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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

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February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

‘Another Day’ by Paul Ramírez Jonas Installed at UMass Boston

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Paul Ramirez Jonas

Artist Paul Ramírez Jonas installed one of his works in the Campus Center earlier this week as part of Arts on the Point. Associate Professor Erik Levine of the Art Department at the University of Massachusetts Boston overlooked the project and, as a fan and supporter of Jonas’ work, was thrilled to bring it to our campus.
Jonas’ art has been showcased all over the globe, from the Sao Paolo Biennial, to the Venice Biennale, and the MoMA in New York City. His art tends to blur the line between the artist, artwork, and audience. A lot of his work is interactive with its audience, which serves to make viewers more engaged and involved in the discussion the art creates.
Jonas is currently a professor at Hunter College in New York City. He says he was attracted to the fact that it is a public university because “education shouldn’t just be for the wealthy.” He also enjoys the diverse student body and working collaboratively with his students.
Jonas didn’t originally plan to be an artist, and went to college to study to be an engineer. When that didn’t work out, he switched to computer science and took a couple of art courses out of curiosity. His curiosity grew and he finished school with an art degree. He was drawn to life as an artist because of the unpredictability of it. “I could picture my life as an engineer, but I couldn’t picture how my life would be as an artist.”
Jonas says he is inspired by art that serves a function, like fountains did before plumbing was invented. “I’m really inspired by public monuments because they’re not personal, they’re about collective feelings, or ideas, or memories.”
The piece that Jonas brought to UMass Boston, “Another Day,” displays a countdown to the sunrise in 90 different cities across the world. He felt the cafeteria of the Campus Center was a fitting place for the piece because it is a spot where students spend time between classes. “I like that kind of space, where people are just waiting to go do something else.”
When it comes to making art, Jonas thinks about how he can make people be more engaged. “I’m always trying to see how the viewer can become a participant, and what the line is that you have to cross to make that possible.”