Fall Semester 2020

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Final Outputs

Learning Journal

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DES // 540 —— Research Studio
DES // 500 —— Political Ecology 
DES // 520 —— Agathokakological Tendencies
ART // 520 —— Teaching Artists

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Fall Semester 2020

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Final Outputs

Learning Journal

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DES // 540 —— Research Studio

DES // 500 —— Political Ecology
DES // 520 —— Agathokakological Tendencies
ART // 520 —— Teaching Artists 

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Monday 8/31

Today we analyzed our first pass at diagrams. I think everyone put in a good effort and there was solid discussion surrounding the results. It will be interesting to see how these evolve before wednesday and I am also interested to see how these objects that we have selected for the semester begin to take on or represent the characteristsic of our own topics of research. Fortunately everyone seemed to pic up on the metaphor/duality of my chosen object, the knife, and the floral motif created via animation in p5. Also, feedback on removing my object from a black field and placing it in some sort of setting proved fruitful as well. It may be furhter from what is “good design” but I really enjoy the aesthetic. Most recent version here.

Wednesday 9/2

Discussd more recent versions of our diagram work. I had worked on a few different versions between last class and this class in order to incorporate some sort of color or image in the background. I wanted to place this object in relation to education somehow so I opted to try incorporating the idea of the desk or educational workspace. I ultimately landed on the use of the cutting mat grid because not only could it be easily tiled to makeup the background but also because to me it represented my desk as well as design as a whole due to the use of the grid. That direction can be found here. We discussed that direction in class which lead to comments that the background was disorienting and also didn’t really say what I was hoping instead leading classmates to thinking of how this knife seems out of place and instead expect to see an exacto knife. One thought was to place this more firmly in a desk setting which I attempted by adding some desk items on the periphery. That direction can be found here, and didn’t really work for me. So instead I chose to opt for graph paper that can reference a notebook or field notebook and also still referenced the ever present design grid. I also chose to cover the paper in notes that I have been taking while researching/discussing my research around design education. That most recent version can be found here

Wednesday 9/10

Got feedback on the final outcomes of our diagrams. I am happy with where mine netted out and pretty much everyone understood what I was going for, so that’s good. Next we will be working on a catalog of our object/recearch topic. I am wondering how I can go about making a catalog that is representitive of both a knife as well as design education (subversive education?). One thought is to create a catalog of the design canon that is important to contemporary design education. But instead of a direct catalog, maybe instead this cataog is made up of facsimiles of these pieces of design that have been destroyed by the knife (assuming the knife represents subversive thought/education?). Maybe then the pieces could be kitbashed into new means of design education? Could they also include things like YouTube, Skillshare, Pateron, etc? Also, what is the form of this catalog? Is it some sort of printed zine or is it something else? Maybe I can lift some of the ideas utilized by the Boot Boyz and produce this catalog in the form of a shirt. Maybe it exists as cyanotype prints on fabric that are then mutilated and applied to a dress/button up shirt. Can that shirt represent the traditional commercial designer (Micael Bierut)? Maybe along with books and examples of contemporary design canon, the portraits of design’s heros are also mutilated and repurposed? Maybe the Knife is only present in that it is used to cut down the printed material. Maybe it is represented somewhere inside the shirt? Under the flip side of the collar perhaps? Could things that represent traditional/eurocentric design canon be printed in negative and things that represent subversive/decolonial design canon be printed in positive (vice versa)?

Saturday 9/12

Response to The Crystal Goblet by Beatrice Warde : Ahhh The Crystal Goblet… It was good to read this one again. I still disagree with the overall tone, but find myself understanding it more. I think the metaphor makes sense if you are strictly speaking of technical typography, but that this text really takes a turn for the judgmental/pompous in trying to define “good” typography because in doing so it means that everything else must be “bad” or “other”. Why does the choice of ones glass either make them a connoisseur (Ward’s word) or a barbarian (my word). In my opinion it doesn’t leave enough room for flexibility or even and evolving or advancement of the practice of design.

I would much prefer to make a metaphor in the form of cocktail styles. Are martinis good in that they are uncomplicated yet full of flavor in their stemmed glasses? Sure, but is that the only proper way to make a cocktail? Should all other cocktail styles be seen as less than? Fuck no. Look at Tiki, it stands almost in opposition to the purity of a martini in its complexity of flavor delivered in ofter absurd ceramic cups. Would it be nice to see the color of the cocktail provided by freshly squeezed juices? Maybe, but that would take away from the pleasure and amusement provided by the kitschy cup and garnishes.

Maybe it is time that we burn this text and rewrite it. Expand our design palette beyond wine to any type of booze that our drunken hearts desire served in whichever glass adds to the experience. I encourage you to take your modernism and serve it inside of a vessel made of psychedelia. Take your art nouveau and pour it into a cup made of punk xerography and get drunk on barbaric designs that bring more to the table than a straight-forward presentation of what is “good”

Response to the Post Typographic Manifesto by Post Typography : All I have to say of the Post Typographic Manifesto is wow. I truly appreciate the efforts to liberate the practice of design from its hierarchy of rules on which the Typocracy has been built. I am not sure what else I can say outside of quoting the parts that gave me chills.

“”It has been said that the “medium is the message,” but your medium is transparent and likewise, your message hollow.”
“We step on your crystal goblet of typography at the marriage of liberty and design.”
“We will liberate typography from the stuffy shackles of classicism and rigid mores of modernism."
“We only answer to the ultimate satisfaction of our own Dionysian impulses.”
“We make our impact with Impact!”

So much else to love in this text, I think I’ll print it out and hang it by my desk next to my printout of the First Things First manifesto.

Monday 9/21

//Class Note Dump//
Crediting pieces
  • does it speak to genius in a productive way?
  • elevate lesser-known “genius”?
  • bring to light marginalized practitioners
  • index?
Question mark archive
Hide text under collar?
Set of flyers instead of or in addition to shirt?
Booklet or publicaiton that explains the concept?
collect additional/reproduced text
index for shirt (as was tag? Other shirt)
having booklet allows for obscurity on shirt
Play with scale of archive pieces
Rick Griffith

Sunday 9/27

Monday 9/28

// Class Note Dump //
Embrace monoprint through application of one-off color??
Hiding content below belt or inside shirt is interesting
Hide all inside shirt?
Sewn in tag in addition to publication (credit for each piece?)
Blank spaces allow for evolution/addition (evolving, personal Télémaque?)
More content means more volume (how loud do I wan want to be?)
Write an intro to the context-based credits (leaning into ignorant schoolmaster and self learning)
Jenny Holzer truisms as reference/way to change research questions into something concrete?
Companion publication as zine vs manual (what does each say formally?)
If goblet illustration stays how do I make the connection to Beatrice Warde a quicker read wihout being overly overt with it?
If I keep the type on sleeves, take time to typeset “properly”

Monday 10/5

// Class Note Dump //
Room for notes in book?
Room in margins for annotation?
White space defined by space used for writing notes?
Wavy notebook lines?
Embrace imperfection — rag by hand with paper/layout with cut paper and scan?
Reconsider pixel type?
Consider using monotalic for body copy?

Wednesday 10/7

// Class Note Dump //

// Map Notes //
Interesting to look through lens of genetics
  • modernism >>> eugenics?
How things relate through family trees
  • start before modernism
  • see how it morphs
Mind map/family tree
  • focus on location as well?
Tracking design lineage back or in relation to “self”
  • what influenced me
  • what forms of design exist beyond/after/stem from me (my design offspring)
  • Relate to others through lens of self
  • track current interests in relation to my own education
  • text, text and images, images
  • film/interactive? Interactive p5 thing? >>> https://www.timelineofthefarfuture.com/
    • Tie in links to the web?
  • what does leveraging only images do/say
  • instances or influences outside of design?
  • placing self within history of design pedagogy
  • mapping influence?
  • current/historical events
    • social media
    • political events
    • lived histories
Don’t just focus on education but all things?

Kerry James Marshall >>> https://www.artsy.net/artist/kerry-james-marshall

Monday 10/12

// Class Notes Dump //
Datamoshing >>> https://www.google.com/search?q=datamoshing&rlz=1C5CHFA_enUS893US893&oq=data+moshing&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j0l7.5693j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Historical Memory and Collective Memory - Maurice Halbwachs >>> https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=GPhGukFWC84C&oi=fnd&pg=PP11&dq=Historical+Memory+and+Collective+Memory+-+Maurice+Halbwachs&ots=dt7QZxOd2Y&sig=cx0vtpoJ8PdBBvZ8CjU5WNftIwg#v=onepage&q=Historical%20Memory%20and%20Collective%20Memory%20-%20Maurice%20Halbwachs&f=false

// Map Notes //
Personal Ideologies
More people and institutions?
Include Europe?
Include self/job? 
Include self as timeline?

Logic behind university choice
What am I missing (MICA, SCAD, OTIS, Carnagie Mellon, etc)
Research into universities and who taught there over time?
Who influences the universities over time, how have these influences affected each institution?

Time element behind each university
mapping design movements?

