Opt Out Series
My Opt Out Series developed in experimentation with the letterpress broadside, a medium historically used for public notice to communicate political messages and calls to action. Printed on Scantron multiple choice test answers sheets, these broadsides were created on a Vandercook press at the Santa Fe Center for the Book to give expression to the frustration and despair felt in our community around the use of standardized testing in our public schools and a need for creative response.
This project visually considers a deeper theme at stake of individuality in conflict with institutional norms of compliancy as experienced specifically in the current testing climate by students and educators. Iconographically, bubbles, coins, circles, cent symbols, and forms suggestive of fingerprints are motifs used to develop the thematic focus and suggest the “business” of testing.
Three editions of my book, Opt Out Coin Purse Book, are derived from the broadside series. The book's structure alludes to an old European coin book, the Schraubthaler, popular in seventeenth-century Germany. Thirteen conjoined “coins”, or arras, hidden within a child’s bright green plastic coin purse cover, unfold to convey modified test instructions.