In a world exploding with images, artifacts, stories and ideas, the medium of collage emerges something new out of the old. Scraps are sampled and remixed, their spilling, blending, and overlapping creating new and renewed conversations along shared borders and in the blank spaces in between. To collage is to collide. And in that confrontation, the conjunction and juxtaposition of difference create more – more dissonance, more dialogue, more sprawling possibilities for feeding a new, energized whole.
Taking our cue from multidisciplinary artist Arthur Jafa and his 2016 film “Love Is the Message”, this issue of Paprika! invited students to partake in a socially distanced collaging exercise in the North Gallery of Rudolph Hall. Participants sourced images of their choosing from a wide variety of contexts and arranged them in response to a growing collection of images on a wall. Indeterminacy and self-determination played out at once. Sometimes, contributions were nestled neatly within an ongoing interchange. Other times, they laid claim to far-flung, empty spaces, kicking off new narrative threads instead.
The final outcome of this generative process is published here in this issue along with additional, image-based and written submissions that utilize collage as storytelling. Whether a hybrid series of cut-up haikus and photographs or a Black Enlightenment’s reimagining of Raphael’s School of Athens, together these pieces offer us a visual vernacular around the idea of creation as compilation and collaboration. This is a mixtape - our immense gratitude to all who contributed.