Collections, Website, Hard Copy, Performance Lecture
This course itself will be a gathering. Multidisciplinary practitioners will visit and lead discussions with students. This semester we welcome Ming Lin and Alexandra Tatarsky (Canal Street Research and Shanzhai Lyric), Kameelah Janan Rasheed, Asad Raza, and Gordon Hall (Center for Experimental Lectures).
With each prompt, aim to transform your project, altering its meaning and/or its function through choices concerning content, material, visual form, language and sequence. Your decisions are not neutral. Be prepared to articulate why you have compiled this particular collection and its relationship to a larger social context.
See full syllabus ⤻
Land Acknowledgement Statement
The Yale School of Art and Yale University acknowledge that indigenous peoples and nations, including Mohegan, Mashantucket Pequot, Eastern Pequot, Schaghticoke, Golden Hill Paugussett, Niantic, and the Quinnipiac and other Algonquian speaking peoples, have stewarded through generations the lands and waterways of what is now the state of Connecticut. We honor and respect the enduring relationship that exists between the peoples and nations and this land. (sourced from https://www.art.yale.edu/about/land-acknowledgement)
Even for our video calls, Zoom relies on servers at Equinix data centers in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Melbourne, New York, Tokyo, Toronto, Silicon Valley & Sydney, according to Rory Solomon, Assistant Professor at the New School. Let’s discuss: Why do we recognize the land? “To recognize the land is an expression of gratitude and appreciation to those whose territory you reside on, and a way of honoring the indigenous people who have been living and working on the land from time immemorial. It is important to understand the long-standing history that has brought you to reside on the land, and to seek to understand your place within that history. Land acknowledgements do not exist in a past tense, or historical context: colonialism is a current ongoing process, and we need to build our mindfulness of our present participation. It is also worth noting that acknowledging the land is indigenous protocol.” (sourced from www.lspirg.org/knowtheland) More information can be found here: native-land.ca
Land acknowledgement statements are meant to be crafted in conversation with representatives of the respective nations. Some organizations believe that this should be paired with fiscally contingent plans as the start of reparations. To my knowledge, it is not clear if Yale SoA has reached out to members of the Mohegan, Mashantucket Pequot, Eastern Pequot, Schaghticoke, Golden Hill Paugussett, Niantic, and the Quinnipiac. I still choose to add this land acknowledgement to our syllabus in order to begin this conversation with you, our students, as a small attempt towards this goal.
→ P1: Collection
Gather at least 50 entries for your collection. This is an important phase, since you will be working with this body of content for the duration of the semester. For the next several weeks, you will add this to a spreadsheet that will populate your website and publication. Your spreadsheet should include the appropriate taxonomy and metadata for each entry (title, author, date, description, caption, source, etc.)
→ P2: Website
Create a website with your collection. You are encouraged to use the Google Sheet as a Content Management System (CMS) for your microsite, but you may also choose to manually input entries into the text editor of your choice.
Whether crowd-sourced or independently collected, entries in a cloud-based spreadsheet allow for accessibility, dispersibility, and the immediacy of real-time updates. When digital spreadsheets were first released in 1985, they were considered a liberatory technology—“functional programming for the masses.” However, as noted by the father of hypertext Ted Nelson, “conventional data structures—especially tables and arrays—are confined structures created from a rigid top-down specification that enforces regularity and rectangularity.” A bespoke microsite is not restricted by the affordances of a spreadsheet, and so, when flowing in the entries from your tables and rows, consider how this new container will support, and frame, its gathered goods.
→ P3: Website Hard Copy
Produce a hard copy of your website. You can (1) use Print CSS, (2) blend your spreadsheet with InDesign scripting, (3) manually enter your items into InDesign, or (4) create an alternative publication form. If you speak to a digital archivist, they will state that duplication is key. With a rapidly changing (and degrading) web landscape, to download or export can be an act of preservation and ownership. Changing the form of a collection also allows for different modes of experience and reading. A hard copy is considered to be fixed and static while a soft copy is fluid and mutable. However, both are complementary and are mediated through their respective interfaces.
→ P4: Performance Lecture
Create a 10 minute performance lecture of your collection. As an alternative to a slide-based lecture, we will create experimental presentations of the research you’ve collected this semester.
→ Community Memory Kiosk
For this one-week group project, please create a community memory kiosk. It should be (1) somewhere in the Atrium (2) with an analog and digital component that (3) allows your peers to contribute content. The Community Memory Project was based in Berkeley, CA in 1976. From their description, they write:
We are placing public computer terminals through which people can freely share information unmediated by censors. Community Memory allows people with no previous computer experience to enter messages, find messages entered by others, and enter responses to what they see. Messages are cross-indexed to related subjects to help people make connections.
The Spring 2021 version of this course was made with support from Laurel Schwulst, Geoff Han, Isaac Nichols, and Rosa McElheny. Thank you to these folx! This course was heavily modified from that version, from learnings from the Spring 2021 students Alvin Ashiatey, Immanuel Yang, Nick Massarelli, Mike Tully, Alex Mingda Zhang, Hannah Tjaden, and Ana Lobo. Extra thanks to Alvin Ashiatey for returning for an additional semester as the T.A.!
Sites by students...
David Jon Walker’s “Course Map Repository”
Junyi Shi’s “Houseplants from the Wild”
Kyle Richardson’s “Grammy’s House”
Lester Rosso’s “Laugh Later”
M.C. Madrigal and Cat Wentworth’s “Endnotes, link tk” Paul Bille’s “Temporary and Unnamed”
Sam Callahan’s “Mirror as Portal”
Yifan Wang’s “Gathering Robert Adams”
Yuseon Park’s “A Recording Score”