Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Big Remix: Holden, Collage, Sound, Film & Graffiti

American Mosaic II. Image by Mary Ann Reilly (South Bronx, 2009).
So here's what I am wondering: To what end does The Catcher in the Rye represent adolescence in 2010?  To explore this question I am designing an engagement with tenth grade students and their two teachers, John Madden and Chris Kenny from Morristown High School.  Here's what is planned:

  1. Introduce tenth grade students to photographic collage. 
  2. Accompany the teachers and their students to NYC to walk in the steps that Holden took as he made his way through Manhattan. John Madden has the route set.
  3. Have everyone on the trip record/make images, film, audio along the way that reflect Holden's odyssey AND also texts that represent adolescence today (graffiti, youth, street scenes, traffic, tech tools).
  4. Shoot images of book pages, written text, watercolor, scrunched up paper, paper towel, etc.
  5. Remix images, sound, and film back in the classroom in order to create art works that explore the question of (re)presentation. I had a brainstorm last night and am now wondering how the Brushes app on an iPad might help us to do the remixing work. We will explore creating using iPads,  as well as Macbooks (iMovie, iPhoto and Photoshop). 
  6. Print photographic work and ready any film/audio. Figure out how to display student work without a lot of cost:)
  7. Consider which finished images to use and in what order.  Display finished work on internet and in a public exhibition.
  8. Have students author exhibition notes that are done in print and as a podcast that is uploaded to iTunes.
  9. Invite the public (virtual and real). 
  10. Reconsider all of this based on feedback by John, Chris and the students.
Here are a few examples that I made of photographic collage.

Looking. Image by Mary Ann Reilly. (Tuscany, Italy 2009)

American Mosaic I. Image by Mary Ann Reilly (Manhattan, 2009).

Grand Central. Image by Mary Ann Reilly (Manhattan, 2009).
Voyeur. Image by Mary Ann Reilly (Paterson, NJ, 2009).


  1. These students are so fortunate. They will participate in a linkage of art and literature and life. How wonderful!
    I am wondering how deeply they went into Catcher....
    Discussions? Essays? Re-readings?
    (And off topic: I am totally in love with Voyeur.)
    (And off topic again: I will message you soon re the blog. Sorry to be so tardy.)

  2. Thanks Dorothy. Yes there will be lots of pre- &. During reading work that John and Chris will do before I step in. The course is a team taught American Studies I class that combines English and US History. I have invited both teachers to coauthor a work based on what we learn. I am very curious as to what sense the students make of Holden, adolescence, then and now.

  3. Love "Looking" but also really like American Mosaic. Harry Sugar said it reminded him of the cover of the Abbey Road album. I see that as well. It also speaks to me as we had a very good family friend who wrote a book by the same title. I could see this picture on the cover of that book even though it was written many years ago and featured the stories of immigrants, most of whom are now in their 70's and 80's. If the book were to be updated this is just what the cover would be.

  4. Hey thanks Deb. The American Mosaic images were part of a series about NYC.


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