Thursday 10/15 —— Midterm

// Research Topic //
SO —— Other parts are more successful
Item based/in chunks

Evidence based practice

From cadastudent to Everyone: (9:13 AM)
@josh, do you know the works of Ivan illicit? Deschooling society, tools for conviviality, are two interesting works about education and tools. it comes out of 70s South American left political movements. Could be an interesting reference
Sorry Ivan Illich

JF — Poignant for the time
  • Thinking about tools?
  • how do you get out of the idea of individual genius and instead opt into collective experience
  • Focus on one pedagogical experiment
  • Spector press — Tacit Knowledge Feminism — CalArts 70s — Collective Project (how to organize something myself with other students?)
  • From jack henrie fisher to Everyone: (9:27 AM)
  • Tacit Knowledge / Post Studio is the title of the book I just mentioned
  • https://spectorbooks.com/tacit-knowledge

CTW — Liberal arts model does exactly what I am looking to do already ... ?
  • Tadao Ondo (spelling?) — Self Taught
  • Lacour Bousier (spelling?) — Self Taught
  • Art School (book) — History of art school philosophies — more traditional end
  • Kathy McCoy/Meridith Davis/Sheila De Bretteville

JM — NASSAD Documents — Meridith Davis/Educational Bureaucracy
  • Free teaching vs considering the framework of educaiton
  • how design edu has interfaced with a larger discourse fo education
  • John Dewey — Not taught in design edu
  • Don’t get overwhelmed by scale and find a way to work through topic in a way that satisfies interests and ambitions

ML — Don’t pressure the conclusion

// Diagram //
PB —— Swiss Army knife?
  • PB —— more iconic?
  • loaded in being from germany?
  • JF —— how does it figure in post war imaginaries?
  • set of cultural associations?
Narrow in education as instrument
BA —— Is this a full or >> limited << conception of education?
JF —— !! Can’t education be weaponized through its absence as well? !!

// Catalog //

// Map //
STW —— Charles Jencks chart of postmodernism

Friday 10/16

Reading response to Searching for a Black Aesthetic in American Graphic Design by Sylvia Harris : “I believe that the building blocks of a black design aesthetic are scattered across many disciplines and will be found in unlikely places. For instance, some of the best examples of the potential for a black design vocabulary are found in the work of white designers who have been inspired by black culture and take advantage of the market for black expressive styles.”

It is interesting, and regretful that black students historically have had to look at work of white designers/artists that have appropriated black vocabulary in order to find some sort of representation within our field. It seems like there are strides being made towards unearthing and archiving the work of black designers (Cornell has a wealth of examples), but we are yet to carve out sections in our monuments of design.  I am glad that cubist appropriation of African art was mentioned in this text. This was something that I stumbled across while researching and working on my mask for Pouya’s class. The essay that I read framed this appropriation in a negative light, something that I think this text counterbalances to some extent. Cubists lifting motifs from Africa had provided a canonical example of African influence in art and, in turn, design. I find that to be generous that these individuals aren’t being taken to task for this, but I think it also hast to maybe do with authenticity, specifically in regards to the framing of Carson’s Ray Gun as the best example of a visual jazz aesthetic. Another example brought up in As Not For is Pen and Pixel. Presented as they were in the show I just figured the designers were black, but upon research for my catalog I found that they are in fact white. Again, I think they get a pass for translating a black aesthetic in such an authentic way while also working directly with, and promoting black musicians. Maybe parallels can be seen between this and the design/designers working on jazz album covers for Blue Note.

Either way it is strange to me that a lot of the contemporary examples of black design vocabulary are or have been filtered through whiteness. I wonder if that is due in part to the fact that our industry is so closely tied to white, Eurocentric values? Either way this has put into design vocabularies into a perspective that I had not previously thought of, and the next time I seek to emulate design similar to Carson I will be more aware of what approaching design from this jazz perspective means.

Also, as an aside. A buddy of mine who studied music (and dislikes genres in general) has a whole lot to say about the genre of jazz in that a lot of things get dumped into jazz as a broad term because of their time period and blackness (things still that happen at the Grammys seen through how songs like Lil Nas X’s Old Town Road and Tyler the Creator’s album Igor were categorized). This is something that we need to consider moving forward with design that comes out of the growing black design canon. In order to make sure that we as an industry are not forcing black designers into one box/genre.

Reading response to The Alphabet That Will Save a People From Disappearing by Kaveh Waddell : This story is really inspiring. The fact that Abdoulaye and Ibrahima have turned this into a lifelong project is totally astounding. On the other side it is frustrating that while this language has been created and included in Unicode it still is not available on the wider digital market. It really makes you question value and makes me wonder what could be done to increase the value of this language to the point that it is adopted by wester tech giants, and subsequently the internet as a whole.

This is another reading that also falls in line with the Aesthetic innovation in indigenous typefaces text we read a few weeks back in that it really shows the power that design can have on individual daily lives. Something that I am very guilty of losing sight of. This text also reinforces the importance of preserving language (and culture) something that I believe designers are uniquely suited to do. Preserving though the creation of faces that support struggling languages, preserving through the creation of archives (printed, digital or otherwise), or even preservation of ideas through the production and dissemination of printed or online publications. Jeffery Keedy looked at the future as a ‘hallucinogenic melding of mind and information structures’ and notes that ‘If this is the construct of our future world, then it’s graphic designers that will be creating our total “human environment”. Maybe instead of “creating our total human environment” we should instead look to preserve it.
Fall Semester 2020

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Final Outputs

Learning Journal

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DES // 540 —— Research Studio

DES // 500 —— Political Ecology

DES // 520 —— Agathokakological Tendencies
ART // 520 —— Teaching Artists 

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Monday 8/31

Today we continued our work in relation to the Anthropocene. We had guest lecturers Beate Geissler and Ömür Harmanşah speak to us about the work that we will be parsing and working into some form of publication. Som questions posed during the lecture were “how do you do field work on climate change” and “how do artists do field work?”. Ömür made note of the play “Life of Galileo” by Bertolt Brecht and Hanns Eisler as well as the book “Facing Gaia: Eight Lectures on the New Climatic Regime” by Bruno Latour who also lead a workshop on the Anthropocene at UIC. Following the lecture we discussed the posibility of this publication taking the form of a website and if that makes more sense than a book. I think we landed on keeping both options open as we continue to move forward. It was also thrown out that maybe we keep our own ‘field notes’ while working on this project. Currently that lives as a class owned google doc.

Wednesday 9/2

Notes from Catherine Malabou’s lecture Anthropocene, A New History?
  • Malabou argues that the Anthropocene is happening in our history and also determined by nature and that it is a indecision between nature and history.
  • Blurs the lines between what is cultural and environmental — what is historical and what is natural.
  • Ecology blurs the line of civilization and the environent in a similar way.
  • Deep history as put forth by Dipesh Chakrabarty and Daniel Smail.
  • Chakrabarty’s definition of deep history relies on it being geological while Smail defines deep history as being biological (sepcifically neurobiological). 

Bulleted ideas from Chakrabarty include:
  • The collapse of humanist distinction between natural and human histories and a removal of traditional concepts of history in which it is implied that nature can have no history (there are natural events, not just natual facts).
  • The human being is much larger than a biological agent of the past, and that we are now a geological force that has an effect on all geospheres (lithosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, atmosphere).
  • The ecology challenge is beyond a crisis of capitalist managment, and that the soultion will not be a critique of capitalism.
  • We never experience ourselves as a species (no consciousness of self), one never experiences being a concept.
  • Climate change escapes us because it is not intentionally produced, which produces a “stone“ mode of being.
  • Anthropos defined as lithic species that is an anonymous and indifferent subject that appears as a neutral geological force.

Bulleted ideas from Smail include:
  • Bioligy, brain, and behavior as three fundamental concepts to understand deep history.
  • The brain is the in-between zone between biology and behavior.
  • Smail analyzes the legibility of deep histoy by quesitoning what is an archive or a trace. Noting that archives can be things unwritten, they can be natural things.
  • Evdience is often extracted from things that are accidental preservations leading to the notion that history happens to us rather than being made by us.
  • The brain is not entirely genetically programmed/wired but is shaped by relationships with the environment.
  • Smail also notes that the Anthropocene is tied to our addiction to technology.
  • Dispense with the idea that biology gave way to culture with the advance of civilizaiton, rather civilization enabled certain aspects of human biology.
  • Anthropos defined as an addicted subject that is an over affected one, cold as stone (indifferent) and craving.

  • Appeal of human responsibility in relation to the threat of climate change relies on our natural irresponsibility (history happening to us), and that our responsibility is also a responsibility for this specific irresponsibility.
  • We must admit to our natural part in the Anthropocene (geological or neurobiological).
  • We are responsible for the irresponsible passivity in which our deep historical nature puts us.
  • We should embrace an avoidance of bad consciousness and avoidance of guilt in order to summon us to not deny our responsibility, by taking into account our irresponsibility.

Notes from Dipesh Chakrabarty’s The Climate of History: Four Theses : TBD?

Notes from Art in the Anthropocene : TBD?

