In 2010/ 2011, at a time when students across the state were actively protesting the deleterious effects of layoffs, payoffs, and tuition hikes, students in the Graduate Public Practice Program at Otis College of Art & Design worked with S.A. Bachman, co-founder of the artist-activist collaborative THINK AGAIN and Krista Caballero. 

In 1960, the state of California adopted its visionary Master Plan for Higher Education establishing itself as the flagship public university system in the United States. 50 years later, DISMANTLED employed outdoor public projections to address the debates, realities and contradictions surrounding the current educational crisis. This public practice project acknowledges California’s unique history while questioning what the future holds when our institutions of learning are no longer shaped by the core principles of exceptional and affordable education for all. Highlighting both individual and public narratives, DISMANTLED asks if Californians have lost their longstanding commitment to invest in one another. The project seeks to address key issues such as: the severe cutbacks in funding and financial aid, access to education, students and families burdened by debt, the ongoing battle over Prop 209 and meritocracy, diminishing transfer options, migrant education, and charter schools.

DISMANTLED is an exploration of public education, critical pedagogy, and the privatization of our school system. Highlighting populations the government and media often ignore, DISMANTLED integrated interviews from a cross section of Californians with provocative visual analysis. In addition, images of blowing bubble gum, historical footage from Brown VS The Board of Education and superhero school uniforms are utilized to raise awareness and incite questions. Audience members had the opportunity to participate in the project’s ongoing interviews as well as contribute to the creation of a site specific installation.  Projection sites served as gathering spaces for sidewalk conversations and run the gamut from neighborhood storefronts to museums, colleges and libraries.