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Amanda Beattie and Frank Mulvey   January 27, 2016

BROKEN TELE/VISION: An experiment in successive visualizations

Illustration by Cassandra Dickie


This project is a variant on the game of "Broken Telephone", where a chain of people pass information along verbally from one to another, often ending with a vast difference between what was initially expressed relative to what was finally expressed. With Broken Tele/vision, the information alternates between image and word. Each participant expressed what they perceived the previous contributor to have expressed. An artist created a quick sketch, a writer briefly described what the sketch represents, another artist sketched what that text portrays, another writer articulated what the second sketch reveals, and so on. Each participant only saw one stage of the chain, and the content was visualized from image to word and back again by a large group of participants.

The alternating artworks and texts were reproduced and attached end to end to produce a short video which was displayed in the VISION(S) exhibition and in the accompanying catalogue.

This project is an experiment in how people interpret and visualize information. What (if anything) will be retained at the end? The project was conceived by Amanda Beattie (Dept. of Fine Arts) and coordinated by Frank Mulvey (S.P.A.C.E.)

Note: the word television combines the Greek tele- “far” to Latin visio “seeing”*.

*Stan Carey. "The Monstrous Indecency of Hybrid Etymology." Sentence First. n.p. n.d. Web. 27 January, 2016.

About the Illustrator

Cassandra Dickie is a recent Illustration & Design graduate.

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    gaby gregoire

    March 15, 2017

    I love this exhibit! So many different young talented artists on the rise. What I find most intriguing is that each piece is abstract yet so real. Art, in general, is up to the viewer’s interpretation, but it is so nice seeing all the different masterpieces followed by the artist’s view of their work. How they visualize it. It leads us into another world, parallel to ours. Wherein some of the paintings/drawings would awaken in us one story or another, we also come to see that sometimes the meaning is completely different than what we imagined. This exhibit really struck me and resonated within me. Good job!

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    September 1, 2020

    This exhibit is super fascinating! We all played the game broken telephone as kids but we didn’t realize we are still playing it as adults too. Or, the fact that we have been playing it for decades! from old tales and legends to now with twitter and Instagram posts. With the rise of social media, pictures started to get taken out of context and interpreted in different ways. This led to the downfall of a lot of celebrities, people are too busy to fact check what they are reading so they end up believing everything that it is written. Some people go along and rephrase what they read and make the situation worse than it already is which can lead to the loss of the image’s original point. This exhibit is far deeper than anyone can interpret which adds to its beauty! By far my favourite one.

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    September 3, 2020

    This exhibit has very non ordinary ways of thinking about the real world. The impressive illustrations, where each artist has different and unique thoughts about every detail on their drawings. It’s hard to believe how people can be easily trapped in public’s ways of thinking, without knowing that. Despite being surrounding by other opinions, artists still present their own “the key of life” with open hearts, hoping that people will rethink about effects of societies on the individuals. One of the illustrators( Thi Thanh Truc Nguyen) expressed emotions and tension through the drawing with a deep meaning of life, which gives a viewer passion to survive and fight with a hope of winning this battle. The illustration represents very powerful and struggling thoughts through black to white colors. The artist shows impressive ways of challenges in life, knowing that his own “the key of life” stays untouchable by public’s thoughts.

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