All Group Midterm, China SP

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PEOPLE and What They Are Good At

good at: baking cookies, sending emails, making phone calls, talking to people, costuming, painting, decorating, shopping (in person not online), delegating, car
less excited about: digital rendering or any computer stuff yikes!

good at: sewing, woodshop, confident, interviewing, send emails, emojis, car, thinking fast
less excited about: digital rendering or any computer stuff

Good at: Organizing, data collection, correspondence, talking with people, initiating, research, always willing to pick up/try new skills, painting/drawing, facilitating large groups/team work (sports team captaining experience), morale boosting

Being on time, Cooking, cleaning, driving, phone calls, one-on-one talking/interviewing (not so good in groups), social media, organizing spaces/stuff

Something new to learn: Challenging myself to think more creatively, learning more about China/Beijing, learning not to feel like an asshole/accepting I do not know things & thats okay

Sarah (note: my phone service is crappy at best so if you need me facebook or email are going to be faster…also just knocking on my door loudly)
good at: designing things (+ general illustrator/photoshop junk) talking loudly, organizing people, painting stuff, working with groups, kids, getting to town without a car, cooking, coffee making, getting people to give me stuff, also I have a real camera not attached to a phone
less excited by: building anything that has to be structurally sound, organizing things
something new to learn: what is going on in China/Bejing, letting quiet moments/ pauses actually happen

good at: making phone calls, shooting the shit, driving, i’m very perceptive, screen printing, convincing people to do stuff, organization for others,
bad at: computers,

Good at: Speaking to people, creative writing, creating structures for collaboration, I know about some of the artistic movements, political history and environmental laws that effect China! Bad at: computers, organizing, data collection

Good at: writing, photography, being on time, navigating, baking, research, filming, shopping, one-on-one interviewing, team work

bad at: public speaking, tech stuff


From talking to Amber (my 14 year old DREAM mentee… we have a deal that if I tell her about school she tells me about school so she kinda knows everything!) : Lucky Dragon is her favorite restaurant and she wants to learn to make Chinese food! Also we’ve been exploring “weird” fruits + veggies (currently it’s all about kale thanks to Emma) which lead her to ask about Chinese fruits + veggies and wonder what people in China eat for snack. Snack swap? - Sarah

10/14 meeting

Ideas from Monday 10/12

Ideas from Monday 10/5
Christopher, Lily, Rosie
What would bring people into Bennington

Community events

  • Concerts
  • Things like the car show

More shopping in town

  • Restaurants
  • Outlets
  • conference space, music venue
  • Businesses to attract people downtown

Generally better economy, more employers
Water park

What would benefit the people of Bennington

More community events: better parade, things for people to do.

More employers and businesses

Programs to engage kids in outdoor activities: bike share, ATV program, snowmobile

More mutual respect between the law enforcement and citizens

Coalitions between businesses: Bennington area arts, antiques map of Bennington

What are current problems


  • In youth and adults
  • High visibility


The bypass

Ideas from Thursday 10/15


// Pick two groups you feel comfortable working in and one other that you may not feel so comfortable in. Please NOTE your expertise in any of the sections, even if you're not directly working within the group, by ITALICIZING YOUR NAME ! //

Minahil Great at navigating spaces, directions, observing the surroundings and drawing conclusions
Sarah (I know Bton places pretty well)

Minahil i love designing!!

Minahil not so great at this, would love to learn more!
Sarah- curious about this one...

Sarah (I guess I should help with this one)

(group to compile)FEEDBACK:

Sarah - lots of contacts in town :)


For those working in "Contacting Others" group. Here is a space for you guys to add to a running list of people we can work with on this project!
Donna Baker (GMX)

communicating with China...