Notes from Michael Taussig’s Fieldwork Notebooks
  • Pearls and coral – More beautiful when removed from the ocean?
  • Phantom – understanding/ouher aspect. A feeling from putting or reading information in a field notebook
  • Love letter to field notebooks
  • Fetish – romantic/fetishized, fetishized by others that the owners (after owners passing). Notebooks s a commodity vs magical object.
  • Unpacking library – notebooks being a collection
  • Sparks not facts
  • Fieldworkers notebooks are collections of ideas and chance, a vestigial organ designed to catalogue thoughts outside of the mind. Often unintelligible to anyone but the author, notebooks allow us to travel back to a time when the contents of the page ere written if only for a moment. Better if these notes are simple or even abstract. Written quickly as a way of saving a thought or something seen without having to take down the whole idea or sight in detail. “Spontaneous phrases that cannot be repeated, too vague for anything but one’s notebook.” Short-circuit language
  • “Don’t take photographs, draw; photography interferes with seeing, drawing etches it in the mind.”
  • Notebooks aren’t for home, but instead for work — more specifically field work. Diary in the field of strangeness.
  • Design notes for this one! Field notebook of short-circuit language out of the content we were provided? Colletive notebooks?

Notes from Elaine Gan, Anna Tsing, Heather Swanson and Nils Bubandt‘s Haunted Landscapes
  • “The hubris of conquerors and corporations makes it uncertain what we can bequeath to our next generations, human and not human”
  • “Endings come with the death of a leaf, the death of a city, the death of a friendship, the death of small promises and small stories.”
  • Private owners and public officials ask us to forget due to focus on short-term gains by pretending that environmental devastation doesn’t exits. Constant pressure to move forward and grow. Only focused on immediate power and profits.

Monday 9/14

// Discussion of Side Project //
1. Collective publication
  • Group publication 
2. Individual project
  • Relates to the main project but maybe goes in a different direction
  • Comes out of the material/reading of main project
  • Bootleg/B-side that comes out of first project
  • Content and from dictated by us
  • Based on ecology and the anthropocene
  • Can/should inform the publication
  • How to give form to own interests through self initiated projects?  

?? Brainstorm projects for next class ??
  • Bruno Latour Fan-Zine
  • P5.js sketch that shows how the anthropocene works through type?
    • essay on the anthropocene?
    • utilize time element so that the page degrades or reveals over a period of time?
  • processing halftone showing images?
    • become more or less clear?
  • Something that helps us understand what the content that we are working with?
  • Stickers or something to be posted around town that speak to the anthropocene
  • Interviews?
  • Weekly charette
  • Free and open, but should have its own logic/form
  • Leverage AI Dungeon as a method for teaching about the anthropocene?
  • Daily experiments vs something with a final form
  • Constraints?
    • Can we dictate a final form (digital, print, zine, portfolio)
    • Loose weekly prompt? Collective prompt generation?
    • Quick and loose in the vein of the language found in field notebooks
    • Start looser and then try to narrow over time
    • Strict formal constraints, looser conceptual prompts?

// Leticia Bernaus, Stella Brown, and Tamara Becerra Valdez Talk //
  • Paired with a masters or phd student in a different area of study (science, anthropology, etc.)
  • SB — “Anthropogenic moment”
  • TV — Questioning the archive
    • How are we archiving this research and creative output?
    • Can a field notebook be an archive?
    • How can our designed archive be reminiscent of a field notebook?
  • TV — How do we work with these individuals outside of charity and care?
    • horizontal structure
  • LB — Focused on sense of self in relation to the research
    • Video piece
    • How to best translate the video to print?
    • Flip-o-rama?
  • SB — The layers/geology of the Anthropocene
    • Can our publication be layered?
    • Layers of plastic vs natural printing substrates?
    • Coated vs uncoated stock?
  • TV — Exhibition did not tell full story
    • How can we as designers parse the material in order to better tell the full story?
    • Book as translated field notebook?
    • Book as a method of reading through the field work
  • JF — How to formalize excess of material?
    • SB  —  Everyone used a provided field notebook
      • Do we have access to the field notebooks?
      • Can they be used in the publication in some sense?
      • Are there ways for us to compartmentalize the material?
    • TV — Photographs taken by both UIC team and locals
      • Notes taken on coffee receipts, not in notebook
        • What hat does a field notebook actually look like?
        • Does it need to be a notebook or can it be anything that is written on?
      • Friction as how artists participate in the field work, artists not documentarians
    • LB — Did not use camera as a tool for documenting field work but instead focused on wins the camera as a creative tool. Organized digital files based on day and place
      • Can this publication exist as some sort of digital space that mimics a murky digital archive that a viewer can unfold at their own pace?
  • Academic exposition vs art catalog vs else?
    • SB — A artists we able to be plastic/liquid in comparison to the academic folks
    • Academics/scientists were resistant to the art aspect of it
      • Deep mapping
        • making maps multidimensional
          • history of land
          • history of settlers
          • stories of those working the land now
  • SB — art practice and academic works should be integrated
    • Do we include art and essays on left and right pages of spreads?
    • Bruno Latour catalogs as examples
      • http://www.bruno-latour.fr/books_and_edited_volumes.html
      • http://www.bruno-latour.fr/sites/default/files/downloads/RESET-MODERNITY-GB.pdf
      • http://www.bruno-latour.fr/sites/default/files/84-ICONOCLASH-GB.pdf
  • TV — Most interesting part what the info for the work, not the final product
    • Not necessarily interested in photos of the final work for the book
    • maybe the documentary material is a better bet?
      • Is the book focused more on the information and field notes then it is on the art itself?
      • Can we 3D print the text associated with Tamara’s work and then do a rubbing of it to include in the book as a way of documenting the process of their documentation/memory making?
  • LB — How do you show the notion of outsider-ness?
    • Are texts somehow placed within so that the viewer is always an outsider or is somehow more outside than one wold be when interacting with a traditional publication?
    • Are pages printed in reverse so that a viewer would need to read it in a mirror? Does that put someone outside of themself?
    • Inside-outside, outsioutside-inside
  • SB — Does want image of final sculpture in book
    • No geologic record, we are making the layer now
    • this is the anthropocene layer represented as a sculpture
    • No till farming practice
    • Indnddustrial farming practices
    • Focused on stratigraphy
    • Material List is important/should be included

Tuesday 9/15

Started in on publication model research for our Anthropocene group publication today. I am doing my best to think of and look for publications that are in the realm of academic publishing but also maybe operate in the world of art. Also thinking through things like group publications, portfolios as publications as well as multiple small publications housed in a larger publication.

I am also thinking that the Moonstrips Empire News example may be a good way for us to structure our independent/side project. Maybe we could all have the parameters of finding and reading one text on ecology/the anthropocene that we would then turn the concepts from into some sort of visual/poster. These could all be printed with the text (or a portion of it) on one side of the piece and our visualization on the other. At the end of the semester we could combine these into a group portfolio.

Wednesday 9/16

// Class Note Dump //
How do these things fit together globally?
How do we develop specific forms?
Axes of global and local?
How do we organize? Flat horizontal organization?
Dot Dot Dot Journal – http://www.dot-dot-dot.us/
  • Organization based on order of submission
The Serving Library – http://www.servinglibrary.org/
Digital field work of our process/production?
  • Sketching structure?
  • How do we include our own sketches/field work related to understanding the content?
  • What can we add?
Dive into what what content exists
Content mapping vs actual mapping?
  • Deep mapping?
Mentioning/making note of incompleteness
  • known unknowns
Do we have access to a timeline?
  • Is that a way of organizing the book?
  • Can we use timestamps on photos to guide order of content?
Google maps for content?
  • Aerial shots of sites
Layers as inspiration for form
Borders as inspiration for form
Unlikely that we can print full color
  • Likely process colors
  • Likely 2-color (plus all combinations)

?? type studies, focus on typographic basics and typography ??
  • Letter sized sheet format (or html at that size)
  • Focus on same text
  • Typographic semantics
    • Type size
    • headers
    • leading
    • kerning
    • etc
  • Black and white
  • No images
  • No Shapes
  • Everyone work on same text
    • “all have the same breath”
  • Read text and organize a concept
  • Develop and integrate a specific concept through the forms
  • Multiple ways of formalizing the concept
  • Concepts:
    • layering
    • sparks/short fieldwork text
    • engaging localities
    • documentation
    • obscuring information/making clear
    • decay/destruction
    • drought
    • locality/site specific
    • political vs ecological spaces
    • text made from natural artifacts of the actual world
    • geological force
    • breath
    • entanglement
    • obstruction

Saturday 9/19

Monday 9/21

// Class Notes Dump //
Not all folks involved want to share notes from the field
Artists are willing to work with us in whatever way
  • Open to collaboration
  • “this is what we have in mind, what do you think?”
Serial/evergreen publication/website the can be updated at a later date
Things we can work on now:
  1. Organization/form of content
    • print vs web
      • serial pub
      • blank pages and QR codes
    • shape/form of publicaiton
    • what can we do with the audio?
  2. What specific typographic forms can we implement?
    • explore through sketches
Draw to specific content in content report

// Scapegoat Journal //
Architecture journal >>> http://www.scapegoatjournal.org/
  • http://otherforms.net/scapegoat-11-life/
Form changes each issue based on content for each issue with a stable set of parameters
Always a:
  • cover
  • essays with titles
  • subheads
  • page numbers
  • footnotes
  • italics
  • images
  • sections/section headers
  • Images separate from text?
  • same grid

// Sketch Discussion //
How am I drawing boxes?
  • do they contain images?
  • do the images define the shape or should it be the other way around?
Is there logic to it?
  • something pulled from content?
  • recurring words something pulled from the text?
  • how to fit together anthropological and artistic work?
    • left and right aligned text boxes talking to each other?

