WE WE WE so exhausted

Good for you if you understand that title reference. Throwing it back to before the weekend. Today (Sunday), I tackled some more installations (four) and worked on wrapping up for the presentation of progress for tomorrow.

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I had lunch with SooJoo at the Met and met (lower case m) her friend Sheryl. We talked about the project I am working on which they were very much into.

Then, I went to the next location (across from the Benefit entrance to the RISD museum, where the fountain of the people dancing is). I wrote out the phrase when will we. Had some fun and nice interactions with people; most people just walked by or stared. As per usual.

  • Kevin Cadena passed by as I was just beginning the drawing. Joking, “What are you doing Jason?”
  • Aly-san swung by and caught up with her briefly. First encounter with someone who had said they saw my other chalk installations, she “didn’t know that was [me] you.”
  • Brandon, who I met yesterday though Soo, stopped by and said to “keep up the good work.” Nice to see people who I had seen yesterday or during the set up of other installations.
  • Said hi to a handful of other random people I know.
  • A woman named Irene, who lives on Benefit street behind the Athenaeum, introduced herself and asked me the classic, “when will we what?” I explained to her the project and how its supposed to be open-ended. She liked it. She said “when will we change”/”when will we make a difference.” She got the jist of it. She told me she looks forward to seeing the other installations I make.

I documented and packed up for the next spot.

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This next installation reads we can. On the Waterman building (on Waterman St) just outside of the RISD Museum and next to Carr Haus. This one was faster and colder, in the shade.

  • I saw Jia as I was just starting “Jason?!” haha. I told her briefly what I was up to and asked if I’d see her in studio later to eat red bean cake.
  • A man named Owl (Awl?) asked me what I was up to; what my project was about. Implying that he had seen at least one of the other chalk writings. I told him it was about community and the writings were invitations for people to fill in their own minds and complete themselves, but emphasize the we. He dug it. I asked if he was a RISD student, he told me he was just visiting and currently lives in Boston (but used to live in Providence). He gave me some encouragement, wished me good luck and a nice weekend and was on his way.
  • A random lady in sunglasses, never introduced herself, came up to me shortly after with the classic “i’m going to call the cops, no i’m just kidding.” She asked me what this project was all about and I told her. She liked it. She said “why can’t we all just get along!?” And wished me a nice weekend and was off.
  • Sofia-san and Hannah Kim stopped by and asked me what I was up to. We joked that my next installation would be a silhouette of Sofia, super-sized on the RISD beach.

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Relatively fatigued with chalk (and out of all my colors), I moved back to ind00r tape installations. I made this installation of we‘ll (we will) in the College Building foyer. Less traffic there, but still decent amount of people walking by and staring. Some were polite enough to try and avoid stepping on the installation while it was in process, while others emphasized not making eye contact or saying any comment. I personally like the ” ‘ “.

  • Ran into Emily M. and caught up with her. She made the connection with the other chalk installations and stuff around campus too. Interesting having people connect the dots. I told her it’d say we’ll and she was like “oh, yeah like we will.” She appreciated how I made an effort to incorporate the tiles on the floor which was fun.
  • Saw Kang-san and chatted briefly with her as I was getting started.
  • Tours of people came in at some point but kind of read it but didn’t say anything to me about it. Some people flat out ignore it.
  • As I was wrapping up, I facetimed with Suzie Shin which was really great. And then Grace C. came by and we chatted with Suzie until dinner. I asked Grace to help me document it and she complimented me on the design. “What typeface is this?” “OH you drew it yourself? That’s cool. I like the e.” Suzie and I always have great discussions about community, under the context of Christianity. And I got her pastor suzie seal of approval (mhmm of approval) when I described my project to her. I think she finds it frustrating that I go to these means to create/find community outside of Christ, but I don’t see it that way.
  • On the way out, a couple (students I presume?) asked about it. “We’ll… we’ll what?” “Is this yours?” I explain. “Oh did you do the market square also?” … “Gotcha.” Honestly don’t remember much else from that conversation. Was too tired and hungry.

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we’d the last installation of the night. I arbitrarily made this because I needed it for the little zine I was making. But I had planned on doing it all along but was feeling lazy. So I put it on the first floor display cases in the Design Center. I used the white tape which was fun and refreshing. Reminded me of MetaHaven’s tape project, with the way the light shines through it and it overlaps and creates patterns. I really enjoyed writing and creating my own type for this project thus far, it was one of the most frequent compliments I’d get for my installations, the type face or the color choice (both of which are relatively out of my control but out of my own hand and design). I tried to utilize the context of the installation to help inform the design of the typeface and color choice. But with the chalk, color was sometimes what colors I had left.

  • Chatted up with Phillip for the first time this year. He’s making a video game. He complimented me on my “w“. “What’s all this for?”
  • Briefly explained the project to Dodo and Dk as they were waiting for the elevator.
  • Said hello to Emily and Jia on their way up.
  • Got a look from Brian Hicks.
  •  Classic “What are you doing!?” “i’m just messing with yah.” from a couple of grad students in photo.
  • hello and encouragement from Aly-san again.
  • Not much else!

I made some zines on the language playing off of “A few open rules” by Open. And yeah. It was really fun having conversations with people and hearing how they are connecting the dots and noticing the trend of installations coming from the same source. Some people are like “I’ve seen you around everywhere.” (–Sofia-san). It’s fun to see the same people catch me in the installation phase. But this isn’t about me. And whether people come up and ask about or jokingly read it out-loud, so longs are they are thinking about it and processing it in their subconscious or conscious, that’s more than enough.

For the chalk installations, I used propositions and proposals to make people observe the we and fill in the blank with their own motives. For the tape installations, I used contractions, but dealt with the similar theme. This makes more sense in context of the zines I made.

The people who I explained the project too, who were curious enough to ask, were really encouraging. Be it because they are my friends or just generally, nice, supportive people, I cannot say. But it was really fun and invigorating to receive their encouragement and the smile and thoughts it brought to mind for them. The concept of community is hard to grasp.

I wanted to use very simple, accessible language and tools that most everyone can understand, read, and have access too. But find it in a surprising setting or presented in a way they aren’t used to. I really like challenging people’s perception of space and the conversations I’ve had with people about how this is graphic design. And graphic design can be fun and creative and energetic and work with people. It must. Graphic design is visual communication. And what about this is not, in its plainest form, simply that?

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