For the semester-long ‘red paperclip’ project, I started with a small black binder clip. I traded this for a hand-written sign, which I quickly traded for two pieces of mint gum. I held onto the gum until presented with a trade for 10 ft. of multicolored duct tape. I crafted this tape into a duct tape wallet. I traded the duct tape wallet for a leather wallet and a name tag, which is where I now stand with my trades.
On Tuesday, March 4, 2014, a group of 6 female CMU students found the best place on campus for a quick nap: on the floor in front of the Office of the Dean. Planned as a demonstration to confront the stress culture at Carnegie Mellon University, the peaceful act quickly caught the attention of the administration in the offices at either end of the small hallway, as well as those who sought access to the nearby elevator. An equally bewildered, flustered, and attentive Dean of Student Affairs met the students at their napping space. When the students responded to her questions by stating that they were not protesting, that they ‘fell asleep’ in the space while studying, the Dean asked the students if they would accompany her to her office, one floor downstairs. The naps resulted in a meeting held after Spring Break, which the students attended as did the University’s Dean of Student Affairs and Vice Provost.
This hand-bound book collected images that referenced objects from everyday life, like a deck of cards or a hair tie. The images were abstracted or obscured by an opaque cover sheet. My intention was to add an element of intrigue to personal, commonplace objects.
I am fascinated by the entire life cycle of objects, including the part of the object’s history that continues after its use. I collected objects that were broken or missing pieces. These details would otherwise render the objects useless or undesirable. I searched for some connection to the object’s larger history or to the human relationship with the object.
The system I chose to target for 24 hours was Education. In Part 1, I determined that one of the outputs of the Education system is ‘Demonstrated Learning.’ ‘Demonstrated Learning,’ I determined, usually comes in the forms of essay papers, artistic works, or grades on exams. I selected ‘Demonstrated Learning’ as a Leverage point, and concluded that I could disrupt this system by producing nothing, showing no evidence of learning.
For 24 hours, I thought about various ways to complete this assignment and break systems of my daily life routines. In the end, I attempted no new behaviors and produced nothing more than this blog post. By making no changes to my daily routine, I did not complete the assignment for Concept III: Systems and Processes.
In: Clothing choices
Out: Social approval
Factors: Trends; Creativity; Price range
Feedback: Compliments; Staring
Leverage: Trends – Wear something that is a fashion trend now that is really impractical; Wear all the current trends at once
Factors: Loneliness; Social norms; Distractions; Environment
Feedback: Response; Comfort/ Satisfaction
Leverage: Response – Respond inappropriately (yell or cry); Do not respond
Factors: Time; Access; Safety
Feedback: Word of mouth; Customer satisfaction
Leverage: Time – take an indirect route; Do not change position (not moving Point A to B)
*Note/Question: How does this affect/ critique the system?
In: $ $ $
Factors: Want; Need; Access
Feedback: Customer satisfaction
Leverage: Access – Take too much for $ value; Affect others’ access
Out: Energy (?)
Factors: Hunger; Availability
Leverage: Hunger – Eat past ‘full’ or when not hungry; Food – Eat no food or eat ‘non-food’ material
In: Food; Care/Shelter
Factors: $$; Distractions; Time
Feedback: Pet shows affection/respect to owner; Pet wants to play; Pet allows petting/cuddling
Leverage: Time – Spend all day w/ pet instead of only feeding it. Does pet get annoyed?
In: Person; Attention
Out: Demonstrated Learning (Papers, Exams, Work, etc.); Knowledge
Factors: Time; $$; Availability; Resources
Feedback: Grades; Personal satisfaction
Leverage: Demonstrated – produce nothing
8. Personal Relationships
Factors: Time; Vulnerability; $
Leverage: Vulnerability – Don’t get vulnerable; Time – Do not be available
9. Artistic Production
Factors: Time; Materials; State of mind; Cultural demands
Feedback: Public reaction
Leverage: Materials – Create something out of nothing
Out: No mess; Clean sanitary surfaces
Factors: Time; Materials
Feedback: Space; Relief
Leverage: Effort – Spend time but make few changes to relieving mess.