we chat


phone booth is in the way of our personal interactions with people
embody in the real, human dialogue
object can be invitation
friendly objects-cute phone with recorder
teams of 2 to 3,(preferably 3) 1 person w/ device, 1 person notetaking/preparing
how could idea be useful in real time
if final product is a gallery install, phone booth could be created FOR GALLERY
telephone/object used as performative tool
potentially proceedign sans china,
they have a digitla arts oriented program? (film, t.v., audio)
basic questions and structures
adaptations of the phone booth: game space avatar- plushy costumes, costume as conversation starter, physical representation of relationsho b/w here and china....
are townies flummoxed/put off by abnormality? aka would they resist us if we were to dress CRAZY?
think about audience-costumes encourage child participation
they design and we design and make eachother's plans ...
what if we had a set of people in china, and we wanted to hear what people there would say about you? pics of people is personalizing, what do we want to say to them (participants, not china) ?
photos of people in Beijing w/ the questions they want answered
photos are triggers.... BASEBALL CARDS!
We design our distributable identities, aesthetic/personas
template/avatar design: image of person/avataresque
representation of self- CHINESE ZODIAC
facts to be listed on cards: age, studies, questions you wnat to pose to chinese public
videos of us asking the question? How do we deal with the language barrier?
EMOJIS- universal understanding
teletubbies....screens on chests...
videotape answers/responses
does it evolve? is there a theme that arises?
know the intention, reference for using playing cards/baseball cards/ w/e
personalize questions for you interests
TO DO!!!!!


think about:: scale of cards, make into pdf


Brainstorm with Hannah, Olivia, and Rosie

-Invoking Conflict kitchen and Lippard’s number show, Some kind of event in town, Group of artists (Bennington townspeople) act as avatars. Chinese art student instuct bennington artists in making an art piece. Art piece is created in public sphere. Vice versa. Bennington instructs China. Dual shows in Bennington and China.
-Lions group- curing blindness. How can we engage the senses?
-Youth oriented- boat conversation—about higher education. OR boat convo about social problems in Bennington.
Or not in a boat- different vessel different convo
-Connections: Women’s health in Bennington and women’s health in China.
How do women in Bennington access health care? In what ways is the system working and in what ways can it be improved? What about women in China?
-Economy/ globalization/ trade. Chinese made objects, repatriation. Jon Rubin’s estate sale.
-Benningtonnites find a Chinese made object in their homes and mail to china. Chinese vise versa.
-Phones all around! Phone booth in Bennington that calls matching phone booth in Beijing. Beijing calls Bennington. Anyone who is around can pick up and engage dialogue. Bennington learns to say a fun phrase (‘I Love you”, etc.) in Chinese. Vice versa for English in china. Language + education (participants get to learn a cute phrase in another language!!)

Class Brainstorm 10/25

Create a "fun" (attractive) station/hub in town where townspeople are drawn to the cards on their own agency. Photo/card production at the station??? Target specific shops?


General Brainstorm/Revisit

Reemphasizing personal interaction, representations of self: playing cards, template; Conflict Kitchen's avatars, establishing a connection.

  • Questions: questions for the community, through card exchange. Cards prompting discussions. What do we want to know? In thinking about questions asked by cards, participants turning lens on themselves, towards their own town/community/etc.
  • Video: Video and answering, a video being more personal versus just cards or only a voice recording, having a face to answer to. Considering audio/photo/video documentation, the comfort of the participant - with video/audio, as well as individual questions, creating space for empowerment of the individual participant.
  • Audience: Broad, targeting by interest - people seeking new experience. New approach allowing for direct, active engagement with our audience.

Building relationships in town; having to start with a smaller building block in order to effect change, looking towards long term through beginning with smaller projects. Looking for subtle, unexpected.


Creating a format for which one can find out more about themselves, providing new perspective, encouraging dialogue exchange.

  • How are we processing, packaging information?
  • Prototyping presentation; Nancy's bridge table/booth, drawing people in
  • Prototype does not equal ground-breaking - it allows for a testing ground for an idea; working towards breaking ground.

Stationing Ourselves

  • Fun booth
  • Barricaded, as with Nancy's table?
  • Target specific shops/places for which we can set up, inclement weather now that we're moving into winter
  • Blank templates for people to participate on site - more reciprocal presentation.
  • Advertising versus pop up: pop up feels more relevant to accessing the audience we want

What are we seeking?