!! There shouldn’t be any design elements not working for the concept !!
!! Everything carries the meaning !!

?? Concept all the way through text ??
  • Work with same content
  • bring in content if necessary
  • blow out entire essay/content with each concept

Tuesday 9/22

Wednesday 9/23

// Class Note Dump //
Glas, Jacques Derrida >>> https://www.google.com/search?q=glas+jacques+derrida&rlz=1C5CHFA_enUS777US777&sxsrf=ALeKk001oTssarnRLWHOJ83X5AwtIuEQAw:1600872566837&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi95rSFw__rAhVUJ80KHTqdC48Q_AUoAXoECDUQAw&biw=2227&bih=1289
How do we talk about these issues outside of the academy?
What is the point of the book? Who is the audience?

?? Think about the publication and how it could circulate ??
  • genre?
  • shape/form

?? What can we be working on ??

// Molly Doane Discussion //
Climate change is cover for injustice
Art and anthropology deals with:
  • how we talk about these issues outside fo the academy?
  • how do we find ways of representing things we feel are important?
Frankfurt School of thought:
Capitalism bought off working class through cheap goods (cheap because the cost are externalized on the environment)
  • How do you critique capitalism in this context?
  • information vs advertising
  • Critical art becomes important (adbusters)
More radical scholarship now as opposed to before
  • Activist anthropology
  • working within own political practice
  • based on own commitments
Leticia Bernhaus and Stella Brown about the accordion book

Monday 9/28

// Class Notes Dump //
1. Corwin / Stella : Northern Illinois
2. Tamara / Alize : Istanbul
3. Molly / Stella and Letiticia: Chicago community gardens
4. Zhe You Lee / Nathan Green : Cambodia <<<
5. Omur’s stuff : Konya <<<
6. Bruno LaTour : Master Class/Interview
7. Beate’s work <<<

Moholy-Nagy photograms
The expendable reader John mchale >>>  https://www.abebooks.com/Expendable-Reader-Articles-Art-Architecture-Design/22660324941/bd?cm_mmc=ggl-_-US_Shopp_Trade-_-naa-_-naa&gclid=Cj0KCQjwk8b7BRCaARIsAARRTL6Wq7Bl21eZvORPjk8S0ovYs19Je3JztO83AVJ0-HHNgr56VfCzB-oaAkx-EALw_wcB
Geoff han  >>> https://walkerart.org/magazine/physical-labor-an-interview-with-geoff-han
K-hole >>> http://khole.net/

Other ways to place shape into relationship with text
  • Weingart (desert sketches)
  • Ways of breaking type according to language
  • Can you use language to map onto shapes
  • Should the shapes be random?
  • shapes from photos or content we have?
  • Dig into specific work?

Info Design – Joost Grootens >>> https://vimeo.com/53597008

?? Type Sketch ??
  • black and white
  • letter size
  • choose a text and work through it (bruno latour Interview? Or Cambodia?)
?? Form ??
  • How/where does this thing live?

Wednesday 9/30

// Groups //
1) Corwin/Stella: Northern Illinois  — Emina, MiKealy, Mariah
2) Tamara/Alize: Istanbul — Yiyi, Bansri, Jiapei
3) Molly/Stella/Leticia: Chicago Community Gardens — Sarah, Anya, Grace
4) Zhe Yu Lee/Nathan Green: Cambodia — NA
5) Omur: Konya — Arda, Abinash ,MoMo
6) Bruno Latour — Oscar, Josh, Daniel
7) Beate Geissler — Nicole, Layne, Jenii

// Group Meeting //
survey the content and report back
what preliminary concepts might fit this content?
what are some global constraints that might organize all the (local) sections?
what overall generic or material form do you imagine for your section?

Preface and front matter
Latour interview

Experiments with sound and image from masterclass
How do we make academic concepts visual or digestible?

Site Specificity
  • Books of different form bound together

  • Under-filled spiral bind (1” worth of content with a 3” spiral bind)
  • pages left blank that can be printed at home at a later date

  • Blank pages for notes
  • Way of encouraging reader to treat their own site as a space for research into the anthropocene

// Beate Discussion //
Intersection of addiction and the anthropocene
Performance as format
  • freedom provided
  • collaging/montaging thoughts
Hopium Economy Script
We have been trained to separate things, we need to come together or sell we are doomed (“I think we are doomed anyway”)
Skinner – Behavioralist >>> https://www.simplypsychology.org/operant-conditioning.html

Brackets as model for diagrammatic text

Questions of alchemy and improving ourselves
Pathologize our behavior as a reaction to the world we live in
Substance (as abstraction) : drugs, tech, money, ???

Panzer Chocolate – Meth in chocolate for germans in WWII

martin behaim globe / earth apple >>> https://www.google.com/search?q=martin+behaim+globe&rlz=1C5CHFA_enUS777US777&sxsrf=ALeKk01cD6JlCue4blfhRlJ1BbJIsupMCA:1601482738999&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiU9pWOpJHsAhXLLc0KHUQrCYMQ_AUoAXoECCUQAw&biw=1359&bih=1338#imgrc=trUi2vkM3pSy9M&imgdii=9sLJmOVWEQLKDM >>> https://media.davidrumsey.com/rumsey/Size4/RUMSEY~8~1/168/12237021.jpg
  • related to technology and the techno-sphere
  • ways of contextualizing or confusing the world around us
  • trade and entertainment are represented
  • tangible and intangible
Fall Semester 2020

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Final Outputs

Learning Journal

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DES // 540 —— Research Studio
DES // 500 —— Political Ecology
DES // 520 —— Agathokakological Tendencies

ART // 520 —— Teaching Artists

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Monday 8/31

Started reading Rancière‘s “The Ignorant Schoolmaster” today and I feel like I see a lot of parallels between this first chapter, “An Intellectual Adventure”, and some of the early chapters of “Teaching as a Subversive Activity.” Most notably the notion that it is more important to teach students how to learn than what. To kill off the “guess what I’m thinking model.” This text has also really made me consider the empowerment behind teaching someone or leading someone to the ability to question and learn without being stifled by the authority of the educator. “There is stultification whenever one intelligence is subordinated to another.” Towards the end of the chapter it is mentioned that this type of self teaching/learning has been going on forever and to me it feels like we are walking into a new incarnation of it with this jump to digial learning and how that may blur what is considered education. In what ways is sitting through a zoom lecture different that learning something through YouTube? Is it the content covered or is it the confirmation of what you have learned in the form of a diploma? Who is to say you can’t kit-bash your own education through platforms like YouTube, Skillshare, Patreon, etc? Esspecially when so many designers/artists are self taught. Maybe we just have to remove the gatekeepers of our industries first.  

Thursday 9/3

Completed Chapters two, The Ignorant One’s Lesson, and three, Reason Between Equals this evening. In a section of the second chapter called “The Island of the Book” Rancière notes that the first rule of universal teaching is that one must learn something (in Jacotot’s case, Télémaque) and then equate everything else to that one thing. This was compared to the methods of the Old Master wherein a student would learn one thing before being told they could move to the next, and then the next after that, etc. The methods of the Old Master seem to align with that of traditional art and design schooling where students begin with foundations and progress from there, as well as with the Bauhaus model where students start at the outer ring and work their way in. I wonder though how design educators could break from this. Would it be a matter of teaching foundations alongside other classes throught the tenure of the student? Or would educators need to instead create/instruct students to create some sort of Télémaque. Could that be a text provided at the beginning of each course (likely related to the course) or would it better serve students if it was a collection of design examples found or scrapped from history/online/from books by the students. Its is my thought that this collevtive, collection of design examples could be the Télémaque that serves as an equalty of intelligence because was created wihout the input of the instructor, therefore not imposing an inequality of intelligence. I wonder too how you can teach something like design without using the language of the Old Masters; would that mean teaching design without ever speaking in the language of design as it stands today?

Another important concept from this chapter want the idea that “everything is in everything”, that there is equal intelligence in all things we create and that in general there is no hierarchy of intellectual capacity. Meaning that no one being is inherenty more intelligent than another human being, in stead intelligence manifests based on the amount of energy put into wanting to learn. And that if students/people realize that they are equal with all others then they can be emancipated from the stultification of the Old Masters and can carve their own path forward to the “land of knowledge”.

