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

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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

Family Stories

Gina Vestuti (BFA SC 2022)

The other day I mentioned that if we all went to Colombia during Semana Santa, it would almost be like the real thing, and we wouldn’t have to worry about going to Venezuela anymore.

In summer I stayed with Francisco’s sister, Ana Maria, who said she’d never go to Colombia again because it was too humid. Its dank valleys could never compare to the pedestal of the Ávila on which Caracas sat cool and dry.

Her daughter Bettina, who I always forget is crazy, told me she stopped keeping up with the news after she left. “Of course, we can go to the tepuis together.” We walked down little winding alleys in Madrid and she talked about it like it was all possible. Her step-dad is still there and he pays someone to wait in line for food for him while he goes to work.

A man passed us on a bike with a freezer bag on his back. She turned to me and told me he’s Venezuelan, she’s sure because he was whistling, and Venezuelans are the only ones in Spain who whistle. Her radar lovingly attuned to specificities which dodged my body and tied theirs together—whistling, the waiter’s familiar accent, a truck driver’s walk.

“I have an ex-boyfriend whose uncle is a pilot. He took me before. We can go again, maybe in the summer.” There would be time because she was not working. Nobody was working, nobody could find a job after having been copied and pasted into a different world where they could only recognize each other.

We were sitting in the quiet of the living room together, maybe it was after reading how Trump had mentioned staging a military intervention in Venezuela. The way the article was phrased, it sounded like he had tossed the idea out the same way you would throw out ideas of where to eat for lunch.

I asked if we would ever be able to go.

“I heard Colombia is lovely this time of year.”

I talked to Francisco for the first time with one cheek against the phone and the other side crunched against the computer to record, and he kept yelling that he couldn’t hear me. Straining to fit between two devices, I knew him from the dime-sized WhatsApp photo where he stands next to a beautiful woman on top of a mountain. He is blonde, like I remember from the family photos, but he doesn’t look as fun. 

(Maybe he would have been familiar in Spanish. When Ana Maria calls my dad, he answers the phone and “hello” becomes “aló,” a formed exhalation, relaxing into another self. Francisco and Ana Maria don’t talk anymore.)

When I asked Francisco how he was doing, a Venezuelan euphemism for are you starving, he said he was fine because he’d been ordering supplies from walmart.com and shipping them to his house. Or else he’d have his friends in the US buy things from Costco and mail them to him.

Walmart? Yes, he talked about the daily blackouts, and the shortages, and I remembered the statistics of how many people survive off scraps from the garbage, but Walmart?

I began to Google all the things I needed proof of. I always imagined the results were empty because there was no paper left in Venezuela, let alone time to write about “pirate radio Caracas 1976.”

Did you mean: Radio Nacional de Venezuela en Vivo por Internet?

In Caracas, I begin to wind my cursor through all the roads and all the neighborhoods I knew from stories but were not mine. For the first time, there is a street view option. The sun is shining, I am in a park and the green hills roll away from me. A pool of water extends from my right into the distance. People sit under the palm trees that line the path, I turn my view and see the Ávila beyond the city. Upwards, a palm tree loses its head, curving into the seam where all these photographs meet.

I can’t move from the spot the photos are taken. I imagine I’m stuck there because a car
with a camera mounted to its roof would never survive Caracas. How does the Walmart car drop off Francisco’s packages? Do they leave them on the porch if he’s not home? Do they put them around back just to be safe?

“Walmart, huh? What a clever way to get around it.”

As I remember it, Francisco’s story was first told by my dad around the kitchen table, which was a warm wood, maybe beech. His voice is warm in English and warmer in Spanish. His hand gestures are always circular, as if he is building something.

(There are some people—old lawyers and politicians?—who gesture with a lot of pointing and sharpness. What a difference in effect to see hands reaching to hold objects and moving to multiply them.)

The movement I most remember from the first telling is how his hand traced a large circle, getting smaller and smaller to explain how the police followed the signal of the radio station to find the house it was coming from.

Over the phone, Francisco’s voice sounded nothing like his sister’s, whose every word is kind of rounded. She says “fantastic.” Everything is fantastic: the country, the food, the getting out, is all fantastic. All parts are enunciated, but if the sounds moved like hands, they’d be less like a snap of fingers and more like a clap, softer and lower.

“As I said, it was a very, very ... how do I say … a stupid thing we did.” The way Francisco spokewas sharp. The word “stupid” catches around the “tu” sound to become “stiupid,” “circuit” becomes “swircuit.”

Mama Lola is a young woman, with all her sisters. My aunt keeps finding these photographs with manicured edges and cursive names on the back; she loves them because they all have her nose. A whole family presses between two palm fronds. I search their faces, which formed mine, for an answer—likeness, spirit—a tie to join. They are inanimate, they look nowhere, gentleness lives in the grain of the photograph, we have nothing to do with each other. Francisco is a 12-year-old boy on a rock next to my dad. They are glued into my grandmother’s photo album.

