By Mary Mazurek
After an adventure at the Bologna Airport, we landed in Paris. All of us in Cohort ’12 were pleased to meet Cohort ’11, and that evening we dined together then strolled the streets of this remarkable city. A few of us went straight to the Eiffel Tower, where we saw several tourists trying to interpret the symbolic language on the sign next to the entrance. Scratching our heads and laughing, we began to make up our own interpretations for these unusual hieroglyphics. Perhaps the designers could have used a lesson in semiotics.
Our mornings were filled with lectures held at the Parsons School of Design’s Paris building, where we heard the conclusion of Dr. George Smith’s lectures begun at the Spannocchia Residency. IDSVA Director Dr. Simonetta Moro gave a presentation on her work, distinguished scholar Dr. Sylvère Lotringer discussed the rhizome, and we heard the Independent Study presentations given by Cohort ’11’s Kathe Albrecht, Leonie Bradbury and Nancy Bookhart.
The afternoons were spent doing museum work with trips to the Louvre, the Pompidou, the Musée de l’Orangerie and the Musée d’Orsay. Seeing the works discussed in Dr. Smith’s lectures made the experience all the more concrete. In the evenings we ate beautiful food and experienced the city. One of the highlights for me was scaling the 700 steps of the Eiffel Tower with Gale Richardson. We later celebrated the accomplishment with a champagne toast in a local pub.