Trash Can Travelogue

The Requirements:

*4+ player (competitive)

*Ages 12+ (children & adults)


The Materials:

*Map of Northeastern University (x1)

*Cardboard Box (with trash & recycling items)

*Pamphlet of Photographs (x1)

*Checklist (x1)


The Instructions:

*Meet with me in front of Ruggles Station to receive your necessary materials…

*Read through the pamphlet of photographs to deduce which items Binson, Binjamin, Binley, & Binard wish to obtain…

*Travel across the campus and navigate using a physical (or digital) map of Northeastern University…

*After you place an item in a bin, keep track of its whereabouts using your checklist…

*If you find any litter during your journey, pick it up and place it in the nearest bin (and write it down on the BACK of your checklist)…

*Return to Ruggles Station, and I will grade your checklist by determining if you disposed of the items correctly…

*Depending on how much litter you picked up, you’ll receive bonus points for your endeavors that will contribute to your final grade…


Artist Statement: 

In the Interactive Media & Society course that I finished last semester, my final project was to conceptualize (but not fully implement) an interventionist artwork that can be incorporated into a public space realistically. The assignment’s core requirement was to convey an important message regarding contemporary activism and societal reform, so I quickly went to the drawing board and brainstormed some ideas. Overall, as someone who advocates for responsible recycling and the avoidance of littering, I ultimately decided to compose an interactive piece that would raise awareness about garbage pollution in a lighthearted manner. This overarching concept would later become “Reduce, Reuse, Restyle,” a public demonstration where trash cans and recycling bins would be decorated with speech bubbles and googly eyes. Each of them would discuss which types of wastes that they enjoy “eating” in their everyday lives, further providing them with their own unique personalities. In short, these artistic endeavors aimed to supply people with an eye-catching reminder about where they should dispose of their unwanted items for the betterment of the environment…

Since the entirety of this assignment simply composed of an ideated pitch, I never actually had the opportunity to enact this narrative premise in the real world. However, after watching the famous interventionist piece titled “Uncle Roy All Around You,” which was a massive multiplayer game where strangers communicated with one another throughout a city, I realized that I could transform “Reduce, Reuse, Restyle” into a compelling experience involving Northeastern’s main campus. These revelations established the foundational groundwork for “Trash Can Travelogue,” a game where four players compete and navigate themselves across campus to dispose of specific items in particular bins. Moreover, any litter that they witness during the experience must be documented and disposed of in order to receive additional bonus points at the end of the game, further motivating the players to beautify the university. Even though this project hasn’t been playtested by multiple volunteers simultaneously, I am very proud of the central concepts behind my artwork and I am rather content with how it evolved beyond its original source material…

Many of the intervention piece mentioned in the guest presentation were especially reliant on public spaces and individual volunteers. Some of them involved multiple locations in one general area whereas others relied on unsuspecting volunteers. Furthermore, every single one of them expressed their underlying messages in a wide variety of interesting ways. Even though I greatly appreciate the different methodologies for each individual artwork, I wanted to separate myself from them and experiment with my own creative processes. After all, such an inherent quality is best exemplified by the avant-garde movements that we learned about thus far, and I am genuinely striving to continue with this trend throughout each of these projects. In the end, despite some of the apparent shortcomings with this submission, “Trash Can Travelogue” is an interventionist piece that I am satisfied with in more ways than one, and I (once again) look forward to our next major assignment for the Experimental Game Design course…

Pictionary (But With Extra Steps & It’s Not Pictionary)

The Requirements:

*5+ Players (odd number of people)

*Ages 10+ (children & adults)


The Materials:

*Writing Utensils (pencils, markers, chalk, etc.)

*Drawing Mediums (papers, whiteboard, chalkboard, etc.)

*Square sticky notes (1×1 inches)

*One-minute-long hourglasses (4x)

*List of Categories (1x)

*List of Instructions (1x) –> Look below “Documentation:” 


Artist Statement: 

During the ideation process of my project, I analyzed a multitude of inspiring Dada movements that we have discussed throughout the Experimental Game Design course thus far. From the linguistic collages of the Berlin artists to the textual imagery of the Cologne illustrators, many of these talented innovators brilliantly demonstrated the power of words and symbols through intricately-designed artworks. They discovered newfound methods of blurring the boundaries between the familiar and the abstract while simultaneously using language as their key component, and I wanted to find a way to express those profound ideas even further. Even though I prefer to avoid appropriation for my more personal projects, I strived to incorporate the stylistic decisions and design principles of these numerous artistic endeavors into my newest piece. Ultimately, my excessive research and dedicated lucubration led me to composing “Pictionary (But With Extra Steps & It’s Not Pictionary).”

