Golan Levin: Welcome back every­one. So for the last few min­utes here we’re going to have a group dis­cus­sion Q&A mod­er­at­ed by pro­fes­sor of Games Learning at the Parsons School of Design John Sharp. Come on in, John. And come on in every­one else, too. I’m gonna pop out.

John Sharp: Thank you, Golan. Thank you every­body else from the STUDIO for hav­ing us today. Thank you all, artists, for your awe­some talks. I know y’al­l’s work fair­ly well from the last eigh­teen months or how­ev­er long we’ve been on this trip togeth­er. But every time I speak to you and I hear you all speak about your work I’m learn­ing more and more. So thank you again. 

So first ques­tion, which how­ev­er is moved to speak—we’ll con­duct this kind of like a Quaker meet­ing, those of you who want to answer one of my ques­tions, please do. If you do not want to answer it, then please don’t. I’m real­ly curi­ous about how get­ting in the weeds with your amend­ments has informed your think­ing about the amend­ment you’ve been work­ing on. As you’ve moved through the project did your ini­tial impres­sions and sort of the impe­tus for your work change at all, or did you become more strong in your resolve and your inter­pre­ta­tion and feel­ings about the amend­ment you worked on?

Margaret Schedel: Maybe Melissa and I can take that. 

Sharp: Awesome.

Schedel: I don’t think our plan changed much. We were real­ly inspired by that states, peo­ple, or fed­er­al” from the very begin­ning. And I think what real­ly has changed is how we lis­ten to the news, right. Melissa list­ed a bunch of cas­es now that are gonna be decid­ed by the Tenth Amendment, and it’s just fas­ci­nat­ing that it was­n’t used for a long time and now…is. Melissa, any­thing to add there?

Melissa F. Clarke: Yeah no, I think that’s pret­ty much it. Just the con­text is evolv­ing right in front of us with cur­rent laws that’re being passed, espe­cial­ly with abor­tion and LGBTQ rights. So you know, the orig­i­nal con­cep­tu­al designs haven’t changed much, but def­i­nite­ly rein­forc­ing that under­stand­ing just with many of the amend­ments with con­tem­po­rary events. I would say that like Meg point­ed out, we had a very elab­o­rate plan in terms of the instal­la­tion, but then went on a site vis­it. And that part, just the phys­i­cal piece, we were like oh, we’ve got­ta scale this back. [laughs]

But know­ing that this exhib­it will show in oth­er venues, and that it’s pos­si­ble to do oth­er iter­a­tions of the piece, and see­ing that there’s anoth­er piece online and we’re kind of inter­est­ed in doing some­thing sim­i­lar. Yeah, just also being respon­sive to the site is anoth­er part of the iter­a­tion process in the the Tenth Amendment piece.

Sharp: Anyone else have any thoughts on that question? 

Danielle Isadora Butler: Sure. I would say that my con­cept devel­oped and changed a lot as I spoke to more lawyers. And I feel like my piece is real­ly like…I feel like I was the test sub­ject for my piece and then ooh, find­ing that entry­way in. I feel like I’ve become much more engaged and able to artic­u­late why I think our puni­tive jus­tice sys­tem is bro­ken but also tried to real­ly find a very spe­cif­ic, small way to talk about that? And that was def­i­nite­ly the hard­est and most inter­est­ing thing to me.

Sharp: I’m curi­ous if there’s been any kind of…I don’t know how to phrase it…ambient bleed from being part of this project and think­ing about some of the oth­er amend­ments in the Bill of Rights. If any of you are now inspired to maybe think about, or maybe wish you were work­ing on one of the oth­er amend­ments in the Bill of Rights.

Clarke: I can respond to that just a lit­tle bit. Just at a high lev­el, I think all of the cas­es that I’ve seen I just want to con­grat­u­late the artists, because their inter­pre­ta­tion of the amend­ment has made me want to dive deep­er into each one. Like, I real­ly feel that each artist, through the dis­cov­ery process, has brought to the sur­face a lot of very tan­gi­ble con­cepts behind these amend­ments or legal­s­peak. And I’m real­ly thank­ful to have learned so much. So thank you.

Peter Bradley: Yeah, I always thought that Nine was the weird­est one. And I have no idea like…I kin­da want to look up the his­to­ry of it now and see what cas­es have revolved around it and what are these hid­den rights. But Ryan, that project seems so insane. I can’t wait to sit down at the ter­mi­nal and give that a shot.

