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

Lisa Iaboni

Plumes

In my Plumes series I work with digital images of news events found on Google image search.

I specifically chose images that have appeared and reappeared in media. In each I attempt to remove the cause, or the wider context, from the effect of the event, the plume. Work that is part of this series isolates acts of protest (Egypt), retaliation (missile launches, drone attacks in Afghanistan and Libya) terrorism (September 11, 2001) and other man-made catastrophes (explosion of the space shuttle Challenger).

I thought about this project when I was reflecting on my experience as a photo editor. The goal is to find the image that will tease the content of the article it runs with. As my experience looking at images increased, I was definitely drawn to images that were unique—something I hadn’t seen before.

The starkest images were those that depicted grisly events in a beautiful way. Did it get my attention because it was beautiful or because it artfully presented a horrific event? In either case, it got my attention. And it most likely would intrigue our viewers because of its beauty or because we presented something awful in a beautiful way.

Lisa Iaboni: Plumes

Paulina Sierra

I was in a bilingual school since I was seven. I remember reciting the vocabulary aloud: “cat- gato-cat-cat-cat” in a classroom full of kids that kept, like me, looking at a flashcard.

The first thing I found intriguing was how one word symbolized a drawing and next how that drawing represented the same thing in two different places that did not share the same language.

For years, my upbringing was based on European and North American culture. We purged snails in my kitchen to cook them with herbs, I was probably the only Mexican listening to Nikki Costa, and for years I begged my mother to tint my hair “yellow” because I wanted to be like Olivia Newton-John.

When I look back at my first interactions with the English language, I regard them as funny and tender. Once I asked a waiter in a restaurant where the machineguns1 were. He stared at me with blank eyes for a few minutes, and managed to point me towards the small arcade room by the end of the hall.

Still, the most vivid memories were the ones that came from being lost in translation in my own country. When I think of Mexico, there is a sense of depth and intoxication, of warm blood and bursting fruit. Just as I have recollections of misunderstandings from the U.S. and Europe, I can recall specific moments in which not language but cultural barriers have kept me outside my country. In these moments I was left wondering about my own identity; indigenous was the alter otherness that I had mistakingly conceived as sameness.

A negative aspect of assimilation is that it can keep things from being noticed because they have been given as a fact. Reappropriation comes in place as the antithesis of Appropriation to unearth these details. It is set in motion by questioning “stable” structures of predetermined mechanisms and thoughts.

1Maquinitas is the slang word for arcade game in Spanish. While it does not mean “machinegun,” I had created a hybrid of arcade games that were machines with guns.
Eye I & Eye Us

Edek Sher

So, you could enter the delineated space where beauty comes from. The ubiquitous place from which beauty enters our lives outside of Walgreens, enters our homes and our cars and the shelves in our bathrooms. Or, you could take a few steps forward, and then turn left, and present yourself with more illusions of choice.

LA LA LA

Dan Chen

It’s not every day that you get to be affectionate around something, it just doesn’t happen that often. —Larry David1

It is because of the above that I treasure every moment of affection that I get. Robot-stimulated affection might just be something that we can use to ease in and out of real affection toward another human being.

Whatever love you can get and give, whatever happiness you can filch or provide, every temporary measure of grace, whatever works.
—Boris Yellnikoff2

Happiness and love are sometimes hard to come by. If the robot makes a person happier than a real person, we shouldn’t deprive them of it. Having said that, whatever works doesn’t mean it works the best, or is the best solution.

If you tell the truth about how you’re feeling, it becomes funny.
—Larry David3

The truth is that this device is a placebo device duplicating the act of comfort. It does in fact comfort, but it is also nonsense at the same time.

Every relationship is just so tenuous and precarious. – Larry David4

If this is true about human relationships, in many aspects it is no different than relationships people have with robots or pets.

1“Larry David.” BrainyQuote.com. Xplore Inc, 2012. 2 May. 2012.
2“Boris Yellnikoff” Whatever Works (2009) – Memorable quotes, 2012. 2 May. 2012.
3“Larry David.” BrainyQuote.com. Xplore Inc, 2012. 2 May. 2012.
4“Larry David.” BrainyQuote.com. Xplore Inc, 2012. 2 May. 2012.
File > Save As > Intimacy

Mark Cetilia

Technology is not only changing the world around us but the ways in which we relate to our surroundings. My goal is to create physical environments that use technology to give viewers the ability to directly engage with aspects of their surroundings that would otherwise be hidden from their perception. I am interested in utilizing projected sound and video to elicit physiological responses, as well as finding ways to use the body itself as an instrument for learning. It is important to me that the experiences of those who enter my installations are capable of being defined on an individual basis. Rather than creating work that is didactic or overtly politicized, I strive to create contemplative environments that allow for exploration and discovery. My work ultimately lies in the creation of physical spaces that allow access to experiences outside of human perception via tangible, physiological responses to projected sound and light.

EFFECTIVE DOSE: CREATING PHYSIOLOGICAL RESPONSES TO INVISIBLE NETWORKS

Evelyn Eastmond

Having taken three introductory-level design and painting courses by now, and currently being enrolled in a Junior-level painting studio, I am learning that this system for solving paintings on the canvas (through a set of predetermined design rules) is not the way artists think about or teach painting.

I always expected the “system” to come from the outside, to be taught to me in almost a textbook fashion, where I could then take what I had been taught and apply it systematically to achieve successful paintings.

Instead what I am finding is that painting (and every other form of art-making) is about taking your intuitions, ideas, impulses and urges and manifesting them through a discourse with a material that can help the artist get these very human intuitions out.

Things like natural artistic ability, talent and any foundational rules are all “nice-to-have,” but are all meant to be internalized in the maker and then used accordingly through the process of making.

println/paintln

Liat Berdugo

I ask what the boundary is between machine and non-machine; I ask what devices can and cannot do in the physical world. I find cracks in the seemingly flawless veneers of digital objects and technology as a whole, and I pry these cracks open, revealing where cords tangle, where devices break, and where machines leave us waiting endlessly for things to load. I find delight in these momentary messes.

Sleight of Hand

Gideon Webster

I think physical displacement or my perception of feeling out of place is often a trigger that leads me to explore.

The exploration, in a way, is an effort to seek out new memories. I have always learned by doing and by experience. I don’t think that my work needs interaction, but I enjoy the challenge that the invitation creates.

Elizabeth Skadden

Mercantile Sculptural Installation

Mercantile Building is a 100-year-old building in Providence modified over time by users of the space who decorated it to their own tastes. The space has changed to reflect how humans affect the spaces that they exist in. All the original denizens of the building are gone and a local arts organization has bought the space for restoration. As the building is cleared, so goes the hand of the people who used this space. Having acted as an urgent archaeologist, I took the walls from this place and reconstructed them into a new space. The final installation preserved the building and consisted of a maze-like room that gave viewers the feeling of being in this liminal space, decorated with items and the walls from the space itself. Light boxes lit the space and a 4’x5’ light box depicted the items in the space that they once inhabited.

Elizabeth Skadden: Mercantile Sculptural Installation Elizabeth Skadden: Mercantile Sculptural Installation Elizabeth Skadden: Mercantile Sculptural Installation

Collapsing New Buildings