alienated way I live. They scold me for my lack of commitment to a career and to relationships, and for my constant use of electronic devices. Everything rooted in analog traditions and physical presence, they say, is going to shit.

Visual Realities

Bill Seaman

Educating artists in the digital age is a great challenge. Exploring interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary education calls for a special commitment to learning and growth. In transdisciplinary study, a series of focused research areas are bridged. Because no singular discipline, pairing of disciplines, and/or history of those disciplines can be used to elucidate the work that is arising, the term transdisciplinary is employed, suggesting that such study goes beyond any individual discipline or coupling of disciplines.

Transdisciplinary research brings a set of fields of inquiry together in the service of emergent knowledge production. Education that explores this challenging knowledge domain mandates that the graduate mentor continue their own education (be it formally or informally) in an ongoing manner, be open to change, and embrace collaboration and continuing communication with multiple colleagues functioning in differing domains. This can mean staying on top of updates of numerous digital programs; keeping abreast of the changes in multiple fields in terms of technology; maintaining their own research practice; reading across a range of research topics and domains; and in general keeping a broad scanning type awareness open to this field of fields.

Laura Alesci

Please Watch Over Me

March 8 2010_Alesci_TECH_Thesis

I was waiting for you. You were running late. You were out on patrol and just received a call to be on desk duty. I have to be on desk duty tonight.

I head out of my apartment to meet you. I get on the bus and it drops me off in front of the main station. As I am walking in I hear a knock on the window, I turn around to see if it was you. It wasn’t.

I walk into the station and tell the women at the front desk that I was there to meet you. Just wait a moment.

A bulletproof glass panel divides the reception area and the seating area for civilians. After a few minutes of waiting, you notice me and signal me in. The receptionist buzzes me into the restricted area.

You show me where you go to clear your mind.

It’s Quiet Here No One Bothers You Here

The next night I return to the docks on my own. I take an image and plan to give you a print of it the next time we meet.

Once in the main hallway, I wait outside another door. You come open the door for me. We walk into the main headquarters office. It is divided into three separate rooms that open into each other.

The middle room contains two rows of cubicles, each cubicle space has a computer. Glass window panels separate the adjacent rooms on either side. To left is the chief’s office and to the right is the desk duty station along with the reception area.

The reception area is where individual complaints and reports are taken. The receptionist was busy. She was talking to a woman in the waiting area I was in minutes before.

We walk over to the desk that you are assigned to for the night.

The chief needs to speak to me, I will be right back.

It’s a gray office, fully carpeted with blue borders running along the floor. I wait at our desk.

When you return, you tell me about report procedures. Part of desk duty is approving and merging reports. All reports must be reviewed. Once approved the report enters a record system through a process called merging. Once the report is merged with this system it is ready for distribution and available to the public.

I ask if I can approve one. You are not sure at first. After a couple of minutes you let me approve one.

Three other officers walk in. They gather around the desk for a quick talk. One of them speaks to you. Looking to go downtown tonight? I am working out. Have to keep up with the younger guys.

I comment on his jacket, Where did you get that?

He names a place quickly. He tells me how I can get a coat just like it, It looks just like the other coats that are required for all the officers to wear. You know you can even get your numbers sewn in with gold.


Please Watch Over Me

Maralie Armstrong

I am part of a generation I call the “Great-grandchildren of the Machine.” This generation was raised in a post-industrial society witnessing the rise of the personal computer, subjected to synthesized top 40 hits and exposed to computer familiarization programs in primary school (1980’s).

The great grandchildren observed the cultural transition from analog to digital; the transition into the Information Age. We cling to our cassettes, LPs, and VHS collections while adopting Compact Discs, DVDs, and MP3s. While the machines we experience are different from the Futurists, the sentiment is similar.

Each generation makes instruments that aren’t yet recognized as instruments or performed in ways that are not traditional. We design idiosyncratic machines to assist the expression of robust human experiences.

Engendered Machines and Humanbeasts

Clement Valla

Zhongbo Copies Google Earth’s View of Wassaic, NY Onto Twilight in the Wilderness, and Paints in the View from his Window

Zhongbo copies… is an oil painting ordered over the internet from the Wushipu “Chinese Painting Village” in Xiamen, China. It was commissioned for a show in Wassaic, NY. These “Chinese Painting Villages” are reported to produce over 60% of the world’s oil paintings, a majority of which are copies of famous paintings. Zhongbo copies… begins with a landscape painting by Frederic Church of the Hudson Valley. A contemporary image of Wassaic (in the Hudson Valley) from Google Earth is collaged onto Church’s painting. The artist in China was asked to paint the collaged image, and add in the view from her/his window in Xiamen. The resulting painting is a collage of geographical locations and representational media.

Clement Valla: Zhongbo Copies Google Earth’s View of Wassaic, Ny Onto Twilight in the Wilderness, and Paints in the View from his Window