Additionally this chapter speaks to the Socratic method of teaching and how Socrates interrogates in order to instruct while the emancipator interrogates to be instructed. The ingorant master does not ask questions to see if students learned what they wanted the students to learn but instead ask questions to see that students are in fact learning. The ignorat master asks questions to see what students have uncovered while teachign themselves. I wonder how an ignorant master can teach a subject that they are not truly ignorant in, and how they could reduce themself to the level of ignorance. It seems that Rancière would call for the educator to do nothing more than verify that the work has been done and that autonomous learning is taking place, but what does this do for things like critique? Do you remove critique all together? This seems rash as I have learned more in some crits than I had all semester. Maybe instead this calls for critiques only amongst peers, critiques amongst individuals of comparative intelligence where one is less likely to stultify another. 

Chapter three delves into notions of equalty that I would likely better understand if I was not at the breaking point of my ability to stare at, and read from my computer screen (if only printer ink wasn’t so damn expensive). As my mind lapsed I did pick out a handful of ideas. First in the section that spoke of man being a will served by intellegence it was noted that for the universal method to be sucessful one must seek to repeat and seek to re-see what they have seen and that this form of repitition is the most frequent mode of exercising intelligence. Also making note that repetition is boring and often gives way to the vice of laziness. I think though that this drices home a lot of what this chapter gets at in regards to the equality of intelligence. Submitting to the fact that we are not all born equal but that through repitition equality of intelligence can be cultivated and maintained. That the best of classis “genius poets” were only so through hard work and repitition. It is also worth pointing out the bit about the ambitious losing waht they have gained in the way of intelectual power by not judging themselves as inferior to anyone and that it is better to judge oneself as equal to everyone else and everyone else as equal to oneslef. 

Friday 9/4

// Class Note Dump //
Can you have improvisation (freedom of ideas/spontaneous invention) with rules?
Can you have hierarchy and equality? Is it better to have a moderator than hierarchy?
Rules should be minimal.
Assuming that this exercise of class rules is based loosely on the immaculate heart college rules, then maybe we should consider that these rules are less about being hard-and-fast rules and are more so guidelines for a successful practice realized in a collective space. The IHC rules feels like more of a manifesto than a set of rules. Also “there should be new rules next week”  really implies that these rules are flexible, evolving, plastic.
Minimal rule making/minimal parenting
Professionalization versus students following their own practice?
Free classroom in an unfree society?
Knowledge growth and self exploration
  • cost of education as exchange for hard professional skills
  • how does that affect students or curriculum that skews more towards the theoretical or free/self-expression?
What are the skills necessary to be successful within a specific context?
Conceptual thinking and hard skills are two sides of the same coin and need to exist together.
  • Can you implement hard skills/technical skills through projects/coursework that is more conceptual in nature?
  • Can you implement course work in which students only realize they have learned hard skills/technical skills in hindsight?
  • Do you emancipate through conceptual means while also requiring the use of certain programs in order to implement hard skills without stultifying?

Is this not about teaching astrophysics and more about teaching someone that they have the ability to learn/teach themself astrophysics based on the intelligence they already possess?
Equality of intelligence between two beings moderated by a third intelligence (Télémaque)?
Fact vs meaning?  The Télémaque is a fact? Is something a fact because it is present in the physical world? Our interactions with the text both happen as a fact, we can all read the book and it is all the same book which make that a fact. You may come to different conclusions or choose to not believe, but the fact remains that the book remains the same to all of us?
Hyper-normalization argues that governments, financiers, and technological utopians have, since the 1970s, given up on the complex "real world" and built a simpler "fake world" run by corporations and kept stable by politicians. (Wikipedia)
Unchanging product of intelligence in the form of a text?
Scientism – the promotion of science as the best or only objective means by which society should determine normative and epistemological values. The term scientism is generally used critically, implying an unwarranted application of science in situations considered not amenable to application of the scientific method or similar scientific standards. (Wikipedia)


>>> Draft core questions about the book once finished <<<

Thursday 9/10

Completed the final two chapters of “The Ignorant Schoolmaster”. The fourth chapter, “The Society of Contempt” furthered thoughts on equality as well as nitions of contempt it also spoke of politics and rhetoric which felt timely in how I read it. In the section title “The Law of Gravity” Rancière speaks of individuality of intelligence, noting that it is indivisible and cannot belong to any group because if it did then it would cease to be an individual intelligence. This notion reminds me of something a mentor once told me (although I can’t remember who), that it is valuable to speak your mind because something that may seem obvious enough to you for you not to say it may not be obvious at all to someone else. This makes me think that we are all in control of our own uniquely equal intelligence that is/are defined by our lived experiences. Rancière continues making note that our immaterial minds cannot be linked together except by aking them submit to the laws of matter. Meaning that in order to link two intelligences there must be something that lives in the material world (outside of the mind?) — in this case Télémaque. There is also the idea that “everything happens as though the intelligence lived in a double world.” (77) One world for each of the inteligences linked together through the material mediator.

In a section titled “Inequality’s Passion” contempt is brought into view. “Social evil does not come from the first person who bethought himself to say, “This is mine.” It comes from the first person who bethought himself to say, “You are not my equal.” Inequality is not the consequence of anything; it is a primitive passion.”(80) “It is easier to compare oneself, to establish social exchange as that swapmeet of glory and contempt where each person receives a superiority in ex change for the inferiority he confesses to. Thus the equality of reasonable beings vacillates within social inequality.”(80) Are these quotes not reminiscent of what happens every day in creative/visual practices? As soon as you start comparing yourself/your work to others you are fucked. But I wonder if there is any form of positive comparison in the form of critique or holding your work up to another in order to critique oneself or is any form of critique fraught with inequality and therefore unfit for the Jacotot method?

Speaking of Athenians; “What made them surrender alternatively to the one or the other was not their ignorance or their versatility. It was that this speaker or that one, at a particular moment, knew best how to incarnate the specific stupidity of the Athenian people: the feeling of its obvious superiority over the imbecile people of Thebes. In short, what moved the masses was the same thing that animates superior minds, the same thing that makes society turn on itself from one age to the next: the sentiment of the inequality of intelligence, the sentiment that distinguishes superior minds only at the price of confusing them with universal belief.”(86)
    • Are we any different today? Are we not divided into camps and kept there by telling ourselves that we are of superior intelligence?

“If authority depends on intellectual superiority, what will happen on the day when an administrated person, himself also convinced of the inequality of intelligence, thinks his prefect is an imbecile? Won’t it be necessary to test ministers and prefects, burgermeisters and office heads, to verify their superiority? And how will we be sure that some imbecile, whose shortcomings when recognized would lead to citizens’ disobedience, might not slip in among them?”
    • Most of our current administration?

The highlight of this chapters for me was in the section “How to Rave Reasonably” where it was said that “when two men meet each other, they are polite as though they believed each other equal in intelligence; but if one of them is found deep in the middle of the other’s country, there is no longer as much ceremony: he abuses his force like his reason: everything about the intruder denotes a barbarian origin; he is treated without ceremony like an idiot. His pronunciation causes peals of laughter; the awkwardness of his gestures, everything about him, announces the bastard species to which he belongs.”(92) Which prompted though around what this could mean when looked at through the lens of interactions had on the internet whether it be through social media, forums, whatever? How can we apply some of the knowledge found in this text to the socio-political environment of social media? I say we spur more equality of intelligence on the internet through ignorant comment sections. 

Admittedly, the final chapter was a bit of a slog as it felt like I was reading more of the same but there were some good nuggets. One being that if you must learn through the ways of the Old Masters or Socratic methods, you can use your educators as the thing, truth/fact to be learned in lieu of a Télémaque. “There are a hundred ways to instruct, and learning also takes place at the stultifiers’ school; a professor is a thing, less easily handled than a book, undoubtedly, but he can be learned: he can be observed, imitated, dissected, put back together; his person, available for observation, can be tested.”(102) 

There was a point made that when asked “what must he do to organize the education that the government owes the people and that he intends to give them according to the best methods? Nothing, answered the Founder; government doesn’t owe the people an education, for the simple reason that one doesn’t owe people what they can take for themselves. And education is like liberty: it isn’t given; it’s taken.”(106) This is interesting as education is always heralded as the great equalizer and that progressives (myself included) generally call for the reduction/removal of costs. I wonder if this notion of the government not owing any of us an education holds true if we can instead encourage people to kit-bash an education for themselves. Althought this only really holds true if industry is willing to hire individuals without a traditional education. Maybe this works more in industries (like design and the arts) that do not require some sort of accreditation or certificate. The contemporary ideas surrounding this notion are addressed alter in the capter when it is said  “social institutions, intellectual corporations, and political parties now came knocking on families’ doors, addressing themselves to all individuals for the purpose of educating them. Heretofore, the University and its baccalaureate had only controlled access to a few professions: a few thousand lawyers, doctors, and academics. All the other social careers were open to those who formed themselves in their own way. It wasn’t, for example, necessary to have a baccalaureate to be a poly technician. But with the system of perfected explications came the installation of the system of perfected examinations.”(130) Which seems to account for our current situation where everyone “needs” to obtain some form of higher education in order to prove that they can think and learn as a prerequisite for desireable employment. 

