Monday, March 16, 2009

Two Thoughts

As I reflected on my interview with Keith I kept going back to one thing he said, that “Providence is lucky to have the Refugee Community that we do, ”. Keith talked about diversity, and the kind of beautiful new learning experiences refugees and the people interacting with them get to have every day. And all I could think about was the fact that this community, the refugee community, is nearly obsolete at RISD. And of course it is not just the Refugee community; it’s pretty much every community outside of a two mile radius. I am not suggesting that everyone has know about what communities exist around them, but in order for us to become successful artists and designers we cannot turn a blind eye to life, if we had the opportunity to see every corner and meet every person in the Greater Providence area in our first week here I wonder what our artwork would look like. We even turn a blind eye to each other, in order to avoid over-generalization I will speak for myself, as a RISD student I work hard and feel like it truly has a bearing on how much time I am willing to invest in the community.

So I have two thoughts on this, in the form of an intervention.

One would be to represent the center-point of RISD’s campus, or whatever we deem it to be with a giant snow globe, with a model of RISD inside. Most likely it would be a RISD campus map, 3-D or whatnot, in grayscale. And then outside, represent the communities that exist around RISD, maybe using mile markers, and people you can meet, or representations of building with pictures of things they sell, all in color. It would be up only for a day, and probably would require some permission. The event could be as low profile as just setting it up or it could have more to it. For example, it had an entrance and an exit rather, or students got a free bottle of bubbles for coming to explore “Providence”, or maybe they get a handful of colored sand and were able to sprinkle it inside the snow globe onto the grayscale campus.

The effects of this type of intervention I would hope to be of course educational, I am sure people would learn and be able to teach others more about their surrounding communities, and perhaps be inspired to explore it. Maybe students could even add to it if they wanted. Or perhaps it is just a symbolic knowledge that there is a world around us and we can never truly have a great understanding of what that is exactly.

Another idea I had was to physically representing connections that are lost, illustrating the overall lack of community. Using strings to run throughout campus connecting building, homes, and studios. I represented here what it would look like to connect 15 West with the Quad. The sheer weight of representing each student would cause the giant bundle of strings to sag and droop down overhead.
The effects of this type of intervention is less clear, it is not educational in any measurable way, but I can only hope that it would open eyes again to how we do share common bonds even cross-studios.

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