Manifesto! Manifesto!

Media student Michael LaHood blows up his manifesto. Photo by Krista Franklin

Professor Inge Bruggeman reads quickly from the balloon as it heads towards bursting. Photo by Krista Franklin

The manifesto almost popping - read faster Inge! Photo by Krista Franklin

As a second year student, I am required (like all other second years) to take a class called Connected Studio Practices (or CSP). This is one of two classes that revolve around a development of professional practices. CSP, in my mind, is really about how you want to present yourself as an artist. We go through individual studio visits, presentations of our artwork, exercises in consideration of audience, and, the project I’m highlighting today, creation of a manifesto.

We were all a little skeptical of this assignment. But, it turned out to be a fantastic reflection of our individual work and our conceptual approaches. There is something empowering about making big statements, summing up your ‘beliefs’, and knowing that it can be a completely “of the moment” statement, not required to be true in even a few weeks.

Pictured above is Interdisciplinary Arts and Media MFA student Michael LaHood. His work is very time based and focuses on the temporality of physical presence and the continuation of thoughts and intentions. So, very appropriately, he chose to write his manifesto on a balloon. Our professor, Inge Bruggeman, then read his manifesto as quickly as possible as he was blowing up the balloon. Obviously, it eventually popped, destroying the physical object with the sounds of the words hanging in the air. It was a perfect distillation of M. LaHood’s greater body of work.

Another student, Book and Paper this time, Jenna Rodriguez created a giant scroll.

Jenna reads from her manifesto scroll. Photo by Krista Franklin

Jenna’s work is based in community and family. So, her manifesto was much more personal and like a life philosophy based on interactions with others, familiar and strange.

Jenna rolls up her manifesto after reading. Photo by Krista Franklin

Obviously, I chose two of the most performative presentations to feature in this post (the pictures were better) but plenty of us just wrote and then sat and read (like me). We are planning on compiling all of our manifestos into a book as a memento of our time together as second years. In short, it was a wonderful exercise and experience. Manifesto!