// Core Questions for Discussion//

  1. Must you have students that want to learn if you wish to be an emancipatory educator? If a student doesn’t want to learn, are they better to learn in a way that is stultifying or will that only compound their unwillingness to learn? 
  2. If people are inherently drawn or equipped with this method of self learning, and if even today people are short on time and resources what is stopping everyone from kit-bashing an education through resources like skillshare, YouTube, masterclass, etc?
  3. In a desing/art education setting, what happens if students are asked choose/create the Télémaque in the form of collected materials?
  4. If you are teaching a subject that you do know, how do you reduce yourself to the role of the ignorant one in order to compel autonomous action in students?
  5. Does this method require us do away with the idea of critique in design and art education? Could the critique be kept if only the student’s peers participate, as they are of comparable intelligence in the subject and therefore less likely to stultify one another?
  6. How to you bring equality to a practice (art/design) where you can see/perceive inequality?
  7. How can we apply some of the knowledge found in this text to the socio-political environment of social media?
  8. What would an ignorant comment section look like?
  9. Then can you actually use the universal method in teaching specific vocations or skillsets?

Friday 9/11

// Class Note Dump //
Adam J Greteman PHD — Philosopher in Education
  • Foucault-ian
Consensus vs Discensus
  • Which is democracy actually about
  • dissenting from the “sensible”
  • consensus =/= equality?
Starts from an understanding of equality as opposed to trying to prove that first.
Do we become teachers/educators because we know better?
  • Students come into it from a different time than us
“The why keeps going”
How do you teach those without a will to learn?
  • "The ignorant person will learn by himself what the master doesn’t know if the master believes he can and obliges him to realize his capacity” (15)
  • “Whoever teaches without emancipating stultifies. And whoever emancipates doesn’t have to worry about what the emancipated person learns. He will learn what he wants, nothing maybe.”(18)
  • We might think about the competing purposes (socialization, social mobility, democratic equality, subjectivization) of "school" (as an institution) and if the purposes of "universal teaching" do not align with such purposes.
  • School disciplines will out of us
  • American Public Shcools
    • Creating democratic citizenry (exclusionary)
    • Social mobility (train people to fit certain role in society, different tracks)
    • Socialized
    • We become a subject (sense of who we are as a person)
  • Fall down rabbit hole of how to apply this to schools versus how to unpack assumptions we have around school system we grew up in
  • teaching and learning =/= school
Social vs Society:
  • any relation is social
  • emancipated individuals within and unreasonable society run by madmen
  • how do you make a society of emancipated people through leveling-up?
  • we are born into certain societies (families)
  • intimate and immediate vs abstract and systematic
Students connect ideas to ideas they already know
  • you can always connect to prior learning
    • which is preordained by others (parents, teachers, etc)
Waldorf School — https://waldorfanswers.org/Waldorf.htm#:~:text=The%20goal%20of%20Waldorf%20or,path%20through%20life%20as%20adults
  • this/Montessori still suffer from same issues as universal teaching, they are still around but have not been expanded/replicated.
Authority vs Authorizing teachers
  • threatening or emancipatory?
  • unlearning reliance on authority
Unthethering idea from identity?
Ranciere is not interested inner truth but instead is interested in the surface/simple things
  • simplicity of learning through the lords prayer
Education vs Teaching vs School
Foucault – “imagine if schools were as pleasurable and exciting as sex”
  • institutions built on banality/unpleasure
  • why are schools so boring, in general
Imagining a society of equals from within a society of unequals
  • how can we picture this?
“Equality was not an end to attain, but a point of departure, a supposition to maintain in every circumstance. Never would truth speak up for it. Never would equality exist except in its verification and at the price of being verified always and everywhere” (138)

Friday 9/18

// Class Notes Dump //
“Please help me understand”
  • Empathy towards students
CAPE Recording will be posted online

Comfort is necessary for students to participate
Critiquing a piece is different from speaking about a text because intelligence is taken into consideration
Reading responses as ways of gauging interest
  • If a student who is quiet is following a line of discussion in their writing, encourage them to speak in discussion
5 seconds of silence
  • Hard to get a word in otherwise
Opportunity to send video of thoughts instead of participating in class
Difference between being shy vs being voiceless

How do we situate these words in the text:
Negligence - failure to engage students/students left out of the system/Adjuncts?
Politics of the commons = a resistance to enclosure?
Included vs excluded?
Surrounded can also be subjugated (inversion)
  • Reversal of Hollywood mode
  • Surround as false image?
Surrounds is empowering to subjugated peoples
  • many vs one, subjugated vs subjugator
“Threatened with democracy”
“The false image and its critique threaten the common with democracy, which is only ever to come, so that one day, which is only never to come, we will be more than what we are. But we already are. We’re already here, moving. We’ve been around. We’re more than politics, more than settled, more than democratic. We surround democracy’s false image in order to unsettle it. Every time it tries to enclose us in a decision, we’re undecided. Every time it tries to represent our will, we’re unwilling. Every time it tries to take root, we’re gone (because we’re already here, moving).” (19)
“We don’t want to be correct and we won’t be corrected. Politics proposes to make us better, but we were good already in the mutual debt that can never be made good,”(20)
Critiquing reaffirms?

Dianna Frid — Director of graduate studies
Hands-on vs hands-off
  • Cheryl is definitely hands-on
Student work presented as student work versus teachers work?
Sometimes as an educator you can disappear as an artist
“Juicy polemics vs uncomfortable silence”
Knowledge of how to navigation the education system
Teaching is lonely because you cannot ask students “how am I doing?”

Thursday 9/24

Reading response to Lee Lozano Dropout Piece by Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer : I found this text compelling in that prior to reading it I had no experience with Lozano. I find this the notion that the life she lived was her art (something in oppostion to living your craft?). When the Dropout Piece was first discussed in the text it seemed to me that it was some sort of fin art/avant-garde oral history. I really appreciate her commitment to not being neutral, and in fact living life in extremes (even if it seemingly casued her trouble later in life). I think it relates to the times we live in where everything seems to be operating within some sort of extreme, al of which seems to produce their own in tangible “pieces”. I (probably unlike my art school peers) was a bit astounded by the work that she was doing. I have some familiarity with concrete poetry and the instructions of Sol Lewitt, but am not familiar with artists producing work that consists of published thoughts, actions or desires. It seems obvious after reading this text, and familiarizing myself with artists mentioned. This makes me question how publicaiton acts as art in other ways. Obviously there are art books and books that are publicaitons of artists work, but how else can publishing (digital or otherwise) live as an art prictice. If you think in terms of Lozano, this digital learning journal could be seen as a work of art, and if that is true then are the thoughts/writing contained in the Evernote™ app not also works of art waiting to be published? This leads me to think about how this text realtes to education since it was read within the context of a class aimed at teaching artists. Can classes be works of art through their publishing? Do the collective learning journals created as part of this course make up the content that is to be printed/published to the page of the class? Last week we talked about artists who teack using student work as their art practice. Prevoiusly I have had thoughts of leveraging the class as an opportunity or input for publishing. Shit... lost that thought. Guess I shouldn’t have tried making my own Grass Piece.

Friday 9/25

// Lozano Discussion //
Failure not as a binary opposite to success but as a generative force.
  • the accident
  • slow failure
    • development of the fork
  • rizomatice failure
    • breakdown of communities?
What does failure tell us?
What do we want from our work?
Leeward island leading back to self.

Syllabi are subject to change and evolve (and they should)
  • change based on student needs
  • syllabus as contract for university
  • education is a project that is sold

“We should not be art workers but art dreamers”

Keaton Fox 9:57 AM
I think there are more artists in the world that don't call themselves artists as opposed to artists who do give themselves that title.

Jared Christopher Kelley 9:57 AM
^^ and they often understand living life in terms of their practice instead of shaping their practice around their life

Useful art vs useless art
  • art removed form everyday life and put into the institution as a tool of profit
  • use for everyone vs/turned into use for capital

Is Aesthetics a Cross-Cultural Cateategory? >>> http://www.denisdutton.com/weiner_review.htm#:~:text=Aesthetics%20Is%20a%20Cross%2Dcultural%20Category%2C%20edited%20by%20James%20Weiner.&text=Morphy%20insists%20he%20and%20Coote,of%20art%20in%20all%20cultures

Reject everything you’ve learned in order to transform yourself into a blank slate to rebuild from?

