Appalachian professor’s art displayed at DNC

Hundreds of articles have been published daily about the Democratic and Republican National Convention.

But a university professor has generated a method to compile these articles into one statement in an artistic way.

Mark Nystrom’s, assistant graphic design professor, projection “The Political Reporter” will display statements randomly selected statements from news articles on a 12-story wall at the UNC-Charlotte Center City.

“The enormous amount of information available to us makes it difficult to make sense of the messages we receive from the media and political campaigns,” Nystrom said in a university press release. “The ‘reporter’ takes it all in and gives it back to us in a simpler form using the same language,” “What it says may or may not be true. Sometimes it’s funny, sometimes it’s controversial and sometimes it’s quite poignant.”

Some of the statements include: “Voters are supporting”, “Intelligent boys are speaking”,  “Terrible expectations are joining”, and “Defensive teeth respond.”

The project began by compiling a list of more than 60,000 words from new sources, including The Washington Times and The New York Times.

“The Political Reporter” can show 1,000 selected words. The words are divided by the media’s political affiliation – red for conservatives, blue for liberals.

Then the words are arranged to make original phrases, similar to headlines.

“The cloud of letters people see continuously refreshes itself and its words will be updated every night it is shown in Charlotte,” Nystrom said.

“The Political Reporter” is a continuation of his original project “The Reporter” which he has been working on since 2006.

“I hope to get viewers thinking about what the ‘reporter’ says. Maybe it will challenge their beliefs or get them to think more critically about messages from politicians or the media. Maybe it will leave them a little more open-minded. Maybe they’ll just laugh.”

The  “The Political Reporter” is part of a looped projection of about half a dozen art projects, running between 8:30 p.m. and 2 a.m. Sept. 1-8 and again Sept. 15, 22 and 29.

The projections will be visible from the I-277 beltway for those passing by uptown Charlotte.

Story: ANNE BUIE, Managing Editor