Mixed on Campus #16 – Alice Conner

Name: Alice Conner
Mix: Japanese & White-American
Major & Year: Industrial Engineering; Junior

Q: How has being mixed affected your campus experience?

A: My racial identity and the racial/ethnic identities of other mixed people are often scrutinized by others. People choose to accept or not accept my racial identity based on when it is convenient for them. Constant scrutiny on my appearance and the validity of my experiences is alienating, exhausting, and psychologically distressing. How you look is not a choice. Before joining the student organization Mixed@Michigan, I did not have the vocabulary to defend myself and other mixed people. People did not listen to me until I educated myself, even if all I learned were the “proper” words to explain what I already knew was true. Mixed people should be heard even without statistics and well-spoken words.

Q: What do you wish more people knew about the mixed experience?

A: I believe a lot of the prejudice towards mixed people is a result of ignorance, which is why it’s so important for mixed people to be able to speak about their own struggles and experiences. I want people to understand that the mixed experience is a real lived experience and not just an interesting debate topic. I’m tired of hearing arguments on whether or not a mixed person is allowed to identify with or represent a specific racial identity based on the percentages of their racial makeup and opinions on what the person looks like. How a mixed person is perceived by others will depend on the mixed person, the person perceiving them, AND on the context of the situation. In the end, monoracial people do not have authority on how a mixed person chooses to identify.

+1: Mixed people are not buffers between different racial categories. People should not be measured and judged based on their perceived proximity to whiteness. Oppression is often discussed in binary terms (a person either experiences it or they don’t), but reality is not so easily categorized. Mixed people are used to this idea– they are good at tolerating contradiction and ambiguity.

Q: What is your proudest moment?

A: I’m very proud of this project. What I wanted to do with Mixed on Campus was provide other mixed people with the opportunity to speak up about things they might not have been able to before. I’m very grateful for all the responses I’ve received and the opportunity to use my platform to provide a voice to the mixed community at this university. Mixed@Michigan is a club in which we are bonded not through a specific racial or ethnic identity but because we have all experienced what it means to not fit into the monoracial paradigm of racial purity that society expects. We are able to support each other and provide a safe space free of judgement and questioning. There is so much diversity in experiences within the mixed identity and I wanted to be able to show that by providing other mixed people with the chance to tell their story.

Mixed on Campus was inspired by the Humans of New York project. The purpose of Mixed on Campus is to give a voice to this university’s mixed community and shed light on its members. Being mixed means to be multiracial, multiethnic, and/or a transnational adoptee. Through Mixed on Campus, mixed students have the opportunity to have their portrait drawn and share their experiences!

S3 Scribble #9: Mr. Brightside

“Jealousy, turning saints into the sea, swimming through sick lullabies,”

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of going to Indianapolis to watch Michigan win the B1G Championship football game with some of my best friends. I have been a sports fan for as long as I can remember, and throughout my time as a student at the University of Michigan, sports games have been an important part of my college experience. Football, hockey, basketball – I love the energy and shared school spirit at these games as much as (if not more than) watching the sports games themselves.

“Choking on your alibis,”

As any big Michigan football fan knows, the song Mr. Brightside by The Killers is an integral part of every University of Michigan home football game. There’s nothing quite like hearing over 100,000 people singing the chorus of the song, and it moves me to chills (sometimes even tears) every time I hear it in the stadium. It’s one of my favorite Michigan football traditions, and I look forward to singing along to the song during every game.

“But it’s just the price I pay,”

I haven’t missed a Michigan home football game since they started allowing fans back in the Big House after the pandemic. The B1G Championship game – though not a home game – was the last time I’ll attend a Michigan football game alongside my friends as an undergraduate student here at the university. I will treasure that experience for the rest of my life, along with every other opportunity I’ve had to see the Wolverines play. 

“Destiny is calling me.”

When I was studying abroad in Berlin, I heard Mr. Brightside being played over some public speakers. I was immediately singing along, letting my Michigan school spirit shine through all the way in Europe. I know that this passion for Michigan will never fade, and I will have an urge to sing along to this song for years to come, with each time I hear it reminding me of the amazing experiences I’ve had as a student at the University of Michigan. It truly is great to be a Michigan Wolverine!

