October 18, 2012:
When I did research papers in middle school, before the internet was the first place anyone went to for information, I remember pulling heavy encyclopedias and informative books that had several volumes in the series. When citing them there would always be several authors, which made sense because there was lot of information to be organized in these books. I never really gave how the informative tomes had come into existence until I attended a lecture about collaboration.
Two women were sitting in the center of the room, surrounded by us onlookers. They were on opposite ends of their fields, yet came together to comprise an in depth look of the immigration of children throughout the world and the effects. For me, this would be a tedious topic, but if ever I had a research paper on a topic, then I would be extremely grateful that someone had already compiled the information for me to sift through.
The women spoke about their process, which included a lot of archive digging. They split the series up into sections and each took their respective concentrations, and then they came together. Often one would have information that would be better suited for a volume the other had been working on, and so they weaved their separate pieces together to create a cohesive who
There had also been a presentation by Christine Hume on alternative reading methods. These included erasures and cut ups and image work as well. She focused on collaboration between an author and an already finished piece of work. It is an interesting concept, because it allows the writer to put things together in a way that they may not have come up with individually. It also gives a new perspective to a “finished” object.
October 21, 2012:
“Are we there yet?” cries an impatient child from the backseat. “Not yet, we won’t be home for another twenty minutes,” is the exasperated response of an exhausted mother, trying to navigate the dark, one-way streets of Ypsilanti. Through the windshield, she notices a glow. It’s not a streetlamp, hovering too high and the hues are more like Christmas lights. “Honey, look over there,” she tells her tiring toddler, who eagerly clutches at the edge of the window. “Oooh, mommy, what is it?” “I don’t know honey, I don’t know.” The multi-hued pinpricks shine over the building. “Mommy, how did the lights get up there?” is the precocious, high-pitched question. “Honey, I don’t know.” “I bet fairies put them up there,” giggles the child.
Those fairies who lit up an abandoned building are actually a group comprised of Creative Writing Students and other people whom I had never met. The lights are LED throwies thrown onto the metallic overhang. Throwies are little red, blue, and green LED lights taped to super strong magnets. Several hundred had been made earlier that afternoon, and we all gathered to throw them onto the building, which had been abandoned for decades. There was no pattern or intended image we were making. We just took a handful and started tossing them and occasionally missing or sometimes the magnet just wouldn’t stick.
It was a short demonstration lasting only about twenty minutes, though the LED lights lasted for several weeks. For me, I think part of the art installation was the act of making it. I can only imagine what it looked like to passersby watching little sparks of light fly through the darkness onto a metallic canvas. Afterwards, it did not look particularly beautiful but it did make the building less depressing. And most people probably had absolutely no idea what was going on and why the dark building was glowing a multitude of colors. Perhaps the dialogue I wrote actually happened.
December 13, 2012:
At the capstone reading located scenic the Student Center Art Gallery had six graduating seniors presenting work along with the display of junior Tiffany Kobb’s mixed media project. She used papier-mâché to create a tree, representative of her, covering it with text. At the base written in wire “weeds” were negative words that had tried to “choke” her off in high school, and hanging off the tree was a cocoon of the words that helped her through the difficult time. Also featured was Stacey Seidl, sharing her erasure project. She worked with bylaws, creating satirical laws dealing with sex and bullying. One girl wrote a prose-poetry hybrid about a young teenage girl whose mother had just died, with the narrator switching to the dead mother during the poetry sections. The first presenter shared with us her ‘zine, which was about her coming to terms with her heritage. There was a capstone about Disney World and one man wrote a series of letters to important people in his life. After the readings, the audience milled about looking at the art on display. My personal favorites included the curtain of teabags, the umbrellas, and the crocheted typewriter.