Academic Performance

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Sam Carter, Catherine Gross & Josh Bieber


For our project, we decided to use the warning labels to comment on the pressure that students face at academic institutions. In response to these pressures, students are being diagnosed with medical problems, because of their inability to cope: ADD, ADHD. If they are not literally diagnosed, many students are treating themselves with coffee (to diagnose an inability to trade sleep for school work), adderall (to diagnose an inability to maintain uninterrupted focus), and even alcohol (to diagnose the stress of being required to over perform). For our hack project we made an attempt to comment on this issue, by taking the warning labels from adderall prescriptions, and placing them in the places they actually belong: In our classrooms, libraries, textbooks. Rather than diagnosing the people, we want draw attention to the illness itself, not the symptom.




For our process we appropriated warning and instruction labels found with Adderall prescriptions. We scanned the labels and blew them up to 8’ by 11’ sized posters, to place around campus and smaller stickers to place on objects. The first part of this project was deciding which parts of the original Adderall label to use. The subheadings that we chose were side effects, how to use, and overdose. We created a list of places that people might use in their academic lives, that may cause them to abuse the drug and placed the labels in those areas accordingly: side effects were put in study places, how to use in coffee shops, and overdose in classrooms and on textbooks. After placi ng the labels around camps, we photographed the locations and reactions to the place. In addition to pasting the replicated labels in these places, we also added them to objects and left them around these study spots. Many Starbucks cups adorned with these warning labels were left around the coffee spot. 

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