A Cool Thing You Probably Missed: 2 x 4, the 8th Annual Dual Degree Exhibition

The Brown/RISD dual degree exhibit, called 2 x 4 (as in the lumber you buy at Home Depot) was unveiled on January 28 at the Granoff Center. Running through February 12, this year’s exhibition focused “on themes of multiplicity, calculation, and construction and was “inspired by what is elementary, use of materials, process work, manmade versus natural, and collaboration.”

The main exhibition space had more than a few nods to the 2 x 4 theme, with a Bob the Builder themed photo booth, a huge wooden cube built in the center of the room, and small art installation featuring, you guessed it: 2 x 4’s.

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Small tables supplied with index cards and markers offered visitors a chance to participate. Little cards prompted us: draw wood, draw the person next to you, draw your transportation to the wood, draw a compliment. Once finished with your masterpiece, you could hang them up in the cube.

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IFF Presents: Richard Brown, Dougray Scott and the uncanny in contemporary television

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Understanding the rise of the uncanny in contemporary television isn’t so much an analysis of societal preferences, as it is one of the television industry. Filmmakers of the uncanny have spent entire careers trying to emulate a Freudian model of finding the unfamiliar and perverse inside the familiar, or as Stanley Kubrick puts it, finding the aesthetics of dread. But why are these aesthetics of dread so much more attractive to audiences now?

In a panel hosted by IFF at the Granoff Center, Richard Brown, the executive producer of True Detective, and Dougray Scott, a Scottish actor known for his role in the Netflix series, Hemlock Grove, told the audience what they thought made the uncanny so appealing. Both men agreed, the audiences haven’t changed at all, but the TV business has. According to Brown, it all started with House of Cards signing on for 22 episodes without a pilot on Netflix. From that point forward, the power of the industry was in the hands of the filmmakers, not the networks, and the quality started to improve dramatically. In other words, people don’t like the uncanny now more than ever. It just so happens that the uncanny is better now than ever before.

Scott in Hemlock Grove, and Brown, in a similar pose.

Scott in Hemlock Grove, and Brown, in a similar pose.

Brown credits the success of True Detective to the leverage the show had over HBO. The fact that it wasn’t shot episode by episode — the standard for television — but instead in the same style as an 8 hour film, made it a better final product. Furthermore, the style in which it was shot, and the choice of the cinematographer were included in the initial contract. HBO gave way to these terms, in fear that the makers of the show would run off with their idea to Netflix, Brown said. For the same reasons, the contract is signed before any episodes are made, meaning the makers don’t have to listen to the networks once they start working.

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TRaNsMOGRifiCATiON underway at Granoff

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If you have walked past or wandered through Granoff this week, you may have heard some strange noises and buzzing coming from the Cohen Gallery during the day, or have seen people tinkering inside late at night through the gallery’s large front windows. This is the TRaNsMOGRifiER, running in Granoff until Tuesday, March 3rd. Information on the project’s website and on the monitor outside the gallery are terse, with a few simple instructions:

LEAVE THINGS ON EMPTY PEDESTALS OR IN THE BOXES AT INTAKE.

PICK UP YOUR THINGS THE NEXT DAY BEFORE 12 AND 6P.

PLEASE NOTE: TRANSMOGRIFICATION IS IRREVERSIBLE!

I was granted special access to witness a transmogrification session this past week, and was able to talk with one of the TRaNsMOGRifiER’s installers, P—-, about the project’s concept and the transmogrification process. P—- describes the TRaNsMOGRifiER as a “system for altering things in surprising ways, with sonic, light, and visual components.” People bring in objects during the day and leave them in the Intake boxes. When the gallery closes at sundown, transmogrification goes into work. By the next morning, objects are back on the pedestals in their transmogrified form. P—- describes the cardboard box, a repeated motif in the space, as a “space for creative reconsideration” – objects are left at Intake and revealed the next day, but what goes on in between is not entirely certain.

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Check out “Of[f] Course”: the 7th Annual Brown|RISD Dual Degree Show

10929111_10152653030439537_228845248285525654_oThe Annual Brown/RISD Dual Degree Exhibition, now in its 7th year, opened Thursday night in the Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, showcasing works from students in all five years of the cross-institutional program. At the opening reception, members of the Brown, RISD, and local community wandered through the galleries and stairwells of Granoff, enjoying artwork, refreshments, and activities including temporary tattoos and a sign craft station.

This year’s exhibition is titled Of[f] Course, dealing with themes of “expectations, routine, and deviation.” Pieces in this show approach these ideas from different angles, some dealing with associations of physical traveling, through maps, landscapes, and urban motifs.

New Haven, Three Views, by Jeremy Wolin, pictured below, explores this theme by carving into three medical textbooks, almost as raised relief topographic maps. In these views of New Haven, Wolin sculpts into the books an estuary of sorts, a grid-like city plan holding coins, knick-knacks, and found objects, and a sprawling city center.

"New Haven, Three Views," Jeremy Wolin '19 (Interior Architecture & Public Policy)

“New Haven, Three Views,” Jeremy Wolin ’19 (Interior Architecture & Public Policy)

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A cool thing you shouldn’t miss: Brown/RISD Dual Degree Show

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In celebration of the artistic sensibilities of students in the dual degree program, tonight is the opening night of the 6th Annual Brown/RISD Dual Degree Exhibition, and we think this event is definitely a cool thing you shouldn’t miss. Why? We know you too have an artistic side, and with this year’s themes of “neighborliness, proximity, and foreign belonging,” you’re likely to relate.

The show runs from 7-9:30 p.m. at the Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, and features artwork, live performance, refreshments, and all kinds of entertainment—allegedly including but not limited to rigorously competitive mini-golf games. And if you can’t make it tonight, the exhibit will be up until February 12 for your viewing pleasure.

So like the event name advises, don’t be a stranger!


What to do tonight: Urban Studies Film Festival

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We all know that anything with the words “outdoor amphitheater” is bound to make for an awesome time. Throw “Granoff Center” into the equation and, well, do you need any further convincing? Tonight, make sure to check out the Urban Studies Film Festival outside Granoff Center from 7:30–11 p.m.

The Urban Studies department will be screening two iconic films depicting human lives in correlation with their urban environments. Detropia tracks the rise and fall of the American dream, from its grand beginnings to a disillusioned and less receptive American public. Manhattan stars Woody Allen, and that’s all I have to say about that. Come enjoy this free outdoor event on what feels like a beautiful summer night! Bring a blanket, some Gourmet Heaven cheese and crackers, a good cuddle buddy friend, and you’ll be good to go.

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