Ryan Kuo: Yeah, thanks. You know it’s fun­ny, like…for me my… I was kin­da like, hon­est­ly I was look­ing at the amend­ments and I was like should I apply for this thing or not?” And then I read this one, and it just imme­di­ate­ly… I mean it was like all the kind of ten­sions and frus­tra­tions that had built up at the begin­ning of the pan­dem­ic, just kin­da came and slapped me in the face so to speak. And sort of the grasp that that amend­ment has had on my kind of per­son­al inter­pre­ta­tions of what’s been going on around me actu­al­ly has­n’t changed.

And so there was a point at which I won­dered if I was just actu­al­ly just real­ly strong­ly pro­ject­ing a very per­son­al read­ing onto it? And so I actu­al­ly went and met with Leah Rosen, the legal advi­sor on this. You know, I basi­cal­ly asked her like, it seems like this amend­ment would both sup­port a notion of pri­va­cy rights as well as you know, forms of extrem­ism or vio­lence. And she said yeah, basi­cal­ly. That it is vague enough for that, and that’s per­haps one rea­son why I don’t think that the Ninth has actu­al­ly been a deciding…I don’t know the terminology—like cita­tion in any like major cas­es. It was part of a few very impor­tant ones, but it was­n’t ever the main amend­ment cit­ed. So anyway.

Sharp: Fun fact: When we first put the call out, we assumed we were going to be inun­dat­ed with First and Second Amendments pro­pos­als. And actu­al­ly the Ninth and the Third were the two that yield­ed the most pro­pos­als. And the only rea­son I can guess that with the Ninth was Radiolab’s pod­cast More Perfect did an episode about the Ninth amend­ment which made it sound real­ly kind of cool and mys­te­ri­ous. That’s my only the­o­ry as to why the Ninth received so much attention.

Yeah, the pan­dem­ic, it came up a num­ber of times in your pre­sen­ta­tions and I feel like in many ways has real­ly kind of forced things to the sur­face, and I feel in a weird way. Maybe it’s just because I’m inside this project. But I feel like I see the amend­ments pop­ping up in the news con­stant­ly, not by name but by ah yes, I see legal­ly where this is going. I’m curi­ous if any of you have had sim­i­lar kinds of impres­sions of see­ing the Bill of Rights more ful­ly in our world.

Ian McNeely: Well I can speak to that in terms of the Seventh Amendment, the right to a jury tri­al in civ­il cas­es. Because the news for the last few years has been so con­tentious. And with­out nam­ing names, I know there are a lot of peo­ple in pol­i­tics who’re wait­ing for the oth­er shoe to drop, and con­se­quences to come from crimes. And it seems like ulti­mate­ly one of the mech­a­nisms that I’d nev­er real­ized so robust is civ­il lia­bil­i­ty. And that many peo­ple who should face con­se­quences, those con­se­quences may ulti­mate­ly be in civ­il courts, before a jury and the Seventh Amendment will be alive and deter­min­ing the results of those cases.

Arnab Chakravarty: One of the oth­er inter­est­ing thing I kind of noticed around this was like [indis­tinct] and because of the nature of how our digitally-mediated lives changed, juries were being done on Zoom. Immigration laws for exam­ple are com­plete­ly okay with peo­ple stay­ing out­side the res­i­den­cy require­ments of the country—for being in the coun­try has been changed. So I can basi­cal­ly do this talk sit­ting in or wher­ev­er; I’m still allowed back in America. 

So like, the nature of tech­nol­o­gy has also kind of made some of these laws much more inter­est­ing than they prob­a­bly were before, because of the sheer nature of our pres­ence, of phys­i­cal pres­ence that has changed so dra­mat­i­cal­ly. Like even the Third, what does it mean for the sol­dier to come inside your house, allies— There are so many of these issues that have been brought to the sur­face because of technology.

Sharp: I mean, I think hand in hand with the pan­dem­ic was the mur­der of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and all of the oth­er lives that were lost. As well as that increased pres­sure on immi­gra­tion. And so all of these things have real­ly com­bined to real­ly draw our atten­tions to the Bill of Rights and what these rights actu­al­ly are and are not for us. 

One last ques­tion. Playable works, all works are prone to inter­pre­ta­tions that may or may not have any­thing to do with what the cre­ator had intend­ed but I feel it playable works are par­tic­u­lar­ly— [record­ing cuts short]