v.1 is RISD’s student–led publication. Its form and content change from year to year (it’s always “volume 1”).

Info & Submission Guidelines ︎


Spring 2019

  1. From the Editors
  2. A Room without a View: Reflections on Studio Practice from a Privileged Poor Chantal Feitosa
  3. Between the Battlements Jeremy Wolin

  4. Accessing Color: Dissecting the Harvard Art Museum’s Forbes Pigment Collection Makoto Kumasaka
  5. British Club Tattoos Nasser Alzayani
  6. Making Space: Creativity and Resilience in War-Time Sri Lanka Elizabeth Dean Hermann
  7. How to Become Trans: A Proposal for the Modern-Day Gender-Agnostic Asher White
  8. Making It Up: A Conversation with Kent Kleinman Wen Zhuang
  9. “In Peace”: A Conversation with Matthew Shenoda Mays Albaik
  10. Suburbia_hours.mov Nora Mayer
  11. Negative Spaces Emily Wright
  12. Centerfold: Urgency Lab
  13. Rise Up: The Sunrise Movement Takes Root in Rhode Island Irina V. Wang
  14. After Strand Nafis White and García Sinclair
  15. Soldiers of Love? Karen Schiff
  16. Decoding Ghosts Molly Hastings
  17. An Annotated Bibliography Eli Backer
  18. Jesus, Marilyn, and Britney: Relationships between Religion and Celebrity Culture Nina Yuchi
  19. The Social (Antique) Network: Empathy in the Age of Digital Antiquing Zola Anderson
  20. My Little Episodes Michael Brandes
  21. Seeking Fair Game on Hidden Fields Reilly Blum
  22. The Should Be Here Is Not Here Joss Liao
  23. Index of Agency Sophie Chien
  24. Don’t Eat the Models Barbara Stehle
  25. Hypothetical Drink Personality Test: Who Said What, and When? Eliza Chen
  26. Dear Arabic Mohammed Nassem


Fall 2018 

  1. From the Editors
  2. How to Make a Person: A Recipe Mays Albaik
  3. Providence Votes Marcus Peabody
  4. Encounters with the Codex: Redefining Forms of Publication June Yoon
  5. How to Encounter a Puddle Anny Li
  6. A Brief List of Premises from a Maker Stuck with Paper, Politics, and Performance Yasi Alipour
  7. Art Writing and the Place of the “I” Randy Kennedy
  8. Written in Stone: Lineage, Legacy, and Letterforms Irina V. Wang
  9. The Unbearable Whiteness of Being (a Graphic Designer) Tiger Dingsun
  10. Colliers/Necklaces Théïa Flynn
  11. When One Door Closes: Examining Issues of Space and Student Curation on Campus Wen Zhuang
  12. Addressing the Empty Plinth: Lessons from Gallery Shows and Public Art Jeremy Wolin
  13. Modern Usage: In Conversation with Remeike Forbes Eliza Chen and Tiger Dingsun
  14. Dangling Threads: Remaining Unclear in Capital Everett Epstein
  15. A Vagabond Viking Voyage and Midsummer Daydream Mike Fink
  16. Everything is Interdependent Angela Dufresne
  17. La Bolita Elaine Lopez
  18. Bread Day Olive B. Godlee
  19. Against the Archive Satpreet Kahlon


2017 - 2018 
  1. Birds, Bees, and Beyond: The Nature Lab Evolves
  2. Concrete Mixer Drum Solo
  3. Negative Spaces
  4. “Printer Prosthetics” at NYABF
  5. On Writing: Nader Tehrani and Katie Faulkner
  6. On Writing: Marie Law Adams and Dan Adams
  7. On Writing: Kunlé Adeyemi
  8. Connecting Food and Design
  9. Remixing Architectural Discourse
  10. Genesis : 1: Beret Shit
  11. “No voy a actuar en el mundo antes de entenderlo”: Una conversación con Alfredo Jaar
  12. “I Will Not Act in the World Before Understanding the World”: A Conversation with Alfredo Jaar
  13. Imagining Irmgard
  14. Afterwords: Bite
  15. Afterwords: Portals
  16. Afterwords: Calendar
  17. Seeking Drafts
Mark

A Room without a View: Reflections on Studio Practice from a Privileged Poor 

Chantal Feitosa (BFA FAV 2018)


“Buy a fish at the market, cut it in half, but don’t clean it out. Draw its insides from observation, and make it as big as you possibly can.”

I knew the one I wanted almost immediately—a mackerel, slim, a little over a foot long. The wet body lay atop a bed of ice in a way that looked both glamorous and depressing. Soft, round, glass-like eyes gazed blankly upon the ceiling of the fish aisle. My step-dad (confused by the purchase) drove us home as I held the weight of my dead art experiment on my lap. The market attendant had wrapped the fish very nicely in brown paper for me—the same kind I’d soon use to re-create its likeness.

Growing up in New York on a tight budget, space was always an issue, especially when making art of the Make-It-As-Big-As-You-Possibly-Can variety. In our small Queens apartment, the navigation of living space was dictated by a constant, Tetris-like rearrangement of furniture and bodies. The rotation of subletters and foldable furniture and revising my own relationship to home became a frequent routine. As a high school student, I bent over backward readjusting the small spaces around me to create the art I wanted to make. A studio always felt like a reward reserved for established artists. Like a home or a car, such it seemed like a very adult thing to own. As a teenager trying to build a portfolio to apply for art school, any surface area was enough.

