This past Sunday marked the first of several with our newest artist mentor, Rebecca Carter. We began with an introduction to Rebecca’s past and recent work, discussing her installations and the subjectivity of the self and body. Especially relevant was her focus on split subjectivity—the subjective difference between “I” and “me.” Continuing her presentation with a quick dabble in Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalysis, she showed us her work concerning text and textiles. Using personal textual sources, Rebecca creates thread drawings by stitching thread into a water-soluble textile (when it gets wet, it dissolves). Closing out the presentation, Rebecca showed us photographs of signage that she has compiled from her trips abroad and locally from around her neighborhood. Often, the text of the signage was at odds with its surroundings or was contextualized in an unusual way.
Back in the lab, Rebecca asked the teen artists to use their sketchbooks to write down answers to a series of questions and prompts, attempting to create a series of contemplative statements for the teen artists to later draw from.
The next task for the students involved combing through newspapers to find interesting texts and headlines. From those clippings, the students created a word bank of approximately 30 key words that drew their attention.
At the end of the day, Rebecca tasked the students with a homework assignment: photograph and document at least 20 signs both from the teen artists’ local neighborhoods and from any other non-local places. The goal of the assignment is to have them pay attention to the signage and text around them and to report their findings. This project should prove rather interesting!