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From left: Jesse Merandy, Bailey Tichenor (MA ‘19), Walt Whitman, and Emma Cormack (MA ‘18).
A visitor examines the interactive kiosk built by Jesse Merandy with the help of James Congregane, director of facilities at BGC.
From left: Jesse Merandy, Susan Jaffe Tane, Taryn Clary (MA ‘19), Bailey Tichnor (MA ‘19), Emma Cormack (MA ‘18), and Rebecca Merriman (MA ‘18) at their BGC presentation on June 18.

On May 14, the Poet of the Body: Walt Whitman’s New York exhibition opened at the Grolier Club featuring a digital interactive developed by Bard Graduate Center’s Jesse Merandy, director of the Digital Media Lab, and his students Lolly Burrows, Taryn Clary, Emma Cormack, Rebecca Merriman, and Bailey Tichenor. Merandy recently received his PhD from the Graduate Center, CUNY, with the completion of the institution’s first digital dissertation—a mobile game based on Walt Whitman.

The Grolier interactive, conceived and designed during Merandy’s spring 2018 course, “Digital Archeology: Approaching History through New Media,” explores exhibition objects through the lens of the digital, seeking to enhance the visitor’s experience and expand their understanding of Walt Whitman, his work, and his historical context. Components include a modernized take on stereograph technology, a virtual walk down Broadway circa 1850, a look at Whitman’s clothing and style, an exploration of Whitman’s personal copy of a Robert Burns book, a 3D re-creation of a ring containing Whitman’s hair, and a presentation of a wide array of Whitman-related ephemera.

On June 18, Merandy and his students gave a presentation, entitled “I Sing the Exhibition Digital,” at the Grolier Club.

The project was made possible through the generous support of exhibition curator Susan Jaffe Tane, and in collaboration with co-curator Karen Karbiener, Julie Carlsen, Gabriel Mckee and the staff of the Grolier Club.