The Guardian Cut-Up Art Exhibit – The UCSD Guardian

The Guardian Cut-Up Art Exhibit – The UCSD Guardian

As journalists, it’s not every day that we see the words we put on paper come to life. Once the printing company prints our letters, that story is over and we move on to the next. Art on the other hand is the opposite. When an artist makes his work, it matters for quite some time, maybe forever. But what happens when the two collide – when art and journalism merge to form a secret third thing?

UC San Diego professor Dino Dinco asked his VIS 175 Editing – Theory and Practice class to do this “secret third thing” and they were up to the task. Their creativity resulted in Cut-up The Guardian, a one-day installation of experimental cut-up texts. You may be thinking, what does cutting a newspaper have to do with editing movies? Dinco explained the parallels between the task and analog film editing when reels of physical film were cut with blades and reattached with tape.

“I was thinking about an assignment that would get students thinking about another way we create meaning when we put together a story,” Dinco said. “I like the experimental mechanism of the cutting method as a way that a text can achieve coherence or incoherence based on chance.”

The Cut-Up method was pioneered by poet Tristan Tzara in the 1920s and popularized by William S. Burroughs in the 50s and 60s. What makes this installation so unique to UCSD is that they did this method with The UCSD Guardian first issue of the winter quarter. Dinco asked editor-in-chief Raymond Tran for 30 copies of the issue for the project. Then his class got to work.

When asked why he chose The Guardian, Dinco replied: “I was thinking about a resource that was accessible to everyone. [in the class]. I wanted to emulate editing the same footage.”

On February 7, the installation opened at UpThere, a temporary exhibition space in UCSD’s Visual Arts facility. When you first walk in, a centerpiece immediately catches your eye. Scissors and blades hang from the ceiling, with a pair of scissors precariously holding a flyer for the show. It shows the tools used to create the show. The room contains all 24 different interpretations of the newspaper, each unique in its own right.

Many used canvas, printer paper, lined paper, construction paper, and even newspaper itself as a background for their creations. Artists reuse our words from the newspaper to create new stories, like Ande Arend who used the words to create five poems based on the five stages of grief.

“Each poem is a stage of grief as each person realizes that the one they love will not come back,” said Arend. “Finding the words took a long time. I wanted it to feel like a real poem, not a stilted one.”

While Arend was writing about grief, others took different approaches to the project. Nicoletta Gagliano incorporated sketches into hers, and Leo Macias created a Joker portrait from his paper. Macias used big bold letters to have phrases like “HA HA” and titles like “Who Will Have the Last Laugh” to make his words stand out. He also used colored pieces of newspaper to place green hair and red lips in a photo.

Alexandra Mirman used a unique technique for her project. She added a 3D aspect by gluing strips of text to the edges so they would pop out of the paper. She also highlighted the word “cut” through the pink part.

“The 3D effect looks a lot cooler and makes it pop,” Mirman said. “I wanted to show that I didn’t cut each row one at a time, but instead cut them all the way through, like you would do pretend grass in elementary school…”

James Delisio told a poetic story in his piece, using many words from around the newspaper to put his poem together. He also took a different approach to putting it together.

“I removed it over several days, leaving my newspaper and materials on our living room table,” Delisio said. “I invited often [roommates and guests] to contribute some words or lines to the final poem. I thought this might be a bit chaotic, but it actually led to some pretty impressive stanzas.”

The words were not the only aspects from the newspaper that were used. Students incorporated pictures into their pieces to help tell their stories. Mona Xing, for example, posted images of Harry Styles on Chappell Roan. Jonathan Cabael pasted images from the Arts & Entertainment section to the Sports page, overlaying it with sentences.

Lauren Reyes used a technique to create her project, using images of Kali Uchis and Chappell Roan that complemented her words about the fun of art.

“My favorite part was putting it all together,” Reyes said. “I felt more creative putting them down, because I’m not particularly good at words, so it was nice to put some pretty visuals into the piece to make it look like more than just newspaper clippings.”

Another element that enhanced the installation was the center table, which not only held two pieces of student artwork, but was filled with words and sentences cut together with pairs of scissors. Above the table was a window covered with sliced ​​newspaper. Light shone through the holes, shining down on the table filled with the missing pieces.

“I couldn’t be happier,” Dinco said when asked what he thought of his students’ work. “I didn’t think about it beforehand, but when they read them out loud in class, they sounded like random notes.”

Dinco’s VIS 175 class showcased their creativity in this showcase and brought the words of The Guardian to life, something I’ve never seen before. This shows that art and journalism can go hand in hand to create something even better than imagined.

Photo by Sarah He & Sophie Nourbakhsh

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