Years ago, I dreamt I was on a flight that diverted to Caracas. I felt the excitement of unreality. The Ávila was glistening, the fields beyond it were comically flat. We stayed inside a hotel lobby the whole time we were there, never going outside. Even the gray carpet felt holy, because we were with it, in that country. We did not go outside because I did not know what it looked like. I could only come up with enough information to form an interior space.

Two large apartment buildings consume the family church. They stand so close to it, the satellite image lives in shadow. Every time I refresh the page, it is still there. I breathe a sigh of relief.

Later that week, I interview my dad while he puts snow tires on his car, interrupted only by cursing when he scratches his rims on the cobblestone. I’m on the curb and he’s on the ground and he says it was 1976 (1980 by Francisco’s count) when all the friends would get together and take apart and rebuild engines and circuit boards because one of them was an electronic genius.

“Wait, let me go back.”

He folds to add layers: Francisco had started the pirate radio station as a reaction to a national law about playing one Venezuelan song for every two American songs played. This was important because Venezuelan music was terrible, and America was premium.

Coming back from Franco’s Spain, Francisco had no tolerance for oppression. His friends asked for radio components, so he brought them back with him.

Francisco told me he ordered them out of an issue of Popular Mechanics.(I say nothing.)

As a part of the Venezuelan tradition of political unease, there was a curfew where you had to be inside from sundown to 6 in the morning. Saturday nights became 12 hour parties—it was the ’70s (’80s); things like that were common.

“That was what they did for so long in Venezuela. People had fun and it was hysterical.”

There was one way in and out of Caracas, through a tunnel. At its mouth, Francisco and his friends posted banners with the date, the time, and the frequency of the radio station.

Very quickly the government discovered what was happening. Using military radar trucks intended for defense against Colombia, they drove winding circles through neighborhoods in Caracas, looking for a radio station playing only American songs and run by 18 year olds.

The station would broadcast from a different house every week so as not to be caught.

“That wasn’t the funny part of it.”
Francisco told me about the end, when police triangulated the signal of the radio station and found the house that hosted the party the week before.

They assembled a swat team, broke down the door—

They didn’t know the location changed.
“I remember the mother was with two friends having a cup of tea.”

They ruined an old woman’s tea party—

“Everybody was surprised, the mother and the policeman."

After that the group knows people are after them so they start dividing up the equipment after each broadcast, so no one could be caught with the whole thing.

“The police threatened to arrest the mother and so the friends were forced to turn in the equipment.”

Finally, the police interrupt a party, everyone scatters, one poor boy is caught. (He puts down the rim and becomes the police officer)
“Look,” (intense pointing) “we’re going to kill your family,”

“The police threatened to arrest the mother,”

“We’re going to kill you,” (more pointing) “we’re going to kill all your friends.”
(I imagine the finger in my face) “We’re going to find them.”
(I become the boy) “You don’t want to sacrifice yourself for these other guys.”

“and so the friends were forced to turn in the equipment.”

“So that was kind of the end of that.”

By the end of the story, all the rims are on the car; I have stopped noting the differences between the two versions.

“You’re so lucky Ricardo decided to live in the U.S.” Francisco told me at the end of our call.

As with everything else, the idea of what is promised changes when a country implodes. I envied people who had ownership, to whom returning belonged.

Packing to see Ana Maria and Bettina, I felt that same excitement of unreality. I was getting my Latin American homecoming, in Europe, with two of the original hundred cousins. They fought the whole time, and I ended up leaving Madrid three days early. 

Occasionally, in grainy satellite images of rooftops which composed Caracas, we would sift for Mama Lola’s house, searching for something to clarify the rumors. We could never find it—either because it had truly been bombed during its use as the Yugoslavian embassy, or because my dad had forgotten the address.

“Everything was nutty, but fun nutty, I mean it was never malicious.” My dad tells me as we walk back inside. “You know people aren’t overly serious there, they just have fun. If it’s an earthquake, they’ll find a way to harness the power and turn it into a party of some sort.”

In Madrid, walking out of the train station back to Ana Maria’s apartment, I was caught by a woman’s tattoo. At the nape of her neck, under brown hair, a curling green line forming a rough “T.” Have you ever lost an object in a pile of other people’s things? Can you feel it, somewhere between your stomach and your sternum, the vibrations of your heart knowing and loving before your brain can catch up? I followed her up the steps, turning the shape over in my mind again and again until it fell into place. The left of the “T” was Lake Maracaibo, her hair was the Antillas. She was not whistling, but here was another one, the first I’d found without Bettina.

Gina Vestuti is currently serving as Google Maps’ brand ambassador.