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Faces on Bricks

May 8, 2008 at 9:42 pm
By Margaret Taylor '10

Springtime at Carleton is generally associated with random acts of artwork. Remember the tepee, giant table and chairs, and iron stick figures scattered across campus? This year’s collection of outdoor art embodies the same uniqueness, but favors a more rogue style. Our favorite? The random faces projected onto the side of Scoville after dusk.

Professor John Schott is teaching CAMS 283, Site-Specific Media, which was responsible for the recent installations. The class description gives a good sense of the class’s boundary-breaking objective: “Imagine a multi-track movie playing on ten laptops in the Arb.” Interesting mental image. True to the class name, the students were assigned to go out and find a location on Carleton campus and make a film project that relates to it.

At 8:45pm on April 22, Henry Moskowitz ’11 set up a projector on the plaza between the arena theater and the concert hall. He projected a videotape of his face in such a way that it looked like he was peeking over a ledge on the arena theater. The face constantly changed expression. The reasoning behind his project came from his experience studying Method acting in high school.

“We learned that you can conjure up an emotion just by adopting a really extreme facial expression,” he said. The Arena Theater is “like a brick” because it’s so enclosed. It’s hard for students who aren’t taking theater to understand what goes on in there. The object of his art piece was to open it up – to take some of the acting that goes on in the inside of Arena and bring it to the outside.

Liz Evison ’10 took a different approach. On a very windy day in the middle of April, she gathered together a group of her friends at one of the park benches at the edge of the Bald Spot and started handing out cameras. She explained the principle of her project: each person would stand in a different position in a line on the Bald Spot, and take a photo simultaneously. When she stitched all of the photos together digitally, the result would be the recreation of a single moment of time, impossible for any one person to observe alone. After some organizing, the volunteers all lined up on the Bald Spot, and on the count of three, they clicked. Evison presented her project in the observatory dome April 21.

Although Mateo Trujilo’s project was called graffiti, it did not leave any permanent mark on Carleton premises. He used a photography technique called “light graffiti” that involves using a long exposure time and a flashlight to get the effect of graffiti without actually doing any damage. His photoessay on light graffiti can be found online at

You can find more information on the rest of the student projects on the class website at