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

The Unbearable Whiteness of Being
(a Graphic Designer) 

Tiger Dingsun (BFA GD 2020)

Here’s something that I maybe want to say:

Relatively speaking, I’m in an extremely privileged position. I’m able-bodied, middle class, and proficient in English. I’m light-skinned and East Asian. All of this, combined with the fact of my U.S. citizenship, means that I am afforded certain protections in this country. I will most likely never be stopped at a border, never be unduly stopped during a traffic stop, never have to worry about the more explicit and direct versions of state violence. And the context in which I currently live my life is one of privilege. I study Graphic Design at a school with name recognition. I’m surrounded by well-meaning people.

Despite all that, what lingers is a nagging suspicion that there is something not quite right with the way that my body is perceived in space. A suspicion that asks: despite the privileges granted to East Asians in the US, why do I still feel like white America still sees me as less than human? Like one face in an indistinguishable Asian hoard? This feeling is especially strong in the context of a university. The demographics of the undergraduate Graphic Design department at RISD skews heavily East Asian. And still, in almost all of the studio classes I have been in, the (white) professor has consistently mixed up the names of various East Asian (especially female) students. This confusion can last for weeks into the semester. I wonder if, in some twisted version of the politics of representation, white professors feel anything when they look at the students and don’t see themselves represented.

Maybe this is racially inflammatory language. I’m a bit wary even putting these words to paper. Because they might be read as overly resentful. Maybe these are thoughts that were never meant to be aired out, never meant to be shared unless I’m complaining to other people of color.

I am obviously so much more conscious of the various facets of my identity than most white people are. But often this identity does not feel like something that is intrinsic to my body, and instead more like something that was ascribed to me.

I don’t want to be relegated to making work about my identity. My Asian-Americanness. My queerness. The mechanics of my marginalization. Topics like the model minority myth or the narrative of my parents immigration to the U.S. and their subsequent struggles have been so thoroughly fleshed out in collective consciousness, that the act of proliferating these stories has long ceased to be radical. Stories of immigration, and even stories of growing up gay and alienated feel, to a certain extent, like fodder for a liberal, white, heteronormative audience. Sometimes it’s exhausting, and sometimes it seems too easy, like a default pool of content that I can pull from to get an ‘A’ in the studio that’s (inevitably) being taught by a progressive white professor.

And sometimes it seems like no one would say anything helpful in a critique for fear of invalidating my very being. Although I’ll admit that I like wielding that power. It does make me feel smug that I don’t have to contend with white guilt in the way that all of these white designers have to.

So then, I decided to focus on the other side of the muddied coin. Instead of making work about my own marginalized identity, I tried to pivot to making work that is focused on exploring and critiquing whiteness. I’m a bit obsessed with it. It’s everywhere and nowhere at the same time, it’s implicated in both history and the erasure of history, the creation and negation of nostalgia, the privilege and burden of subjectivity, the invisibility and hypervisibility of difference. It’s a field of contradictions.

But the work has started to get easy too. Easy, In the sense that, complaining about white people comes so naturally to me. The simple fact of growing up in a country as anything other than white has made acts against white superiority incredibly easy to act on. Lately, the work has felt just like that: easy to come by, except maybe dressed up in a few choice theoretical phrasings. I’m apprehensive that I’ve just assumed yet another predefined role. The critiques have began to feel rote again. Whereas before, I would feel uneasy about my work because of how quickly it approached self-orientalizing myself, now I fear my work about whiteness is just indulging the already self-flagellating white Left.

This, I think, is where the true power of hegemony lies—in its ability to re-digest counter-discourse. An eager, but shallow acceptance of anti-hegemonic critique becomes yet another signal of white virtue. The inescapability of whiteness comes back to me, again and again. I barely even have to try. Whiteness feels like something I can pluck out of the air. It’s like I rub my hands together and the whiteness rubs off me in little flakes of dead skin and dirt.

Instead, I will let my dear white colleagues take up that mantle. It’s not their fault that they were born white, but it does mean that they were born with a certain responsibility to self-reflexively reconcile with the privilege that has been foisted upon them. Maybe I’ll focus on making entirely form-based work from now on. Or maybe I’ll start making work about like, surveillance dystopias or machine learning algorithms or meme culture or some shit. Work that suggests a criticality and an intellect that don’t without necessitating an understanding of race; work that suggests a future in which we are all equally fucked, regardless of sociological categories; work that suggests the luxury of not having to think about race.

It delights me to hear white people critique white hegemony. Not that that’s happening that often during my studio classes, but it does seems to have a thicker presence in the air than before. Although the critique is often myopically focused on the current presidential administration, the reign of invisibility that whiteness has had in American culture seems to be slowly disintegrating. I’m optimistic about a future in which whiteness is not so blinding, in which white people can talk more critically and self-reflexively about their own whiteness.

I can see the spark of self-recognition in their eyes. It slowly renders a fire.

This essay first appeared in shorter form in the 2018 GD Triennial catalogue.

Tiger Dingsun is trying to develop a rich inner life.