Why use piece vs performance?
Speech act >>> https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/speech-acts/
  • act that has a material purpose in the world
  • creating something through spoken language
Drop out piece in relation to social media >>> web 2.0 suicide machine

Oleksandra Chuprina 10:33 AM
i was just thinking was that possible for her to drop out being noticed because she was already well known? ... otherwise there are people who are dropping out with no notice;

~“Let the archeologists worry about this”

// Undercommons Discussion //
Austin McCann 11:25 AM
Maybe I understand it like this: the academy offers resources, but the devil's bargain is having to engage with putting oneself into relation to it (either pro- or con-) whereas they are arguing for stealing from it for one's own ends

Moten/Undercommons Podcast >>> https://open.spotify.com/episode/3TR8Q43wYOJTGdEjZtjJoY?si=WvDclyWJRLSRz1hoBLWvZg

What is stealing?
Who ho can have an anti-capitalist project within capitalism?
Fall Semester 2020

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Final Outputs

Learning Journal

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DES // 540 —— Research Studio
DES // 500 —— Political Ecology

DES // 520 —— Agathokakological Tendencies

ART // 520 —— Teaching Artists 

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Thursday 8/27

Our first assignment was to read “The Four Temperaments in Design” by Tommi Vasko. This text lifts the notion of four personlity types (Sanguine/Stabtable Extrovert, Phlegmatic/Stable Introvert, Choleric/Labile Extrovert, Melancholic/Labile Introvert) from Kim Stanley Robinson’s “Red Mars”. The reading took those four personalities and reworked them to fit within the practice of deisgn (Sanguine Entrepreneur/Stable Extrovert, Phlegmatic Academic/Stable Introvert, Choleric Accelerator/Labile Extrovert, Melancholic Autonomist/Labile Introvert). This essay stresses the imortance of each and that each type is one part of a whole and that each is necessary to advance the practice of design (even if the industry seems to push on type over the others). It made me feel that there are issues that “good design” likely falls into the SE and CA quadrants. This his reading required me to think deeply about the character I currently play, characters I have played and maybe the character that I hope to play in the future. After reading this essay we were required to develop our own anonymous designer/character either based on ourself or someone else. 

// Reading Notes Dump //
How do I make this character an “other” to myself because even if my temperament remains the same, the way that I see and have seen myself will change over time as I grow, learn and experience more that life has to offer. Maybe in the future I will seem so strange to the character the I am currently playing. Maybe I am already some strange “other” to a character I have played in the past. Is it possible that I am already some sort of “other” to the friends I have had since childhood? Especially those who have not seemed to change. Although maybe they have changed as well and I am yet to notice the new character they are playing. 
In regards to design, I feel as though graduate school has poured into me a new way of thinking about design. Looking at design from the standpoint of research. I hope to work towards having the knowledge to author my own work. Work that is meaningful and timely. But on the flip side the pursuit of knowledge seems so daunting. I it feels like an insurmountable task, an unscalable mountain. Especially when getting high and checking out is so much easier. And that doesn’t even take into consideration the feeling of inferiority or “imposter syndrome”.
How are power and violence intrinsically related to design? Is it that we are the tricksters that give faces to capitalism. Because it can be assumed that power and violence come from control, and control generally come from the control of capital. But if it weren’t for us, the merry band (brand?) of tricksters would it be so easy for corporations to hoard wealth (especially in the overly designed and calculated world of the online startup that is currently killing local businesses). We so often talk about “good design” without stopping to think about what good means. When so often good in relation to design is based on being good in a formal sense — a formal sense that also fits within the Eurocentric design — without ever considering what being good means from a formal sense. Advertisement for lotto tickets can be formally good while also being morally reprehensible (even if profits go to education).
It is actually insane that we pay so much to adobe, a company that would cease to exist without us. Then again maybe the problem lies in design education and the weight it puts on design production through the use of their products. Could educators empower students to break free from the binding irons of adobe software by only teaching the principles of design through open source and creative commons software like javascript/precessing. I truly wonder if that could change the way that students think about design. I wonder if that could bring the profession back to where it started with more precision from the hand and less reliance on one monolithic tech company, of if it would even encourage them to build their own, one-off programs to solve specific design problems.
SE: Stable Extrovert
The extroverted, influencer designer who loves #tacos and hates #inserttrendingpoliticalthinghere. May do things for good, and I believe does good things but at the end of the day it all feels like inauthentic marketing, EVEN WHEN they are promoting something of value. Maybe this is due to their status/visibility or maybe they have always been an actor of some sort.
CA: Labile Extrovert
Shit, maybe this is the thing that I hope to be, although I am not sure I am intellectual, experimental or active actually live in this group. This group in its purest form is likely the type to be producing shitpost memes about the SE sect and the fact that they are constant in marketing mode (shit, maybe this is me). The is also the “fine art” sect or at least they want to be as much as a designer can be a fine artist. I think I aspire to this but am too confined by both a suburban upbringing and cloistered life of small boxes.
PE: Stable Introvert
Wait, maybe THIS is the ultra intellectual group that seem so far away from where I stand. Not just the type to speculate or muse about the handful of things they know, but instead the type with the deep knowledge to actually teach you something or to actively effect change through knowledge and design labor. I wonder if I will be able to break into the academic world, to become a professor without this as a strength. How little PE is too little to be barred from the gilded walls of academia? Am I too stupid — or put more eloquently — not “well read”.
MA: Labile Introvert
The true outsider that the CA secretly wants to be. Is this group constantly questioning why they are a designer or how they fit into the oppressive, capital bound system that design can often be? Maybe this is the most pure form of design, the ultra DIY, bottom-up sect that is not concerned with wealth but instead with connection with others through design and personhood. I wonder if I am am or hope to be a little bit of this person too.
It makes sense that the vast majority of the design community/industry is tied to the SE quadrant, I wonder too if that is why I find it so damaging to the ego to look at “good design” on platforms like instagram. Work that gets liked and reposted often seems so far from the work I produce making me wonder why I am even pursuing a career in design at all. I have no drive to produce work like that, but I also want to feel some of that validation. Maybe by becoming some combination of SE and CA I can make work that resonates with me and maybe others. Maybe a dash of MA to even it all out could help, because god knows I don’t read enough or with enough proficiency to fall into the PE camp. Even then, would I like what I see or would I still be chasing the coattails of those making a living on the SE track of design. 
I am here for this combined effort and respect of each camp. I  am for all groups lifting each other, in turn lifting our profession as a whole.

Tuesday 9/1

We drafted the character we will be working with for the next part of our project via Slack. From here we will be creating a set of up to ten rules that will be followed in order to create a mask that reppresents this anonymous character. We will be passing this set of rule to a third person that will then create the mask. The character that I drafted gos by the name MF SOON so you better believe that rule number onw will be to make a mask that mimics the one worn by Metal Fingers himself. In this session pouya and I also tlaked about how these characters and the pluralverse created through each of them could live in the form of a publication. Right now his idea for the calss is that this would exist as some form of web publication but we also discussed notions of finding ways to have a printed form as well. One idea thrown out would be a print-ready pdf exported from the site that would be generative/specific to each viewers visit to the site. Not sure how this would happen? Maybe p5? No clue.

Monday 9/7

Response to Theory in the Wild by Jack Halberstam and Tavia Nyong’o : Wildness as shown here is maybe best put through a phrase used at the very end of the text, discursive chaos. An upending of current hegemonic structures through a wilding of thought that leads to thoughtful or impactful discussion. How can theories, tangible, speculative, or otherwise lead us to think differently about the reality of our colonized, white-washed modes of living? This makes me wonder how designers-as-authors can have an impact on the world around us through the production as well as dissemination of ideas that are outside of the traditional cannon of what is publishable material appropriate for dissemination to the masses through power of self publishing. The notion of wildness also makes me think of ecology and the effect we have on our surroundings (the effect of colonized life on other modes of living?). I know that this is not necessarily what is meant by wild in this sense, but it is interesting to me that through the term wild one can draw connections between neglected land and cast-aside points of view/lives. Other similar lines could likely be drawn, through wild, between commercial components of wilderness (REI and state parks) to commerce’s coopting of black and queer voices to move product. Can every designer, regardless of temperament, play a role in the coliseum of discursive chaos or must you be of the phlegmatic academic or melancholic autonomist ilk. Must I be the author of these wild and discursive ideas, or is it enough to be a tool of implementation? That said, it seems like the first step towards meaningful action would be to find the wild within one’s self.

Tuesday 9/8

Today in class we responded to/discussed the text and it was interesting —— but maybe not suprising —— that we all reacted differently. I think that the point or goal of this text was to frame wildness in a positive or positvly disruptive sense (even through violent means). This was not the reaction across the board which was nice to hear. Oscar made a good point about this text not really making note of the oppositional (negative) wild force that appears when a (positive) wild force arrises. This was framed through a colonial/setteler lens in that indigenous peoples were seen as “wild” but in reality the colonizers (”alien force”) were truly wild in their eradication of those originally occupying this land. It seemed like a lot of this discussion revolved around this notion of wild being represented by an untamed environent —— again, through a colonial/setteler lens —— which felt maybe misguided due to the nature of this text being more related to the wilding of theory/ideas. Specifically ideas or views that exist on the periphery. Other good discusion revolved around how our notion of wild has been framed through modernist/enlightenment modes of thinking, which makes me hopeful for the decolonizing/decopuling nature of this class. Good text to lead into the semester. 

