Guest Room

GUEST ROOM | Valuing Our Interdisciplinary Programs

I believe deeply in the value of these programs. As research enterprises and educational units, these programs greatly enrich the College of Arts & Sciences. In the context of the curriculum review we are currently endeavoring in the college, our faculty have affirmed the value of such considerations with the proposal to add a “human difference” category to the breadth requirements. If we are to prepare our students to be good global citizens and navigate an increasingly heterogeneous world, then we must prepare them to understand how social categories are created, and the implications that this has for our society more broadly.

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Holy Split, Signs of M. Night Shyamalan’s Return Are Happening

Director M. Night Shyamalan gets a lot of crap, and rightfully so. Until his most recent outing, Split, he hadn’t made a good movie in more than a decade. After Earth was bad. The Happening was so bad that it was funny. The Last Airbender was so far down the scale of badness that it was no longer eligible to be funny.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE CORNELL COUNCIL FOR THE ARTS

Art You’re a Part of: Polyphony at the John Hartell Gallery

Underneath the Sibley dome, adjacent to the College of Architecture, Art and Planning Dean’s Office, is Polyphony. It is an interactive art installation designed by Liu (Leo) Jingyang ’15, Shining (Christina) Sun ’17 and Yue Gu ’16 — all current or former architecture students. To say that the project sounds interesting — “an interactive audio-visual installation that generates a simultaneous feedback loop between performance, image and sound” — is to say little about the installation. Yet, how does it actually look, sound and perform? The first time I entered the John Hartell Gallery (where Polyphony is installed), I sensed that something was wrong.

CAMERON POLLACK / SUN PHOTOGRAPHY EDITOR

Design, Empathy, Collaboration: RAW EXPO at Milstein Hall

RAW EXPO can perhaps best be described as a gathering of creators and question-askers deconstructing barriers to collaboration. In the wide concrete dome of Milstein Hall, over 50 groups of and individual artists, publishers, engineers, developers, musicians, architects and people who came simply due to curiosity conversed and tested out products and processes. Simply put, a desire to create a fully interdisciplinary environment undergirds RAW EXPO. Now in its second year, RAW EXPO was hosted by and served as a kickoff for Medium Design Collective, a group of students that champions collaboration and design-oriented creation. Many members of ASSOCIATION, the group that organized RAW EXPO’s inauguration last year, remain in Medium.

DRAWING BY SAMUEL MAY

BROMER | Notes on a Communication Breakdown

I became unstuck last Wednesday in the shadow of Franny’s food truck. I knew something was off as soon as the cashier handed me my order. We had smoked a bit of pot earlier, but I wasn’t hungry. My head felt like a half-screwed light bulb, synapses firing in new and altogether unfamiliar directions, sending tingles down the nerves in my arms. Gripping the delicately prepared Vietnamese sandwich, I approached my friends, who were caught up in a discussion of who had, and who hadn’t, figured out where they’d be after graduation. I distinctly remember feeling at that moment that if I loosened my grip on my sandwich, I’d disappear.

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SOSNICK | So Long and Thanks for All the Fish (at Lynah)

The night of May 30, 2013, I sat in my kitchen holding a dirty quarter. The postmark deadline to claim my spot as a transfer student at Brown was the next day. If the coin landed on heads, I’d transfer; tails, I’d stay at Cornell — a place where I had been deeply unhappy the year before. I don’t remember what the coin actually landed on. While it was in the air I found myself hoping ever so slightly for tails, and I took it as a sign I should give Cornell another shot.

A Rebecca by Any Other Name is Still Weiss-A-Roni

It’s been a long, strange year for Weiss-A-Roni. The fact that I even started this column at all was a fluke, beginning with a series of horrible, painful mistakes that one could either pinpoint to when I started editorial compet at the Sun, my unfortunate agreement to accept admission at Cornell University or the moment that the sperm and the egg came together to form what would turn out to be the fetus and later baby Weiss-A-Roni. There are any number of potential starting points for this series of rants you’ve been dutifully reading for the past year. Let’s explore.
SUNBURNED

Student Artist Spotlight: James Orlando

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It’s rare to find a student so passionate about his field that he started his career before coming to Cornell, but that is exactly what senior James Orlando did. Instead of coming to Cornell to figure out what he wanted to do with his life, he came to Cornell to perfect what he was already good at: photography. He also happens to have the perfect name for a photographer.
At 21, James has done photography in London, been a starving artist in New York City and been a congressional page at the White House. Oh yeah, and he teaches snowboarding on the side. Don’t worry; your life isn’t that boring.

Sun: Have you always been interested in photography?

Donna the Buffalo Does Castaways

This may sound like an insane question: Why would you go to a concert? The explanations are straightforward. One, you enjoy the music the band plays; it touches you in some manner. Two, your friends are going and it might be fun; Friday nights and lab reports don’t always mix. Three, you know someone in the band; maybe they’ll give you a wave during a song, or throw you a (wood) drumstick. Four, you like live music. If you’ve heard of the Deadheads, or recognize the term “Red Sox Nation,” you know that some people have an elevated level of dedication to some bands or sports teams.