Activity: sum of its parts

In our recent workshop at the Huntington Museum of Art, we had the opportunity to try out one of the few exercises from DWWP that we’d not used in a classroom before: the Sum of its Parts (page 23). This is a version of an activity we found in a few advertising class syllabi and the idea is this: students are given a randomly-chosen photo (or drawing) that has no caption identifying it. They then choose three words, and juxtapose each word with the image, one at a time. (In this iteration, students each took a photo torn out of a magazine and quickly wrote three words on index cards. We put all the photos on a wall and then tacked the index cards under their respective photos one at a time.) The group discusses how the meaning changes with each juxtaposition.

Here are a couple of our students’ works. The conversations these stimulated were really interesting!

(We removed the captions before handing students the images, and they juxtaposed one of their words at a time. We’ve re-added the credit information so that the copyright holder is clear. )


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