// Class Note Dump //
Reframing of the negative form of what it means to be wild. Upending the system/order of modernity
Natural things being repressed in contemporary civilization
Gadget or critical lens to be used as a tool (kaleidoscope of the wild)
Wayward — difficult to control or predict because of unusual or perverse behavior
Reclamation of words and flipping them on their heads
Embracing how you are perceived vs constantly conforming
  • Imperfect/impermanent definitions?
  • Importance of counter narratives 
How do we become feral? Oppositional and questioning in nature. Be a glitch in the system!
Naming the wildness (i.e. anarchy) removes its power? Wild is a moving target/pluralistic? What about decolonization?
Unbossed >>> https://vimeo.com/243945394

Wildness is no longer based on environment, but instead based on ideas?

What we call wildness is a civilization other than our own. – Thoreau
In Wildness is the preservation of the World. – Thoreau
The most alive is the wildest. – Thoreau

Wild begets wild >>> Those seen as being wild are often treated as such (usually through wild means)
  • Indigenous people vs colonizers (who was really “wild”?)

Danger in simplifying to understand?

Social contract theory — https://blog.supplysideliberal.com/post/2018/6/17/the-social-contract-according-to-john-locke#:~:text=John%20Locke's%20version%20of%20social,right%20to%20be%20a%20vigilante

“What if, rather than fighting the chaos or explaining it, what if instead of locating the chaos and mastering it, we linger in the void and catch a glimpse of what Muñoz dubbed “the punk rock commons” or “the chaos of the everyday”?”

Friday 9/11

Having swapped our instructions, I got to work on creating a mask for Mr. Hongdae who is a “pioneer” in the design world who I must know “without a doubt”. But as many times as I tried rereading my character sheet I could not seem to place who it was based off of because of how vaguely it was written. I am thinking that maybe is is not actually based on any one designer but is instead a vague generalizaiton of many design pioneers. The instructions gave me more to work from, but did not seem to realte to the character sheet at all. In sketching my mask I found it difficult to not produce things that felt like primitive masks that felt appropriative so instead I just got to work with the materials I had on hand (chicken wire, paste, paper, cardboard, egg cartons, etc.). My first working session lead me to this. 

I continued to hammer away at the character. Implementing more items from my list of instructions (lyrics from a favorite indie artist, dyed hair, a traditional tattoo, something off the menu of my favorite cafe, a photo of something I want from a major retailer, and a photo of my favorite music venue that is shut down). I included these items by prining off text and images that I then rubbed with vegetable oil to make the paper translucent and then applied them to the mask with paste. The food from my favorite cafe could have ultimately gotten me in some hot water because I chose an image of cheese grits which lent a yellow complexion to my mask. Something that was pointed out to me as being yellow face as the surname Hongdae is a riff on a cultural/creative hot spot in Seoul. 

Additonal reactions to my mask at this point were ... uh ... good?

Fortunately I was able to course-correct thanks to Brit recently painting her office “millenial pink”. After a good bit of painting/dry brushing I was able to get to a point where the character is hopefully more interesting while also being inoffensive. In addition to the pink paint I also dipped into some of Brit’s makeup to really bring the mask to life. I am feeling like I landed somewhere in the world of Wayne White (with a bit of Buffalo Bill). 


Monday 9/14

Response to The Coloniality of Gender by Maria Lugones : While I was aware that the idea of third or additional genders was something that existed in Native American cultures, I was dumbfounded to realize how much of an effect western/eurocentric colonial capitalism had to do with the removal of those practices. It is also interesting to me that we are finally coming back around to a point of understanding (albeit very slowly and through a whitewashed lens). Often we think of utopias as something we are striving for in the future, but in terms of gender it seems as if peoples like the Yourba had already figured it out through their notion of non-binary gender roles prior to the forced installation of a patriarchal hierarchy. Also in the example of the Yuma, we see gender designations based on dreams and inclination towards certain tings in their environment. The idea that a woman dreaming of weapons being gendered as male in the Yuma tribe in incredibly interesting. First because it seems to avoid the gendering of bodies at birth, instead waiting until an individual can form or dream up their idea vocation/gender. And second because this could mean so much for our contemporary society. So often certain practices/hobbies/interests are gendered. I wonder what it would mean for contemporary society if gender was instead tied to temperament and inclination? I think it would be better to remove gender bias from all vocations but I do wonder what the Yuma way of gendering would mean for our contemporary society. I guess you would first have to resolve issues found in the patriarchy because it seems that at the top of most precessions you find men. This is interesting to me though. I have always been interested in the arts and not really at all interested in “male” things like sports — why are women who are into sports called guy’s girls or tom boys — I  think that at times this may have cast a more feminine light on me amongst my peers. If we were operating in the Yuma society would I be considered of the female gender? I guess not since I am and have always felt in line with the gender I was assigned at birth, but it is an interesting thought nonetheless. Another thing that jumped out at me was the collusion between the colonizing force and the patriarchy of these traditionally matriarchal societies/cultures. And how the colonization of these cultures hit the female population in a much harder way in that they moved from holding positions of respect/power to becoming subordinated not only to the meant of their own culture, but to all members of the colonizing culture, something the idea of intersectionality make painfully obvious. I wonder what liberation all people would gain through the untethering of gender. How could a post-genderd (or a reverting to a pre-genderd) society operate in a way that makes everything more inclusive because power is not dictated by our genitals? Grated that utopia would also have to make considerable headway in the areas of both race and our current global, capitalist structure of power. I also wonder what I can do as a designer (and aspiring educator) to help spur action towards these ends (especially since I wear the face of a colonizer).

Tuesday 9/15

What are the main arguments?
  • critique of race and gender not being intersectional –  Quijano
  • critiquing white bourgeois feminism
  • next step after intersectionality
  • as a way to reframe how we are thinking about gender
    • more holistic/intertwined approach towards power structures
      • can’t argue for one issue at a time, they are all intersecting
      • oppression happens on multiple levels at any one time
Biological Dimorphism
  • not everyone is born xx or xy and you may or may not identify as such
“Race is no more mythical and fictional than gender, both powerful fictions” (12)
  • Genender vs sex
    • Construct vs biological assignment
  • Race vs genetics
    • appearance vs biology
What are things we have been told that we need to question or reevaluate in the way that Lugones if questioning Quijano?
Why is it important to have two genders in a modern heteronormative society?
  • introduces power in a specific way
  • subjugates women to men
  • tied to reproduction
    • gender in cases of intersex people depends on substantiality of their genitals (not a substantial enough of a penis as to successfully penetrate a female)
Leaving out female accomplishments in history
Why write in this academic way?
  • legitimizing self within academic structure versus decolonizing academia by writing for everyone
  • Academia comes from a place of privilege
  • How accessible should academic texts/texts around decolonization be?
Foucault – order of things >>> https://is.muni.cz/el/1423/jaro2013/SOC911/um/Michel_Foucault_The_Order_of_Things.pdf
Christianity – Order of men in relation to gods and angels
Plato – Allegory of the cave
  • hard to believe the person who has broken free because all you know are shadows on the wall
King Kong Theory >>> https://muse.jhu.edu/book/14515

// Christopher Lee Talk //
Assistant professor at Pratt Institute
  • studied at OCAD
    • corporate design pedagogy
  • Sandburg Institue in Amsterdam
Interested in Metahaven (yusss)
Not knowing and not having money can condition a practice
  • Thesis looked into alternative currencies as a genre of design practice
  • crypto/bitcoin
  • local/complimentary currencies
Diana Taylor – performance theorist >>> https://www.amazon.com/Archive-Repertoire-Performing-Cultural-Americas/dp/0822331233/ref=pd_lpo_14_t_0/146-5114592-0350953?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=0822331233&pd_rd_r=a8110a3a-60cc-4690-a1c3-3bbe31458138&pd_rd_w=hALWA&pd_rd_wg=Q8iSk&pf_rd_p=7b36d496-f366-4631-94d3-61b87b52511b&pf_rd_r=GJVVMB3Y1WFAZT3WJS04&psc=1&refRID=GJVVMB3Y1WFAZT3WJS04
Design is only seen in NA as a client focused/commercial practice
  • constrained by desire of commissioner
If you call it money and it is as accepted as money is it not money?
David Graber anarchist anthropologist >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fragments_of_an_Anarchist_Anthropology
Yuri Kochiyama >>> https://www.google.com/search?gs_ssp=eJzj4tTP1TcwjbcwqTJg9OKrLC3KVMjOT87IrEzMTQQAbTgIsQ&q=yuri+kochiyama&rlz=1C5CHFA_enUS777US777&oq=yuri+koch&aqs=chrome.1.0j46j69i57j0l5.3295j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
Land acknowledgements seldom acknowledge that “we have to leave”
Decolonization is not a metaphor >>> https://clas.osu.edu/sites/clas.osu.edu/files/Tuck%20and%20Yang%202012%20Decolonization%20is%20not%20a%20metaphor.pdf
Clay holds data for 500 years, while we don’t know how long a hard drive could hold data
Hammurabi's code — earliest legal code – defines crimes and punishments >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Code_of_Hammurabi
Colonization is a problem of standardization
  • English as a standard has been adopted but leads to feelings of angst to those who were not born English speakers
  • Typography –  abiding by standardized, Eurocentric rules?
    • What do modernist styles represent?
    • Can we be against modernism while also having a soft spot for it