📖 PRINT | 💻 WEB
WE'ave the People
“WE’ave The People was a collection of 12 ritual actions performed synchronously between the hours of 3-8pm in San Francisco, 10am-3pm in Sydney and 5-9pm in Bogota on Election Day, November 3, 2020 by graduate students in Fine Art, Architecture and Design at California College for the Arts.
Rituals hold space for grief, loss, protest, de-escalation, love, gratitude, direct action. In cultural and sacred space we connect to the past and the future. WE’ave The People imagines ways to reclaim our civic lives through ethical actions, collaboration, play and transformative justice - tracking ways of being with and for each other and the living world around us.”
— Susanne Cockrell, excerpts from an introduction to the WE’ave the People project
When Covid-19 moved many academic programs online, it reflected the wider coincident context of working together, but at a distance. In the graduate seminar titled WE’ave the People, a group of interdisciplinary students explored the connective power of ritual, performed collectively in time but individually in distinct places. These individually enacted rituals were video-recorded and later shared in an online exhibition that also included written and photographic documentation. Writing and photographs were additionally used as content for a publication distributed to and by participants.
As one of the participating members, I also acted as a designer for the group, guided by instructor Susanne Cockrell. I synthesized class discussion to inform the design and production of the exhibition website and publication.
From the beginning of our time together, we discussed the digital “window” of our weekly video calls as a viewport and a mediator. The tiled grid of our shared screen space became the graphic organizing principle that unified the seminar’s ritual-documenting website and the print publication. The motif of the grid served as a conceptual reference to connection and simultinaity, portals to other points of view.
Working with budgetary constraints, grant stipulations, and approved vendors, I created a minimalistic structure and a stylistic language that could accommodate different kinds of content across web and print. For the website, this included video, photography, structural poetry, short and longer form writing.
The publication is an offset-printed newspaper that folds down from a broadsheet to the size of a smaller pamphlet. When fully unfolded, the interior spread reveals a grid of black and white images from each student’s synchronized ritual.
You can read a reflection I wrote about this project for the student intiated publication, Rewind Review Respond, here.
WE’ave the People included work by artists Leonardo Barrera, Xinran Dongfang, Rossie, Carlos Medellín, Rachel Parish, Nivedita Rajendra, Miguel Sarabia, Consuelo Tupper Hernandez, Jasmin Viducic, Jianyou Zhang, Mia Zhou, and myself under the guidance of Susanne Cockrell.