Episodes 2014

What evokes strong responses at The New School in 2014?  In a present-day investigation, we invited faculty, staff and students to initiate a dialogue with an image, installation, or an element of design that they regularly encounter at the university.

Their brief was as follows:

1.  Select a work of art or an aspect of design that you regularly encounter at the university to which you have a strong reaction, positive or negative, that you may not necessarily share with others.  The work should be either an image or installation from The New School Art Collection that is in the hallways, offices, courtyards and classrooms of the university or an element of design—graphic, interior or architectural—on campus. 

2.  Describe briefly why you are provoked or disturbed by the image or design. How do you encounter this work?  Why does it disturb or delight you? How do others feel? Does it exclude some people in its address?  Are you left out, drawn in, disgusted, bored, taken aback?  If you could effect a change with regard to the display, design, or reception of this piece of work, how might you begin? 

3.  Suggest three questions that you could use to initiate a conversation with your university colleagues to make such a change possible.

This installation of texts, questions, and images extends the historical discussions of image, conflict, and belonging into the present.  The divergences and alignments among the responses manifest again and again the unstable unity bound up in the pronoun “we” in our—or in fact, in any—institution.