The Best Relational Art Project in the Bi-Co…
…is by Bryn Mawr sophomore Dena Kronfeld, who is organizing a mix CD exchange between Bryn Mawr and Haverford students. I am participating, and I just got an email from her describing exactly how the exchange will work:
When you make your mix, don’t forget to title it, write up the playlist, and add a small note about yourself, your music style, or whatever else you think is worth noting. Also, don’t forget to give the person you’re making a mix for your contact info so they can send you a thank you note upon receiving your mix. (Yes, thank you notes of some sort are mandatory for everyone who gets a mix, a.k.a. everyone who’s participating.)
What elevates Dena’s project beyond being a simple secret Santa-type exchange and into the realm of relational art is her insistence that participants follow such a specific set of instructions: the note, the title, the playlist, the contact info, the thank you—all these elements make this an all-around brilliant initiative.
On the exchange’s Facebook page, Dena describes her reasons for starting the project:
On both Bryn Mawr’s and Haverford’s anonymous confession boards people have complained about the relationship between the two schools, and Bryn Mawr girls, both on and off the boards, have pointed out that they find it hard to make friends with Haverford students. Despite all this, it seems like there hasn’t been much effort put forth to try and fix this problem.
This logic reminds me a lot of Harrell. A mix CD exchange is exactly the kind of thing he’d do to “solve” a social problem like this. I haven’t thought about it much, but I imagine that there’s a lot in here that Duncan and I can pull out and use for Harrell’s project at Haverford.
The Harrell in me does want to make a few recommendations to Dena: there should be some kind of event after all the CDs are exchanged. All the people should gather somewhere and each person should give a short talk describing their feelings about both the mix they made and the mix that someone else made for them. Right now, there are 204 people in the Facebook group. Imagine how many new relationships Dena’s simple idea will have created by the end of all this!
How do you guys think this kind of idea could be applied to Harrell’s project at Haverford?