Let's assume two things: one, that broad participation in democracy is our goal, and two, that political systems are often complex and alienating. How can we bridge this divide? How can civically-engaged designers and other visual storytellers help people understand the political systems in which they live and demonstrate meaningful individual participation?
In this workshop we'll work with complex content, taking it apart and testing which parts of it offer on-ramps to comprehension and participation. We'll create and develop visual, verbal, and choreographic tools which generate mental models which help people understand complexity. Our goal will be to demystify and inspire civic participation, by explaining, diagramming, discussing, sketching, revising, and critiquing. We'll think about the role of language, image, and emotion. We’ll try things out.
Rather than focusing on one specific project, we'll invent a range of methods over the week, pointing toward future projects which offer shareable clarity and inspire a sense of understanding.
REQUIREMENTS (TECHNICAL) FOR THE REALIZATION OF YOUR WORKSHOP
- Nothing is required, but a camera with video capability, a tripod, and a computer setup that allows you to edit video will be helpful if you think you might want to work in video.
ADMISSION CRITERIA / PARTICIPANTS REQUIREMENTS
- Knowledge of (or strong interest in) any complex topic in advance of the workshop, preferably a topic related to civic life or political participation but this can be interpreted very broadly
- Experience with graphic design, video, or any other visual or performing art form
- Energy, inventiveness, and some bravery
- Ability to speak English fluently
Andrew Sloat (US)
Andrew Sloat is a graphic designer and filmmaker, and is currently the creative director at BAM, the Brooklyn Academy of Music. BAM is a multi-arts center with world-renowned programming in theater, dance, music, opera, film, and more. Sloat has also directed or co-directed commercials and short films for brands like Apple, Facebook, American Express, AT&T, Miller Lite, and many more. At the same time, he has participated in local political organizing and civics education since 2008, including serving as the president of New Kings Democrats, a prominent Brooklyn-based progressive political organization. He has also been a teacher and critic in the graduate graphic design program at RISD since 2008. He holds an MFA in graphic design from Yale School of Art.