By Sireen Jawdat


Katzen Hallway Spectacles

In my drawing class, my classmate and I were assigned by a sort of raffle process, this work of art. She was commissioned to render the top half, while I was responsible for the bottom half. We didn’t look at each other’s piece, discuss them, nor did we combine them until the end of the exercise. We were pleasantly surprised  when these two matched up so accurately in proportion and tonality as well. The humorous element is evident in the rendering of the mouth-it is clearly elongated-much more than the original image.

The Fortune Cookies Project and Santai

Fortune cookiesPhoto Credit: Michael Thomas

I met Michael Thomas, a musician and exchange student from the Netherlands, at the end of last semester at AU. I was heading out of Katzen after cleaning out the sculpture studio and disassembling my final project when I saw Michael in the hallway, observing the remnants of my installation. He told me about this new musical project he was working on/New year’s resolution to record 12 songs or so.

Then he explained that he was interested in remodelling the hallway nook for the set of his first music video. Excitedly, and flattered of course, I approved. I left the black cubes/shelves on the wall and left the rest up to him. When I came back the next day to finish cleaning, I didn’t think I’d run into Michael, but we ended up filming the special messages(corresponding with each song), some of which I wrote in chalk. Michael is a talented guitarist/songwriter in the band, Santai. I like what they do, in that they combine textured instrumentation with thought-provoking lyrics in a variety of musical genres/styles.

This is their facebook band page.  Here is the facebook page for The Fortune Cookies Project. And, this is the official Santai website.  

“If you eat a box of fortune cookies, anything is possible”

Before The Transformation:

My idea was simply to create a space– amidst the stress of the end of the semester–where students could quiet down, relax, doodle(in chalk) on the shelf, listen to records and flip through books and magazines. The thumbnail below was the initial idea for a bookshelf, but it sort of evolved into an entire little environment of its own.