José Fernández Liermann

No longer centered on a conscious struggle with religious identity, cultural replacement and redefinition are happening every second on the Internet, where spontaneous and compulsive information circulation demonstrates our arguably natural impulse for cultural repackaging.

Cult of Cute

Gideon Webster

I often think about what it means to be in or have a place. In the last year-and-a-half, I have been more aware of my physical placement than ever before. For the first time in my life, I have been displaced.

This displacement has made me very aware of my own physical body as I move along my daily path. I felt very disconnected from my previous home when I moved to Rhode Island. It was strange to me that I had willingly pulled myself from a place with which I had grown so comfortable.

Until this shift in my life, I never truly considered all that my previous home had been to me. This disconnect filled me with a longing for my past. It also made me very aware of the place I now live. My first reaction was to find any connection between my new and very uncomfortable place and my old and familiar place. I built parallels between the two in my mind. I found many things that I thought to be almost as good as home. I moved through the city, looking for the familiar among the foreign.

Gideon Webster: Wayfarers Path

Making the Path You Seek

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.



Elisa Giardina Papa

Image production is becoming a social practice in which a global multitude creates, captures, releases, and exchanges images on an everyday basis as a way to find and define personal identity, establish and cultivate social relations, and express counter-narratives or dissent.

These images are the material of my writing and my works. I search for them in archives, follow their circulation, become their audience, get in contact with their producers, and re-combine them into films. By narratively re-presenting the history of these images, my work seeks to investigate the agency and emotional patterns created by their movement as well as the contradictions they embody.

Image as Social Practice

Bill Seaman

I have sought to embody a series of potentials for graduate education—to define a program that enables one to explore and enfold elements of artistic practice, contemporary cultural relations, design pursuits, scientific research (and/or its abstraction) and technological inquiry, in varying degrees, relevant to each differing student. Such a program presents an exciting space for individual expression through contemporary forms of creative investigation.

Sophia Brueckner

Everyone is a cyborg, but they don’t realize it.

I got my first computer when I was two years old, a Commodore 64, and I’ve been inseparable from computers ever since. As a computer scientist and software engineer, I spent the last ten years of my life writing and thinking in computer code. My intense relationship with technology has without question shaped who I’ve become. My thought process is linear and binary, similar to the way a computer works. Even my childhood memories are structured like the virtual spaces in the old DOS games I loved. I cannot think in other ways unless I intervene.

Enraptured && Encoded

Jason Huff


Microsoft Word is particularly interesting as a primary tool that people use to input language into a computer. It has been subjected to numerous automated features that are meant to benefit the user’s experience in employing it as a writing tool. One such feature is AutoSummarize, which was added to Word and heralded as a way of cutting through bad copy.

This technique had been a topic of computer science researchers since the early 1960s, which might imply a well-tuned intelligence to the summaries in software developed thirty-seven years later. But as I have found, Word’s function not only cuts out bad copy, but also reveals the rift between the world of natural human language and the code that controls it.

In my piece AutoSummarize, I used the function to reduce the 100 most downloaded copyright-free books to ten sentences each. Ten sentences is the most minimal summary the function can create, and it is dramatically efficient.


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

Dan Chen

Last Moment Robot

Last Moment Robot is an interactive installation consisting of an empty room, a seating area and a reception desk. Signs, medical bracelets, health information forms, and other related medical products are used to transform the space into a hospital-like environment where people go for their final rite of passage. In this empty room, lit with a single fluorescent light, stands a hospital bed with the Last Moment Robot by its side. The robot is constructed as a medical device with a padded caressing arm, and a customized mechanical voice device designed to guide and comfort the dying patient. The whole event is carefully scripted.

Viewers of this installation are invited to enter the room, one at a time, accompanied by an individual dressed in a doctor’s coat. After the patient lies down beside the robot, the doctor asks for permission to place his or her arm under the caressing mechanism. The device is activated, and an LED screen reads “Detecting end of life.” At this point, the doctor exits the room, leaving the patient alone by him or herself. Within moments the LED reads “End of life detected,” and the robotic arm begins its caressing action, moving back and forth, stimulating the sense of comfort during the dying process. Simultaneously, the robot annunciates the patient’s name using the script below, while stroking the patient through death:

Hello Susie, I am the last moment robot. I am here to help you and guide you through your last moment on earth.

I am sorry that (Pause) your family and friends can’t be with you right now, but don’t be afraid. I am here to comfort you. (Pause)

You are not alone, you are with me. (Pause)

Your family and friends love you very much. They will remember you after you are gone. (Pause)

Time of death 11:56

The process of dying is probably the most vulnerable moment of a human life—a moment in which one seeks the reassurance of human connection. In this installation, human presence is replaced with a robot, questioning the quality of intimacy without humanity.

The Last Moment Robot takes the idea of human replacement to an even more extreme scale. It allows for robotic intimacy technology to be reevaluated. The form factors are also being challenged: instead of mimicking the real, the Last Moment Robot’s objective is to allow the patients to experience the paradoxical sensation of knowingly interacting with a placebo treatment.

Dan Chen: Last Moment Robot

Dan Chen: Last Moment Robot Dan Chen: Last Moment Robot

File > Save As > Intimacy

Laura Swanson

Laura: …Some people like to say—when we have to read texts from a specific historical context— “we’re over that,” “the civil rights movement is over,” these kinds of things are over. What would you say to people that say, “this is old news”?

Greg: Well, whoever’s saying, “this is old news” are probably people who haven’t experienced what he’s experienced. I mean, it resonated with you. You’re a young person. So it doesn’t matter if the words are two hundred years old, or fifty years old, or whatever. You know what I mean? If they resonate with you, and they help you crystallize your feelings or get a perspective on your experiences…

Laura: No. I want you to not talk about this as if this is only personal to me. Because that is the criticism that I get about my work all the time—is that it’s totally personal. It is partially about my life, but I don’t think that you can really say that. I mean, of course I like Fanon. A lot of people like Fanon. A lot of my teachers in undergrad like Fanon. Huey Newton of the Black Panthers likes Fanon. A lot of people like Fanon. So, when we talk about the current state of racism, a stupid thing that people say is “Slavery is over. Colonization is over.”

Greg: But it’s not. It’s not.

Laura: Can you talk about that? What is an awareness that you have? People who say, “Fanon is irrelevant because it’s old.” What do you say to that?

Greg: I just think that people are not aware of the slaveries that exist today. The oppression of people…it’s all over the world. We even have it in our own country. But it’s more subtle. It’s not carved in stone anymore, but we still have colonized people in this country…but there’s very blatant slavery and subjugation going on of peoples in other parts of the world.

A Call to Arms