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 ︎

Pandemic Publishing ︎

  1. Call for Submissions, SOS Edition
  2. 3.29.20 Irina V. Wang
  3. Let Yourself Be Lifted Jackie Scott
  4. Art Is Everything Jen Liese
  5. Two Poems Ella Rosenblatt
  6. Living Room Dance Party Ariel Wills
  7. On Walking When Walking Is Advised Against Keavy Handley-Byrne
  8. Untitled Cita Devlin
  9. Ads in Corona Hannah Oatman
  10. COVID-19 and Communitas Elaine Lopez
  11. A Time for Pie Elizabeth Burmann
  12. How to Stay Motivated When You’re Stuck at Home Clarisse Angkasa
  13. Coerced Harmony (A Tour) Hammad Abid
  14. Zooming In and Out Tongji Philip Qian
  15. [Form] Ciara Carlyle
  16. Hi.txt Dan Luo
  17. A poem about boredom, a composite Maixx Culver-Hagins
  18. Eyewitness News Tristram Lansdowne
  19. Distance Maps Marcus Peabody
  20. Therapeutic Suggestion Maria Aliberti Lubertazzi
  21. Keep Your Heart Six Feet Away From Mine (and other moments) Arielle Eisen
  22. Twenty Instructions for COVID-19 Charlott Isobel Dazan
  23. Cuerno 1 y 2 Yan Diego Estrella Wilson
  24. A Monolith of Grief Regarding the Absence of Touches, or Letter to a Future Lover García Sinclair
  25. Coronavirus by the Thousands Drew Dodge
  26. Two Poems Kathryn Li
  27. Beds Are Burning Aleks Dawson
  28. Still Lifes Yidan Wang
  29. Fragments of Seva Jagdeep Raina
  30. Packing Up and Staying Woojin Kim
  31. Chronic Pain and Fermentation Ralph Davis
  32. Quarantine Letters Hannah Moore
  33. Sounds of Silence: An Isolation Soundscape Dara Benno
  34. 14 Day Detox for Designers Erica Silver

Winter 2020

  1. From the Editors
  2. The Phantom Audience, or How to “Really Do It” Asher White
  3. Some Dry Season(ing) / 5 Tales in an Embryo Room Yuqing Liu
  4. Throwing Salt, Constructing the Homeland Ariel Wills
  5. Infinity Balloon Man Jack Zhou
  6. Texas Triptych Ali Dipp
  7. Phenomenology of Bones Chris Shen
  8. Erlking Yiqun Zhou
  9. Trouble in Reality Elena Foraker
  10. Family Stories Gina Vestuti
  11. Treasure Reilly Blum

Fall 2019
  1. From the Editors
  2. Architecture and Its Ghosts Xuan Liu
  3. Fit/O!de Jeff Katz
  4. Desde La Chinaca y La China Poblana Ariel Wills
  5. Ballast Tiger Dingsun
  6. Love Letters Brenda Rodriguez
  7. The Anxieties of Plant-sitting Carol Demick
  8. Zadie & Teju Ariel Wills
  9. Smooth Stones Ali Dipp 
  10. Kantha’s Melodies Michelle Dixon
  11. Glory West Megan Solis
  12. The 50 Best Albums of the 2010s Asher White

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

A Vagabond Viking Voyage and Midsummer Daydream

Mike Fink (Professor, Literary Arts + Studies)
Photographs by Irina V. Wang (MID 2020)

Mike Fink holds a Viking statuette, a souvenir from his Scandinavian pilgrimage.

I’d been planning this project for many a season—a poetic pilgrimage to Stockholm to visit the graves of two Scandinavian heroic figures who died but left no legacy in ash or bone or even progeny. Only in truth, myth, and monument. One, Raoul Wallenberg, the architect and humanitarian who inspired statues, memorials, books, and movies with his noble, nearly inexplicable heroism as a rescuer of the doomed. And another, Greta Garbo, the film star known for her obstinate rejection of any invasion of her privacy. Shy as she was, she conceived a plan to visit Hitler, her esthetic admirer, with a pistol hidden in her bodice to shoot him dead and thus save the world.

I grew up during the tragic eras of the Depression and then the Duration (of World War II). If I were not here in the land of Roger Williams, I would most likely have been murdered by the Nazis, or perhaps hidden by kind strangers among those who joined the Resistance instead of the Collaboration. I had witnessed the unemployment: on our block and beyond, and my generation grew used to wanderers knocking on the door seeking a cup of soup or lodging for the evening. The world was at war one way and another, and my cousins and uncles left these shores to fight the battles for the Four Freedoms (from want and fear, of free speech and religion). Among my classmates, there were some hidden Jewish refugees or survivor children. I did not suffer directly from these major events. I did, however, derive my values from events of such magnitude. The Depression taught thrift and a kind of humility, the Duration offered lessons in sacrifice, tragedy, and courage. These were my anchors—like the flag of Rhode Island and the first RISD logo.