“Open up my eager eyes, ’cause I’m Mr. Brightside.”

Listen to Mr. Brightside by The Killers here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGdGFtwCNBE

Wolverine Stew: Swimming

Sometimes I feel like life is

Breathing in


Breathe it out quick

Get your work done

In lights that feel

Far dimmer than

You remember

Sinking away from the surface

Breathing in


Breathe it out quick

And hope the woods can

Cure every wrongness in your





I know the red leaves should

Make me happy

So why am I still

Breathing in


Breathe it out quick

The leaves float

Higher than I can move

My frozen lungs

In a cold lake

I don’t want to

Go back

I don’t want to

Go back

I don’t want to

Breathing in


Breathing in


Breathing in

The Indian Artist, Final Year: Big Milestone!

Good Afternoon Everyone! I hope that you are all well. I wanted to take this week to share my most recently completed painting. This is one that I started back in February of this year so it is legitimately months in the making. I used my Thanksgiving Break to finish it up and am very excited to share it with you all and what I learned from it. Enjoy!

This painting, titled Five White Horses (4′ x 5′), is a recreation of the infamous cover of the Bhagavad Gita and is completed in oil on canvas. This is a rendition of an original piece by Bijay Biswasl, one of my all time favorite artists. I made many changes and personalizations from Biswaal’s original work such as a change in the orientation and composition, manipulation of the size, changing of colors, and creative liberties over certain details to be more accurate to scripture. This is the largest piece that I have completed to date and though it was not the most challenging technique-wise, it pushed me greatly.

If you are interested in learning about the origins of this piece and the meaning behind the five white horses, check out this older post. This painting was the epitome of “it looks worse before it gets better” and a masterclass in patience and perseverance. Personally, I have no trouble starting my work; however, it is once I surpass the initial excitement and adrenaline over a new piece that I have the most trouble. I was able to get this painting to the 75% mark fairly quickly. It is the last 25% that takes the most effort and push. I’m a firm believer in the fact that inspiration is completely overrated. The best and most successful artists know that they cannot rely on inspiration. It takes brute force and discipline to create work. I am not saying that I am a successful artist by any means, but I know that importance of forcing myself to sit in front of the easel and just work.

It was an absolute pleasure to create this painting and I am so proud of the final result. Of course, as with all of my work, there is so much more that could be done, so much that could be made better. But I felt that it was time to stop, at least for now. Who knows, maybe I will come back to it one day and make some changes! Tune in for that!

As always, if any questions or thoughts arise, please comment or reach out to me! Thank you for reading!

Until next week,



Portfolio: https://theindianartist.weebly.com/ 

Observer: Walking to the chaos

I explored my identity through this collage piece. My immigration experience makes me feel duo identity and at the same time I feel the loss of identity, which I used the chaotic patterns and Chinese and NYC buildings to express the sense of lost and chaotic. The little figure at the bottom represents me, trying to look for who he was, but was stopped by the red light. The piled up buildings, air pods, and flowers symbolizes my experience and the two circles above represent the two different suns that I see on two different lands. I used patterns such as eyes, fishes, flowers, and wolves to represent my state of mind: I feel watched, I need food, I enjoy nature, and I have my ambition. This is a work that I play around to find what makes me becomes the person who I am today. 

MediaScape Musings # 5 : Fear Follower

My team finally finished the Visual Motion Capture project this week, but we changed the name to Fear Follower!! Let me introduce this project in detail:

The Fear Follower is an interactive experience integrating visual motion capture with robotics, dynamic visual projections, and immersive sound design. A visual projection of a large eyeball maintains an unwavering gaze on the user, tracking their every move around the room. Simultaneously, a robotic hand wheels itself toward the user, creating a dynamic and responsive connection between the installation and the individual. The culmination of these elements generates a strange ambiance that evokes a palpable sense of tension for the user. This synthesis of visual and auditory components is designed to immerse participants in a multi-sensory journey, pushing the boundaries of conventional interactive installations and redefining the relationship between users and their interactive environments.