BFA Art, Media, and Technology students recently exhibited a large-scale installation titled Carded, which they created for the OECD Anti-Corruption and Integrity Forum, convener for more than four decades of the leading anti-corruption event held in Paris. The OECD commission challenged students to design an artwork addressing the risks and opportunities of new technologies while showcasing the dynamic interactions of art, design, media, and technology. On view for the entire conference, Carded inspired more than 2,000 changemakers, including government, business, and civil society leaders and experts from 120 countries.
For the project, students were prompted to create an installation that critically looked at the themes of the Forum, including the ways in which blockchain, big data analytics, AI, and other advanced technologies can transform how governments, businesses, and societies work. In response, they developed a multidisciplinary creative work that depicted a house of unique, larger-than-life cards delicately balanced. Unlike traditional playing cards, the deck comprising Carded were transparent and their faces replaced with symbols of technology to reinforce the fact that our society — or “house”— is ever more driven by tech. The structure’s delicate balance highlighted the ways in which social order is threatened with collapse when lacking much-needed transparency. The students hoped the installation conveyed what can happen when powerful technologies function together, and how they can help us progress towards a more connected civilization, culture, planet, and humankind.
Organizers of the OECD event praised the installation for its sophisticated integration of technological concepts and the integrity systems for which the OECD continually strives. They observed that the artwork served as a reminder that innovation can spur change. Students were pleased to use the art and design tools they developed at Parsons Paris with an interpretive and transformative perspective to investigate current issues related to integrity and anti-corruption, including data privatization, trade, lobbying, local governance, and development cooperation. Moreover, the collaborative project allowed them to explore how art, media, and technology can be employed to communicate across languages. The BFA Art, Media, and Technology program, only available on the Parsons Paris campus, looks forward to contributing again to the next Forum.