As a boy I was always labelled a “contrarian” by classmates, cousins, and even my mother. Whatever others thought, said, wrote, I would go against. If a movie was a cash success and won prizes for its popularity, I would pan it with a sneer. On the other hand, if it lost out with the audiences, and I might find myself alone in the theater, I could find beauty, depth, and wit somewhere among the credits, the details of the design. Recently, a colleague used the term “recalcitrance” to describe a quality of stubborn resistance unique to the Swedes and their neighbors in Norseland, in the vicinity of Viking lore. I like this variation on “contrarian.” The ultimate value of “recalcitrance” is as an antidote to the bandwagon of rage and disdain that dominates our civilization, the loud opinions and mass movements instead of solitary “existential” searches. This is the quality I saw in Wallenberg and Garbo, and sought on my pilgrimage to Scandinavia.

A poster of Greta Garbo on the wall of Mike Fink’s office in College Building.

Wallenberg studied architecture here in the US but returned to his wealthy and aristocratic clan in Sweden, which had taken a neutral stance in the Nazi era. On board the ship home, he saw and was inspired by Pimpernel Smith, the movie with Leslie Howard about a shy professor who secretly saves the Jews and helps the Resistance. Arriving safe and secure at home, Wallenberg asked his mother to pack a trunk with fine champagnes, cognac, and his fanciest wardrobe. He “set up shop” in Budapest and hosted an elegant dinner for the Nazi official Adolf Eichmann himself, warning the villain that he would lose the war and be hanged for his crimes against humanity. Wallenberg then boldly proceeded to sign papers claiming the refugees on the cattle cars bound for murder and horror in Auschwitz were legal Swedish subjects. Under the guise of this feigned arrogance and brazen style, he rescued ... how many? I dare not say, but a significant number. At war’s close, Wallenberg was arrested, but not by the Germans. The Russians assumed he was an American spy, and thus he died in a gulag after many years of solitary confinement.

I had already visited the sculpture of Wallenberg in Budapest, as well as the memorials in Washington D.C. and New York City. Several semesters ago, I came upon one Nicholas Wallenberg at the end of my alphabetical class list. Reading it aloud, I asked him, more playful than serious, if he was maybe a distant cousin or relation? His answer astounded me: “Yes, I am his great nephew.” I invited him home to dinner and took him across the street to meet a woman whose family had been saved by his great uncle. Believe me, there were hugs and tears aplenty at this rendezvous with destiny. And now here I was at the major park in Stockholm harbor where a large stone globe is inscribed with Wallenberg’s name and an account of his life and death. It took me two days to find this sacred space. A historic royal figure dominates the grand garden—a kingly military man on horseback—and I could not find the relatively modest corner dedicated to Wallenberg until my second attempt. I lost a day in my quest. I tried again the next morning. I persisted with recalcitrance.

In contrast to Wallenberg, Greta Garbo chose cremation. Her remains were to be scattered anonymously, to avoid indiscreet intrusions. So I had to be satisfied with her headstone and its calligraphy. She never signed autographs for the public except here, in a way, in a beautiful Stockholm cemetery with flowers and trees and a gracious approach of flagstones.

Garbo spoke no English at the start of her career, but the expressiveness of her face and features in close-up captivated the movie-going public. I have shelves of books about her films, her rather lonely life, her resistance to fame and its attendant publicity. She walked out and away from Hollywood, but left behind magnificent images, gestures, and memorable words once the talkies shook up the silent industry. Perhaps the most prophetic, and poetic, of her performances was as Queen Christina, who abdicated her throne and homeland in search of an impossible “happiness.” Recalcitrance? In Ninotchka she abandons her role in the Russian revolution. In Anna Karenina she rejects life itself in her rebellion against the respectability of a loveless marriage. She brought artistry, tragedy, and mystery to the screen. The three Great Beauties—Garbo, Dietrich, and Lamarr—united in their contempt for Nazi Europe and their respect for America when our culture stood for the Four Freedoms.

Homeward bound, there was a stop at the Jewish Museum in Copenhagen’s Royal Garden, where architect Daniel Libeskind tells the tale of courageous and determined fishermen who rescued the Jews of Copenhagen, shepherding them to safety in the neutral neighboring country of Sweden. It was here in this very small chamber with tilted walls, crooked floor tiles, and alcoves filled with mementos of Jewish history, that I found myself shaking with sobs. What moved me about Denmark during the War was the contrast between the humble heroism of the rescuers, the profound gratitude of the saved, and on the other hand the enormity of those who were not rescued and the recognition of the vastness of indifference toward the suffering of others that marked the era. It haunts me to this day.

During the pilgrimage, my thoughtful wife purchased a Viking statuette to add to the crazy shelves in my RISD office. So now that I am back home among the junk mail and old newspapers, I can look backward, sift and sort, and come to a sigh of satisfaction that I have indeed paid homage to my hero and my heroine and everything that inspired them. Thus: Wallenberg and Garbo; Depression and Duration; highs and lows; glimpses of greatness and the disappointments of the actual. Is there a “moral” to this travelogue? You decide: don’t join the crowd, consult your own soul!

Mike Fink welcomes visitors to his chamber, and will explain whatever amongst the threescore and more clutter interests his guest!.