In short, the rules for this appropriated game can be summarized in the following sentence: instead of guessing what the original word is based on a picture, the players have to find the letters of an unknown word that are obscured within the picture, and then they have to unscramble those letters to determine the true, hidden word. The game was not only inspired by Pictionary, but it was mainly influenced by a multitude of artworks that utilized letters, numbers, and symbols within their finished products. Multiple movements across the globe (more specifically, the ones in Berlin & Cologne) excelled at their harmonious combination of writing, sculpting, & illustrating as a means of highlighting certain aspects about the art, the artist, and the audience.

One of the most prominent themes that I genuinely wished to explore in this derivative party game was the intrinsic nature of a collage versus a composition. If phenomenal artwork draws inspiration from a wide variety of different mediums (and if letters are composed of very basic lines), then when does a collage end and a composition begin? Is a composition just a collage where you can’t pinpoint the individual sources, or is a collage just a composition where you can? Is it neither (or both)? As someone who doesn’t typically create collages and instead works from their imagination, I found this question to be rather fascinating, so I composed a variant ruleset of Pictionary that encapsulates this philosophical question. Players are shown pictures that seem to be original illustrations from the get-go, only to look deeper and realize that they have to obscure letters in a textual (and pictorial) collage. A defining characteristic of the avant-garde is its inherent capacity to search for deeper truths through unique processes and nuanced perspectives, and I wanted to exemplify those endeavors through the usage of collages, compositions, and characters. In the end, I am honestly very content with how this specific artwork turned out, and I legitimately look forward to the next project that we will be tasked to create. Thank you for reading!




Zen Tsuru Piece

Event Score:

“Grab a long novel,
But read every other page…
Find an unknown word,
And make several paper cranes…
Go until it’s “true,”
Then count every crane in sight…
Write a short haiku,
Using all your newfound might…”


Artist Statement:

During the brainstorming process for this artwork, I was reading through a multitude of “event scores” written by Yoko Ono in her famous book Grapefruit. One of the most defining characteristics about her written artwork is her astounding usage of unorthodox actions to reveal greater truths about existence, and I wanted to create something a bit similar for our first assignment. Ultimately, there were three “event scores” included in her collection that resonated within me, and they were “Number Piece I,” “Number Piece II,” and “Paper Folding Piece” respectively. Each of these “event scores” involved words, books, and paper in some way shape or form, and as someone who loves language, linguistics, & literature in their entireties, I personally wanted to compose an “event score” that was thematically relevant to both reading & writing. More specifically, I wanted to compose a written piece that encompassed the intrinsic beauty of novels, poetry, origami, and education in a rather unorthodox way, and these three “event scores” gave me the inspiration to conceptualize “Zen Tsuru Piece.”

For additional context, the name of this “event score” is a mixture of “zen” (the Japanese sect of Mahayana Buddhism) and “tsuru” (the Japanese word for “crane”). Furthermore, it is derived from the Japanese term “senbazuru,” which is an Eastern tradition with some remarkably wholesome folklore. In short, it was believed that any wish would come true if you manage to fold one thousand paper cranes, and it is generally practiced by communities for the sake of mitigating and mourning other people’s suffering (such as injuries, sicknesses, memorials, etc). Because of the inherent nature of “senbazuru,” I always found this phenomenon to be a heartwarming display of both empathy and condolences, and it definitely played a major role in the composition of my “event score.”

In the end, I wanted to incorporate certain aspects of both the fine arts and Japanese customs in my artwork while simultaneously expanding upon the subject matter at hand. While many Dada movements do involve appropriation, the “avant-garde” is best characterized as being “ahead of the curve” by providing a differentiating perspective through innovative processes. Moreover, I did not want to blatantly appropriate these particular practices because in my eyes, it would’ve been extremely insensitive to neglect their original meanings and cultural significance. The overarching intent behind my art piece was to create a love letter for the limitless potential of the written word (as well as the materials used in its production). Obtaining knowledge through reading books, appreciating culture, reflecting on tradition, and pursuing innovation can result in both intellectual growth and creative expression, further cementing these ideas as the central concepts for my project.