Parsons

Student Work

  • Communication Design (BFA)

    Anna Feng

    Doublespeak

    The New School was founded in 1919 as The New School for Social Research, an alternative to traditional universities. The founders drafted A Proposal for An Independent School of Social Science for Men and Women, a manifesto that called for an open curriculum, minimal hierarchy, and free discussion of controversial topics. They criticized outmoded ideologies and argued for a reconsideration of long-accepted truths. Today, the New School claims to build upon its progressive past, yet its actions suggest otherwise. Many have stated that the New School has strayed from its founding ideals and has become increasingly corporatized, along with the rest of higher education in the United States. In an attempt to engage with the school community, President Van Zandt and Provost Tim Marshall hold biannual town halls to talk about issues such as institutional diversity and financial planning. The Q&A segments of the town halls reveal the disconnect between the administration's rhetoric and its often regressive practices. Adopting the Situationists' technique of ditournement, I appropriated existing materials from The New School to create new work that critiques and subverts messages from the university. Livestreamed town hall meetings, school flyers, and the original New School manifesto have been chopped, reconfigured, and overlaid with one another to juxtapose The New School's contradictory voices.
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