Binge Thinking showcases the writing and imagery produced by students in Media Writing: Critical and Narrative Forms during the Fall 2016 academic term. Thirteen class members participated, joining the course from the Documentary Media MFA program as well as from other graduate programs in the Faculty of Communication & Design (now The Creative School).
As in previous years, there were three assigned problems during the semester: writing of a critical review, developing a personal statement about creative practice, and completing an extended narrative essay. These assignments were then grouped into separate, color-coded sections of the book (using yellow, blue, and red, respectively), with key paragraphs from each participant’s text emphasized via use of a larger font size. Throughout the book, questions about the nature of media and the role of documentary practice were continually brought up, and many essays included gripping accounts of personal and family experience.
As one participant wrote:
Art allows me to break free from categories. It serves as engagement with the unknown—that which has not been articulated, or cannot be captured.
The canon is a weapon, use it strategically and with caution. The archive can ignite, but it can also confine.
This approach applies to documentary media as much as any genre. Truth has many narratives and many stories.
The cruel fact of bias permeates all content creation and audience engagement. The dynamism of storytelling is perhaps its most true to life aspect.
In making art for myself, I can face the world honestly.
Cover and book design, editing, production and sequencing were all done by class members. Title, design and layout were developed by Jeremie Warshafsky, Sarah Claydon, Cynthia Johnston and Talia Eylon; Chante Barnwell handled communication and deadlines. Proofreading was done by Chrys Vilvang, Tara Hakim, Kate Latimer, Haley Wiseman, Peter Watson and Cynthia Johnston. Talia Eylon completed the process of digital assembly, with Peter Watson contributing the class photographs, and Eric Watters assisting with liaison and print production. The quotation used above is from Sarah Claydon.