Date of Submission

Spring 2015

Academic Programs and Concentrations

Studio Arts

Project Advisor 1

Julianne Swartz

Abstract/Artist's Statement

For Immediate Release:

May 2, 2014, opening reception 2-5 PM

UBS Bard Exhibition Center, 7401 South Broadway, Red Hook, NY

Artist Diego A. Barnes “ completes his Senior Project at Bard College in Studio Art

The Bard College program in Studio Art is proud to present:

“I’m Seeking: ☐ a friend ☐ a lover ☐ an other ☐ ________”, a conceptual pop-up shop and art installation in the west gallery of the Bard College Exhibition Center at UBS, Diego A. Barnes’ Senior Project.

The hybrid space Barnes has created is comprised of interactive video installation, live performance, and an office to house his small business. Visitors are encouraged to make an appointment and to fill out an “Application for Friendship” in the waiting area if they wish to become friends with Mr. Barnes. They may also choose to help Diego in singing “the other half” of seven duets on a live microphone in the middle of the gallery. A short video piece presented in 3D completes the space, inviting an intimate meditation on language, trust, distance, and closeness.

Short meet-n-greets with Mr. Barnes will be available throughout the opening reception for those interested in the friendship position or buying one of his limited edition silkscreened t-shirts available for purchase. The shirts, designed by Barnes, feature the namesake of the exhibition and a printed “hello, my name is” badge thus allowing the wearer to more clearly identify themselves and their interests or intentions to the various people they may encounter.

Diego A. Barnes (b. 1993) is a New Haven, Connecticut native of New England Puritan and Puerto Rican decent. He graduated 11th in his class at Wilbur Cross High School, and ACES The Educational Center for the arts in 2011, concentrating in theater at the arts magnet school. Barnes has ben the recipient of a number of awards and honors during his career-life thus far, most notably as a world finalist in the 2006 and 2007 Odyssey of the Mind Creative problem solving competitions, the 2005 Leonard Goss Good Citizenship Award awarded by the Trinity Choir of Men and Boys, the title of “Best Lover Ever” by his long-time comrade and friend, Marina Sachs in 2011 and the nomination for Senior Dinner Speaker by the Bard College Class of 2015 Senior Class Counsel.

Of this body of work, Barnes has been quoted saying,

“There is an exchange that happens every time one person comes into contact with another. This “give-and-take” is salient when we “hit it off” with one another. But what about when we don’t? I’m exploring the ways we enable and avoid these moments of exchange. Those moments where we walk past one another, both of us smiling coyly and sharing eye contact. The moments where I see you and I know you see me and we both silently agree that we will not be sharing anything more than space. Then the most heart-breaking of these moments, when one of us says “hi” or “how are you?” in passing and the other just continues on their way, as if acknowledging the greeting is tantamount to accepting candy from a creep in a white van. I’m no creep and neither are you, so why can’t we be friends?”

** Those interested in partaking in this project who cannot be present for it’s realization are encouraged to email Mr. Barnes directly at diegoabarnes@gmail.com to receive a digital copy of his “application for friendship” and get involved. **

Open Access Agreement

On-Campus only

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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