By Swetha Kannan

As Logs, trees, and leaves begin to decay, as they do with every passing of seasons, it’s interesting to see the adventurous skydivers that can begin to take root in the decay and, with it’s force, pull trees, leaves, and others down to the ground. These skydivers are the fungus and bacteria that begin to swarm and ferment in the roots of dying organisms. They are beautiful and interesting to behold, and in a final effort to give a tree a glorious ending, pull them down to the ground where they will be consumed and eaten by the bacteria.
The Skydivers project was my way to attempt to memorialize these events that happen outside of our notice. The falling of trees and leaves are events that we feel do not matter or that we ignore all together. I’ve tried to integrate this aspect of nature in our every day lives in a whimsical fashion so that we may appreciate this small part of nature that we seldom even think about.

“New and Improved” by Maryyann Landlord (2014)

Assignment,Laser Cutter,Student Work — Maryyann @ 12:15 pm


My collection plays with the recognition of the ridiculous advancement in biological engineering and how people mutate organisms often for entertainment. Some of the items I found and recreated seemed like they could have been extracted from an alchemy or witchcraft book. So I constructed my piece into a molecular form, having each object as an important makeup for this new molecule. Each little item has a description and instructions on how much to mix. The bottom cup is empty because we are still searching how to combine all these creations and inventions into something catastrophic.




“Collected Absences” by Sarah (2014)

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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.

“Forget Me Not” by Maryyann Landlord (2014)

Assignment,Student Work,Submission — Maryyann @ 1:54 pm




Cutting Hair: “I’ll forget to develop my good habits. Usually I’m fighting the urge to entertain myself.”


House Keys:”Oh, I forget my keys all the time!”


ID card: “Yeah. Sometimes I just don’t remember.”


Glasses: “It’s less about glasses but more about contacts. Sometimes I forget to take off my glasses and wear my contacts, which are better for me.”


Mom’s Birthday: “I am really forgetful. I have a really bad memory.”


Pen cap: “I chose not to remember.”


Appointments:”My head only has space for relevant shit. The rest is in my iphone.”


Headphones:”It’s more like I forget to take them off. So I end up not hearing people.”


“Collection” by Nicholas Sardo (2014)

Assignment,Student Work,Systems Thinking — nicksardo @ 1:05 pm




Collections are most often precious; perfectly arranged china, priceless dolls in a dark wood cabinet, etc. These kinds of things are what comes to mind for me when I hear “collection”. For most, the reason for collecting is because of the value of the items. For this project then, I decided to go the opposite way. I wanted to make a collection of objects that interested me visually, but held no significant value on their own. I was also interested in the idea of narrative, seeing how placing a couple incongruous objects in an otherwise similar group could suggest a story.

See the presentation here:

“Collection” by Sam Ticknor (2014)

Assignment,Student Work,Submission — SamTicknor @ 12:45 pm

Over the week, I collected knots of hair that I found around my apartment. With four long-haired occupants, these hairballs are not in short supply. Often, hair that has been removed from the body is considered ‘gross’ or’disgusting’. As someone who is interested in knotting and weaving, I find a different kind of beauty in these forms. I photographed each ball and post processed the images in order to emphasize the delicate lines that can make the clump so beautiful. Art relies heavily on context.

Pittsburgh Collection – Swetha ( 2014 )

In this collection, I focused on collecting things that I saw outside which I could imagine that I have lost at some point in my life. In this way, it was like ‘reclaiming’ lost things for myself rather than just taking it off the street. Surprisingly, it seems like many other girls besides myself loose their hair bands.

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“10 Systems: Part 2” by Sarah (2014)

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.

“10 Systems: Part II” by Sam Ticknor (2014)


These drawings are the evidence of an experiment.  ‘Spending Free Time’ and ‘Observing Others’ were the primary systems affected by this work.

Instead of spending my free time on Facebook, I sketched the people around me.

Instead of observing others via Facebook, I took a closer look at how people were interacting in the physical world.

“10 Systems: Part I” by Sam Ticknor (2014)

  1. Spending Free Time
    Input: Free time/boredom
    Procedure: Kill time on internet/Observe world around me through computer
    Output: Information I’ve gathered from my time on the web (most often, nothing relevant)
    Feedback: Is the information obtained helpful to me
    Broken: I blocked facebook for a day.  With the time I normally spend on facebook, I was observed and sketched non-virtual people around me.
  2. Artistic Expression
    Input: Desire to make some prints
    Procedure: Gather inks, generate content, screen print protocol
    Output: Prints/Editions
    Feedback: Am I pleased with the product based on the amount of work I put in
    Broken: I decided to try a method of printing that was entirely new to me, CMYK screen printing. Wasn’t entirely pleased with product, but am looking forward to making more CMYK prints in the future.
  3. Grooming
    Input: Hair state in the morning
    Procedure: If hair is manageable, leave it down, else put it up
    Output: How I wear my hair for that day
    Feedback: Does the style I chose positively affect my day
    Broken: Instead of letting my hair decide how it would be worn, I decided the night before, and followed through with my plans 
  4. Pupil Life
    Input: Prompt for class assignment
    Procedure: Generate ideas -> generate work -> submit for critique
    Output: Work to be critiqued
    Feedback: Literal feedback at critique & what I learned about my artistic process
    Broken: I am weary of creating work for critique. For the first time in a while, I disregarded my assignments and made some work for myself, a couple stuffed animals.
  5. Stress Relief
    Input: Stress
    Procedure: ‘stress-relievers’, sleep, attempting to ignore stress
    Output: More stress
    Feedback: Are my stressful responsibilities resolved? Due to my poor stress management, no.
    Broken: I dropped a class which will allow me to spend more time on other responsibilities.
  6. Family
    Input: Desire to remain close to family
    Procedure: Text/call family alerting them I want to skype. We begin to skype but when I hear that friends arrive outside of the room, make an excuse to end call and go hang out.
    Output: Guilt, less close with family
    Feedback: Am I happy with my relationships with my family.
    Broken: This weekend, I set aside an hour and a half to skye with my parents. I made sure that I did not make some excuse to leave the conversation early.
  7. Capital
    Input: Need for funds
    Procedure: Work at the Miller Gallery
    Output: Money
    Feedback: Enough funding? Do I feel OK about the way that I’ve made money?
    Broken: I feel like a lazy individual at the Miller Gallery. So, I took an extra shift at the Children’s Museum this weekend. Next, I want to start selling prints/sewing works
  8. Learning
    Input: Homework assignment
    Procedure: Wait until the last minute, don’t attend lecture, scramble to finish homework
    Output: Mediocre homework assignment turned in
    Feedback: Grade
    Broken: Took some more initiative in a group project, started early
  9. Collecting
    Input: Everything
    Procedure: Hoard it
    Output: Messy room, too much stuff to handle
    Feedback: Can I even walk through my room anymore?
    Broken: Cleaned room, put a lot of things in a bag to bring to Makeshop
  10. Sharing Space
    Input: Roommate’s mood
    Procedure: If stressed, avoid
    Output: Resentment
    Feedback: # of times we have a good time together vs. # of times we have a bad time
    Broken: Instead of avoiding her when she was stressed about a homework assignment, I helped her complete it.
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