Gefeng Wang

The Island

In the future, when all the chimneys have gone, a man builds this artificial island and re-builds all the 500 tallest chimneys in the world on the island.

Paulina Sierra

In this desire for translation is where Appropriation in my creative process begins. It is activated by what has been assimilated from our heritage and cultural background, a background that has already become divergent by the multiple interventions of otherness we have had in the past.

I want to acknowledge that centuries later we still concoct new interpretations of the old world, just as we have also been able to apply old understandings to the new. Our parameters are modern and traditional, crafted and mass produced, exogenous and indigenous, cosmic and technocratic.

Eye I & Eye Us

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

Ebe Odonkor

Westerners have been writing about and re–shaping the history of Africa from the early Roman invasions and colonialism to the present day.

Even the boundaries between African countries have been fashioned through colonization, with blatant disregard for the ethnic groups within. In Ghana, as in many African nations, foreigners have shaped the educational system based on formal British education, thereby contributing to the perception of many Africans that our history is not our own.

It cannot be stressed enough how important it is for a people, regardless of their geo–social dwellings, to write and share their own narrative of history. Africans need to tell their own stories. We need our own heroes and role-models as figures of inspiration for the next generation.

The path to Africa’s socio-economic development needs to be laid on a solid sense of identity that, in itself, is reinforced by our historical past as told by Africans. Unfortunately, most of Sub-Saharan African’s knowledge of traditions and culture is dying with the older generations, who are left with no audience. The Africa known to the rest of the world has been reduced to images of ethnic conflict, violent coups, hunger, and incurable diseases.

Without a means for writing and telling our own historical narrative, Africans are left to internalize the world’s misconceptions.

UNFAMILIAR VOICES: Social Collaboration as Collective Performance

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.



Eva Sutton

I taught the Continuum Studio which was the intro studio for incoming grad students in the fall of the first semester. And it was really interesting designing that because we wanted to create an environment for both people that had a deep technical background, so people coming in with lots of programming experience or engineering experience, and then people who didn’t have a lot of technical experience but had a deep fine arts background, people that were painters but not programmers, for example.

This was the difficulty in teaching that course. We cast our net really widely in terms of admitting people, deliberately so. The quandary was how do you challenge all of these different kinds of students appropriately? And so what we learned early on was that a lot of collaboration was really beneficial for everyone.

Chih Hao Yu


This thesis occupies a space between the descriptive—how things are—and the prescriptive—how things should be. It is simultaneously a scientific report, a compilation of resources, a piece of literature, and a manifesto. While this thesis intends to reflect the complex and multifaceted nature of societies with inclusiveness, it also makes clear choices and endeavors to formulate a particular vision of the way the society can be, and to suggest possible avenues of social transformation towards the ultimate goal of a “good life for all.”

Jane Long

To Fix


To do justice to the messiness of nature, one tries to make ample use of ambiguity, incompleteness, wordplay, and in discretionary indirection.

The fixing of life for analysis to find a story of life is to kill the life to study life. Something we know all too well. To never know anything but a shell or a residue. The fruitful endeavor of plotting while finding the plot. Plot, plot, plot. Nature curling and turning as beings of nature we try to tell that story our own, the ultimate means to an end.

Jane Long: Subjective ObjectAs a nature. A human nature when we lay our heads down at night, when we eat an unfulfilling meal, when we experience the unsatisfactory return to consciousness post climax, and the dull feeling of coming back to life—reveal the constant suspicion deep within the planted plot that there is no overarching story, just as many plots with no end. In fact, there are so many plots that trying to find the everything-story seems inconceivable even beside the point (Rushkoff 2013)


On Everything and Nothing

Elisa Giardina Papa

We are becoming increasingly familiar with the logic of the algorithm while searching for content in the Internet, but this does not mean that we are aware of all the calculations that are ordering the results of our queries.

In other words, we are not aware of the power that is exerted through these supposedly random choices. Despite the so-called “user friendly interface,” the logic of the machine is still not accessible to us.

Image as Social Practice

Traci Vaspol

D+M is an artistically, socially and culturally diverse program. The small yearly intake means students are quickly exposed to not only the work of their immediate cohort but also to the advanced work of the second years.

This is so beneficial in a two year program. It creates an environment where new students connect with the second year students, strengthening identities of individual work and encouraging collaborations between students that you couldn’t have predicted. It is a tight knit department where strong, long-lasting relationships are forged with fellow students, faculty and staff.