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

Everything is Interdependent    

Angela Dufresne (Associate Professor, Painting)

Helen Frankenthaler, Holocaust, 1955, enamel, tube oil pigment, and turpentine on unsized cotton canvas, 68 3/8 x 54 in. The Albert Pilavin Memorial Collection of 20th-century American Art 72.108; Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence

Last winter, Painting professor Angela Dufresne met with Jennifer Liese, Director of the Center for Arts & Language, at the RISD Museum to talk about Helen Frankenthaler’s Holocaust (1955), now on view in the exhibition The Phantom of Liberty: Contemporary Works in the RISD Museum Collection. Dufresne’s observations, distilled from their conversation and originally published in Provincetown Arts magazine, made Frankenthaler’s painting feel vividly and disconcertingly of the present.

When I walked up to this painting, the first thing that came to mind for me is Gentileschi’s beheadings or one of those Viennese floating heads of John the Baptist. I immediately think of violence, and not just because of the title—it’s the liquidity of the paint, the sense of bodily fluids. I tend to pictorialize things, so even the signature becomes a part of that hideous bird’s-eye view of the Battle of the Marne or the Allied troops landing on the beach at Normandy. To be able to syncopate the materiality of the painting with its meaning is so hard to do without being propagandist or metaphorical, but this painting marries materiality and pathos and lamentation in a way that’s absolutely sublime. It isn’t metaphorical, it’s experiential.

I also think of the “goo” of feminist painting in Mira Schor’s “Figure/Ground” essay, which I just reread, but that’s looking through the lens of feminism, which we all know Frankenthaler never embraced. It was a different era, with different modes of survival for an artist, but in a way everything she did was feminist. In the Painters Painting documentary from the 1970s, she shows up as this badass, unapologetically arrogant, exuberant female in the midst of all these men. Unlike the men’s paintings of the period, there’s no critique of representation in this work, there’s so much independence and liberty. That is feminist. The Helen Frankenthaler Foundation just gave a major grant to Skowhegan to make a brand-new studio. I was there last summer, and 65 percent of the artists there were people of color, and many did not come from elite institutions. So her success really does trickle down, to use a pun while looking at these drips. She didn’t call herself a feminist, but her commitment to poetic revolutionary thinking was always there.

I’m also thinking of everything that Julia Kristeva ever wrote about abjection, from Powers of Horror on down. So—and this is also in hindsight, of course—everything about this painting is abject. The central shape feels as though it’s been inverted, like in work by Dona Nelson or Amy Sillman, who, like me, also rotate their fields. That’s abjection—being so removed from the body you don’t know what’s up or down. It’s that unbelievable mystifying feeling, like, “Look how beautiful this is, but this is also the very thing that you shouldn’t be looking at. This is death.”

It’s deeply primal, and while Frankenthaler would by no means be a fan of the Surrealists, Holocaust is highly indebted to them. I think many young artists over the past decade and a half—and I would include myself—have embraced abstraction because they’re super-aware that social media takes away our primal connection with each other. Collaging things together like this is a physical act; it’s not cutting and pasting on Photoshop. That’s the value of objects, and this is such an object. You could never feel that coppery color and that white floating over it on a screen.

Without having made a hundred different kinds of pours and knowing a hundred different ways to use a brush, this painting could not happen. You need emotional intuition and sensitivity and spontaneity, but a painting like this really comes from knowledge, from rehearsed, informed action, from strategic thinking and psychological observation and performance. It only works when all of this comes together. Everything is interdependent. The way the white sits on top of the messy gray creates light and an explosion of flesh. The white doesn’t work without the brown area there next to the red. That red is reliant on the black that’s oozing over it. These things are radically separate and totally interdependent. Understanding that takes making a lot of paintings. Difference and interconnectedness—it sounds like I’m talking about politics here.

That orange circle in the upper left corner is Barthes’s punctum, the emotional center. It could be read in infinite ways. You could read it perspectivally, for example, but I think of it as an oddly placed word that creates a conundrum that creates a quagmire—if it were a sentence, you know. It’s also a tranquil, peaceful moment amid lots of turmoil, articulating something somewhat ambivalent, the possibility of beauty in all that madness. And that orangey color against all that blown-out sap green—that quiet, soft, nonviolent color relationship—does that, too. You can see where the orange has been painted over, so it probably came first, but the decision to keep it came last, so it’s first and it’s last. I’m speculating on that, but I’m pretty confident that’s when it happened. The white strands I’m sure of: that’s pouring and brushing with a lot of water and just kind of flinging, letting it sort of dangle. It’s the full-on Pollock move, the stick in the bucket.

Do you know Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower? It’s set in a near future where morality and ethics have gone threadbare. There’s that kind of “threadbareness” in this image—literally the threadbareness of the canvas, but also in the overly exposed nudity of the mark-making. The main character, Lauren, has this magical skill or illness called “feeler” or hyper-empathy, where if she sees somebody fall and bump their head she feels their pain. Like that, this image might train the person who encounters it to a higher level of empathy and civility. Lauren also poses as a man to survive, and starts to understand what it means to be not locked in a single gender, that we are something bigger than our individual packaging. This is fundamentally the trans idea, that we’re all unique, and gender is just a construct we make. To queer something is to overstep a boundary—the ontology or the logic of what a thing is doing—and this painting is doing that, too.

I’m forever indebted to Frankenthaler. It’s a very dark time, with this backlash against the feminism that Frankenthaler, like many of her generation, didn’t embrace, but that she in fact made possible. She laid the groundwork. She also found all these different methods to speak in ways that are unspoken. So many of the painters of her time feel design-y or robotic. They have a way of filling the space and creating central forms. There’s no compositional stability in her paintings, no image strategy. It’s like Miles Davis’s Sketches of Spain—no melody, only tonal harmonies and dissonances. She’s tireless. Her appetite, her sense of adventure about what you can do in a painting, is infinite.

Angela Dufresne is Associate Professor in Painting at RISD. She has described her work as articulating “non-paranoid, porous ways of being in a world fraught by fear, power, and possession.”