Inquisitive attitudes, those seeking conversation, creating new experience/accessing new perspectives; working towards reengaging after the booth, bringing

Groups & Their Duties

  • Bennington College/Our Class
  1. Make template
  2. Send template to Beijing students
  3. Receive filled out templates/cards back from Beijing
  4. Design the booth (throughout template, waiting for cards)
  5. Set up booth
    1. Townsfolk make cards
    2. Act out Beijing cards (avatar)
    3. Film it
  6. Email/etc. Bennington town cards to Beijing
  7. Beijing avatars Bennington cards - wherever they want, film responses.
  8. We screen Beijing's video about Bennington at Usdan, display cards, Bennington videos, both, in addition to showing
  • Beijing Students
Make avatar templates sent from Bennington
Receive Bennington townsfolk cards
Avatar Bennington townsfolk in Beijing
  • Bennington Townsfolk
Make avatar templates, participate in booth
Attend Usdan showing


Only using what Beijing students give us: using large cards, no costumes, etc. unless they suggest or direct us in that manner. Avoiding misrepresentations, possible stereotypes by only using cards as a means of representation

Video Proponent? Talk show?

Video screening in town? Screening in Usdan? Invite townspeople to Usdan for the screening to see their Avatar enacted in Beijing?

Template= uniform, fun, subversive, bright

Station Elements

Photo booth for head shots
Writing station
Avatar Interaction + filming
Work in shifts of 4 people

Card Content

Fun Fact
What do you do in your town and what do you wish you could do in your town?
Ask a Q about someone/something in China


Avatar Card Mockup (1st)

Aesthetic Ideas Gallery

Everyone add images here/mood board it up; for both cards & booth (shared aesthetic)



Worst Habit:
Questions for China:

Filled Out Templates

Name: Michaela
Age: 22
Interests: Archaeology, biology, hiking, and playing ultimate frisbee
Worst Habit: Being jittery/wiggly/restless
Questions for China: What outdoor spaces do people use in Beijing? How do you move/get around the city?

Name: Iris
Age: 22
Interests: Cooking, hiking with my bulldog, styling, oceans
Worst Habit: Procrastination and micromanaging
Questions for China: What is your favorite thing to do? What is something you have always wanted to learn to do?

Name: Sarah
Age: 20
Interests: painting, design, cooking, being outside
Worst Habit: excessive use of exclamation points!!!!!!!
Questions for China: As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be and why?

Name: Minahil
Age: 19
Interests:photography, reading, exploring cities
Worst Habit: overthinking
Questions: What do you love the most about your city? If you could visit any place in the world, where would you go?

Name: Hannah
Age: 22
Interests: paper maché, costumes, hiking, drawing, dinner parties, cave paintings
Worst Habit: I always forget where I leave my sewing needle and then I sit on it.
Questions for China: What did you do yesterday? What is your favorite holiday?

Name: Rosie
Age: 21
Interests: organizing/planning, biking, weaving, karaoke!
Worst Habit: not doing my dishes
Questions for China: What's your favorite breakfast food? Who is your favorite celebrity?

Name: Olivia
Age: 21
Interests: cooking, ceramics, science, cooperative living
Worst Habit: watching youtube
Questions for China: What made you laugh today? Who is your crush?

Age: 23
Interests:Painting and shopping
Worst Habit:procrastinating
Questions for China: Who is your favorite singer? What is your worst fear?

Interests:Antique collecting, restoration, building/fabrication, exploring
Worst Habit:Procrastinating
Questions for China: What is your perception of America? What is your perception of Vermont?

Name: Doug
Age: 21
Interests:Bookmaking, photography, bodies
Worst Habit: Biting my nails and cravings snacks at 2 in morning
Questions for China:Growing up in LA and moving to Vermont, makes me wonder what you consider to be rural areas? How do they differ from the city/urban area?

Name: Emma
Age: 20
Interests: Theater, songwriting, dancing, hiking
Worst Habit: TV and chocolate
Questions for China: Where is your favorite place to go in China? Where is somewhere you never go in China?

Name: Angie
Age: 21
Interests: Afrofuturism, Filmmaking, zines, biking, punk music
Worst Habit: losing things
Questions for China: How do you feel about American materialism? How do your opinions on American materialism/capitalism differ from older generations?

Name: Lily
Age: 21
Interests: printmaking, people, feminist theory
Worst Habit: backseat driver
Questions for China: In your opinion what is Beijing's biggest social problem? How is Beijing changing?


Bennington Vermont, United States of America


We are interested in places where a large numbers of people are gathered. Our target is a broad range of people, socio-economically diversified and non-specific. The hope is to draw people from all walks of life.

Some potential locations are:

Wall Mart
Dollar General
Farmer's Market
Green Mountain Main Bus Stop
Main Street
Pocket Parks and greens