The hardest part wasn’t accommodating the actual mackerel, and the fish smell was not as bad as I expected. It was the paper that needed space. I started my fish drawing on the roof of my building. My five-foot body matched the length of the butcher paper assigned to me. I remember struggling to unroll it against the wind. As the fall season grew colder I moved back inside, some days in the kitchen, some days in my room. With each daily revision of the drawing, I was faced with the task of converting my surroundings from a space of living to work and back into one for living, and then again, and again. Upon completion, the drawing finally took on a new life outside my home. The conditions of its creation didn’t matter on the wall of my after-school art class, or months later, in the student gallery of my high school, or even as a JPG file in Slideroom for my RISD application. At that point, affluence and space weren’t essential to make interesting art.



Nearly a year after graduating with a BFA, living and working back in New York, I’m still trying to make sense of my education. Most importantly, I’m trying to understand my relationship toward making and how its often privileged structures don’t fit within my background as a low-income practicing artist. For me:

    A studio practice is a need        
                                                    a career,
                                                    a purpose.

    A studio is a want
                                                    a gift,
                                                    a luxury.

But we’re trained to believe the two are mutually entwined.  

At RISD we learn to collectively identify Studio as a proper noun. Like your best friend’s house or the one bar you revisit together weekly, it’s an establishment in and of itself, so much that it is never preceded by the article, the.

What are you doing this weekend?
I have a lot to catch up on in Studio.

Are you going to the party tonight?
Depends when I’m done with Studio.

When do you wanna schedule that studio visit?
Whenever. I’m always at Studio.

As students pursuing art and design degrees, the language we build around our relationship to a production room reflects our deep codependency. The studio is an entity. It is part of who we are and connects to all the things we do. I often wonder exactly how RISD’s pedagogical identity relates to this attachment. Perhaps the Studio mentality is embedded in the notoriously demanding curriculum—a method of working and self-worth directly tied to one’s capacity for production at highly unrealistic rates. RISD instills a drive in its students that is both admirable and self-destructive. It becomes an incubator for control of the creative self but also for the body’s purpose in a professional field with no clear-cut formula for success. At its worst, our relationship to Studio becomes elitist and prescriptive.

The first thing I notice about studio spaces I’m awarded, at RISD or elsewhere, is how they often overshadow the size of my entire childhood apartment. The instructors and staff within these rooms barely ever look like me or share my experience as a first-generation immigrant from a working-class household. At RISD I learned how to utilize space, resources, and knowledge to my creative advantage, but the inaccessible nature of the institution also forced me to take up space in ways that felt exhausting. As long as I was working, I felt like I was thriving, useful. Being granted a studio was an act of permission—my desire for an art practice in an industry that doesn’t cater to marginalized folk suddenly felt validated. This reassurance from Studio in my late teens and early twenties, however, did not train me to believe in my own professional integrity when these spaces ceased to exist for me. Marginalized students learn to perform privilege through the resources they pay to have access to. When a student doesn’t come from a financially stable background, the ways they learn to engage in such performances as the default approach to art making become hard to sustain upon graduating.



Reflecting on where I am today, I find myself struggling with the same social and financial hurdles that many recent grads often face (the exploitation of unpaid labor, the inability to find secure employment, the weight of student debt for a brand-name degree, a three-way work-work-life imbalance, with 9-to-5 and art-making work tipping the scale). Despite these inconveniences, I also reflect on all the accomplishments of my peers and how studio culture has trained us to be our own harshest critics, struggling to celebrate our respective growth and accomplishments. Art making looks dramatically different when we’re not affiliated with an institution, yet if the work is important to us, we find a way to make it. We seek new forms of production through ingenuity, collaboration, and skill sharing. These approaches inform our practice in ways we didn’t experience in school. The studio is no longer an externalization of the self, but instead one facet of our fluid creative professional identities.

So, to those about to exit RISD Studio, I offer a few further thoughts:

—We each embody Studio differently as we branch out to different jobs, different cities, different social circles. The studio is built by the resources and people we are lucky to find.

—Sometimes it’s a matter of being in the right place at the right time, like finding a discounted loom on Craigslist or acquiring a digital printer for free from a kind acquaintance.

—Sometimes it’s about claiming space through the entitlement of others, like artist assistants and arts administrators who are smart to take advantage of the resources their employers provide.

—Sometimes it’s in the people we know, like a room of friends and strangers bonding over cornbread and facilitated acting workshops.

—Sometimes it just comes down to being humble, an exercise in remembering our innate human ability to adapt to change and circumstance. (I often forget how good artists are at adapting, and maybe with all the learning and growing we experience at RISD, having flexibility in times of scarcity is an asset we shouldn’t be trained to leave behind.)  

Looking back, my five-foot mackerel drawing from the 12th grade became one of the most important art lessons I received. Rather than strictly teaching me about observational drawing, material exploration, or compositional challenges with scale, the assignment forced me to make interesting art within the resource limitations of my environment. After four years of a privileged BFA program and two artist residencies just months after graduating, I had completely forgotten what the mastery of improvisation feels like. Regardless of one’s background when entering art school, the luxury of Studio training grants us a sense of entitlement to space. We don’t think about the rooms we’re in because they’re simply there. Access (or a lack thereof) makes us hungry to want more, but sometimes that hunger pushes us to find what we really need.


Chantal Feitosa is an artist and educator from New York with a growing list of pop-culture conspiracy theories.