November 23, 1999 Geneva, NY – The course was “The Nature of Images,” and the assignment given by Mark Jones, assistant professor of art, to the 15 first-year students enrolled in the course at Hobart and William Smith Colleges was to create a collage that represented the amount of goods that they and their immediate families have consumed in their lifetimes. The result, on display hanging from the ceiling in the Scandling Center, is an art exhibit that consists of 15 life-sized silhouettes on plywood, covered with images that depict the goods they have consumed throughout the first 18-years of their lives.
As part of the project, the class also totaled the amount of electricity, gasoline, and lumber that their families consumed during that period. They report approximately 3.3 million kilowatt hours of electricity, 617,000 gallons of gasoline, and 367,000 board foot of lumber were consumed. Projections, which included the entire 502 members of the Classes of 2003, were calculated and estimated to be 107 million kilowatt hours of electricity, 20 million gallons of gasoline, and 12 million board foot of lumber.
Professor Mark Jones is pleased with the outcome. “The project brought about a real awareness for many of the students about the abundance of material they have consumed. It was an eye opener,” Jones said.
After the project was complete the class explored how the assignment would have been different if they grew up in another country.
Hobart and William Smith Colleges welcomes the entire community to visit the exhibit which will be on display through mid-December in the Scandling Center on Pulteney Street. Scandling Center is open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.