Graduate Lounge as Dance Hall: InterArts YouTube Shindig

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The Graduate Lounge at 600 South Michigan is a low-key well-kept secret at Columbia College Chicago. Ambassadors from each graduate department have come together over the past few months to blow the Lounge’s cover by staging readings, discussions, and events in the space for their colleagues. InterArts is no exception. With Book & Paper Ambassador Hannah King, our YouTube Shindig gathered graduates from Media and B&P for music videos to get on with our bad selves.[flickr id=”6979108831″ thumbnail=”medium_640″ overlay=”true” size=”original” group=”” align=”none”]

Collaboration between the two sides of the department has developed into a constructive habit over this past year. I’ve noted the progression in several blog posts, ranging from the Sacred and Profane show, the Potluck Meet-and-Greet, and the Space & Place Installation class. The integration of studios plays a large part of it. Students now share space, ideas, and work in a fluid way that alluded former InterArts groups. Continued positive exposure of this nature–as the science goes–results in friendship. And friendship, Prospective Student, is what one is after in the grad school experience. Take note.

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Without friendship, how else could the above picture be described? We have a group of InterArts students trying to perform LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” in the Graduate Lounge. Moving bodies. No judgement. Free of inhibition. In the middle of a busy semester. If this fails to define friendship, I don’t know what could: the pure enjoyment of dancing euphoria with academic colleagues.

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The Lounge made this particular Shindig possible. Located on the second floor of the 600 building, the G.L. is an open space for students to relax and grab a nice window view of the city during downtime. It’s a smart space, equipped with an HD projector in the main room (what the Shindiggers like to call the Dance Hall) and also one in an adjoining conference room. So, whether you’re presenting research to a table audience or need room to move for an LMFAO-a-thon, the Lounge has you covered. Business up front, and party in the back, if you will.

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We spent the rest of the night moving and grooving to our favorite songs and videos. We bobbed our heads to Bell Biv Devoe’s “Poison” and pogoed to “Fell in Love with a Girl” by the White Stripes. We recited the lines to Young MC’s “Bust a Move” and gave a saluting moonwalk in Michael Jackson’s “Beat It”. By the end, we were all exhausted and relaxed and feeling like we could take on the rest of the work week. Maybe even the rest of the semester.

It’s a small thing, dancing, but it is such great thing. A necessary thing.

Many of the Shindiggers were Thesis students, rounding the bend of their final year to finish their pieces for the April exhibit. It is stressful, hectic work, and the tension only grows as the opening approaches. But for now, there was Pharrell and The Chemical Brothers, Kraftwerk and Devo, Missy Elliott and the barn-burner “Shout” by The Isley Brothers.

And that was enough for us.

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