Critically acclaimed media artist Alexandra Bell is known for her “Counternarrative” series of supersized New York Times articles edited to reveal ideological biases and assumptions about race and gender. Bell brings her project to Bennington with an installation on campus buildings and a pop-up course in which she guides students through her process of “radical re-editing.”
Working on an article selected by Bell, students create their own counter-narratives for public display; they identify examples of bias in uses of language and imagery in the newspaper, and create alternatives to counter those biases. Each student produces a personal “re-edit” of the same article, with mark-ups, marginalia, swapped-out photographs and rewritten text.
This deliberative process gives agency to a desire to slow down and look back, to locate subjectivity in the “facts” of public record and reconsider how perspectives become embedded in history. At the end of the course, students install their counter-narrative posters on campus as a collective public artwork.
Knowledge of InDesign is helpful but not necessary.
Attendance at Alexandra Bell’s public lecture on Oct. 10 (Tuesday) 7:00pm – 8:30pm is mandatory.