Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Dear President blank

From the Vice President for Academic Affairs, MCAD

From: vince_leo
Subject: Dear President blank
Date: August 22, 2008 4:56:30 PM CDT
To: official_students@mcad.edu
Cc: all_faculty@mcad.edu, all_staff@mcad.edu

Hi all:

Welcome (back) to MCAD! As always, we’re excited to see you and work together again. This year, we’ve cooked up something a little special. MCAD is part of a loose collective of organizations (including the Walker Art Center, Intermedia Arts, and more), who are creating an UNCONVENTION. The idea is to sponsor a cultural conversation outside, in spite of, and/or in dialog with the Republican National Convention (or the very idea of a mainstream political convention) taking place here in the Twin Cities. The current Faculty Show “Position/Imposition” is part of the UNCONVENTION, which lasts not three days (like the prime time versions), but all the way to Election Day.


So we thought it would be worthwhile for MCAD students to have their own exhibition/project in the UNCONVENTION. Welcome to “Dear President ________,” a mail art exhibition and project for every student at MCAD. Here’s how it works:

1. You create a message for the next U.S. president.
2. We collect and exhibit those messages (one per student) in every hallway in the school. (THIS IS THE FIRST ALL-SCHOOL EXHIBITION IN MCAD RECORDED HISTORY!!)
3. You take down and mail those messages to the next president (MCAD will provide all postage).

Is it that simple? Well………kind of. There are size restrictions (see the assignment specifications below) and a single message restriction (no physical threats against the president!). We expect you to drop off your work so that it can be exhibited. (see sheet again). AND we expect you to use the facilities and materials provided to mail your work. But yes, it’s that simple. Any questions (please wait till you’ve talked to your faculty member) send my way. I’ll do my best!

Most of all, WE WANT YOU TO TALK ABOUT YOUR WORK/MESSAGE. MCAD faculty will initiate the discussion during the first week of class and then pick up that conversation later, after you’ve begun. This is not a class assignment for any single class, and you won’t get a grade (SHOCKING AND NON-ACADEMIC AS THAT MIGHT SEEM). We want you to make your mind without fear of academic consequences.

Are you required to participate? I’d say yes, but that feels wrong. To me, the question is: Are you willing to put something down and take it all the way to the White House? I hope the answer is yes for all kinds of reasons.

The point is this. We want everyone to see what everyone else has in mind for the next president.

We want to engage the political moment.

We want to experiment with the nature of discussion in an academic setting.

So welcome to MCAD.
Or welcome back.
And especially, welcome to the discussion.