Projects that explore the dynamics of human relationships through one-on-one intuitive or curated collaborations, partnerships and pairings, and group arrangements. Several conversations among individuals unfolded from the possibilities of chance or the spontaneity of public engagement. As such, these projects inhabit the breadth of visual and literary semiotics, demonstrating the aesthetic capaciousness of collective consciousness.
i you me (2015)
As a massive accordion-style artist book, I YOU ME materially manifests the dynamics between self and other, showcasing public expression of selves within spheres of multiplicity, as a network or community of existence. The book’s spreadable, interconnected folds have zig-zagged across floors, in which the personal pronouns of “I”, “YOU”, and “ME” have been replicated in graphic, charcoal scribbles on each book leaf only to be reworked—erased, smudged, redrawn, and rewritten—again, in charcoal, with engaging public participants’ own writings and drawings.
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Sponsored by the 2014–2015 Kerry Sherin Prize of the Kelly Writers House. Installation views at Kelly Writers House Arts Cafe, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, 2015.
Founded, edited, and directed by Gina DeCagna from 2012 to 2016 at the University of Pennsylvania, Symbiosis was an experimental arts community and magazine featuring collaborating visual artists and writers, dedicated to the interrelationship of the visual and literary arts. Across its four years of operation, Symbiosis engaged hundreds of students and practicing artists and writers, locally in Philadelphia and nationally across the United States, through its curated and randomized collaborations, workshops, and programs that were mobilized around the magazine as its central medium of interdisciplinary expression.
This 2016 annual issue displays practicing professional artists and writers from across the United States who have singularly explored visual-literary media along with select collaborations of students at the University of Pennsylvania and a feature on ekphrasis. A coordinated digital edition showcases digital, ephemeral visual-literary media of Internet culture. Additionally, an interactive gallery exhibition asks viewers and readers to engage in experimental collage techniques using institutional texts on contemporary artists.
This 2015 annual issue features six art and writing collaborations—selected from paired students of the University of Pennsylvania—within its pages which sync with gallery space that is trisected across three curatorial themes of exploration. National award-winning critical essays include varied writers' thoughts on contemporary collaborative art-making, the role of empathy in working with others, and the aesthetics of uncertainty, among other topics.
Showcasing eleven select collaborations between student artists and writers at the University of Pennsylvania, this 2014 annual issue vibrantly embraces the dynamics of creative exchange through its pages, curating unique image-to-text pairings, from recto to verso. A coordinated gallery exhibition offers varied viewing experiences of the inventive collaborations, along with a gallery guide of visual-literary criticism.
As the inaugural issue of the newly formed student group of Symbiosis at the University of Pennsylvania, this 2013 annual issue explores the humanistic vision of the otherwise scientific term, “symbiosis.” The magazine contains a diverse selection of poetry and prose with visual artworks, designed from the writer's text to the artist's image, and as created through the coordinated efforts of participants in the act of c0-creation and co-authorship.