Helen Mirra's "Instance the Determination"


In Spring 2006, the Chicago sign painter Dave Mizeldo painted quotes from artist and professor Helen Mirra's indexes to books by John Dewey and Jane Addams in hallways and staircases around the University of Chicago. This installation was called "Instance the Determination" after one of the Jane Addams index entries, "Instance the determination, 14". Although the installation officially ended in June 2009, 22 of the original 32 index entries remain as of January 28, 2011. This page is a catalog of these remaining index entries and their locations. For more information on the installation, check out the official list of locations, an interactive map with pictures of all the index entries, and Helen Mirra's personal "Instance the Determination" page. Thanks to Tote Hughes for taking the pictures on this page and Dean Armstrong for finding some of the links above.

No index entries remain in Anatomy, Cobb, the East or West Harper towers, Eckhart, or Social Sciences. These have been painted over: some of the index entries I remember from my sophomore year (2008-2009) are missing and the areas nearby have a fresh coat of paint. The wall near the Jones 209 index entry has been painted over, but fortunately someone covered the index entry with masking tape. The filenames of these images correspond to their locations: the filename contains the building abbreviation, an underscore, and the description of the location from the official list. I've organized the index entries by location below. The Regenstein (Franke Institute) entries are the citations for the books by Dewey and Addams that Mirra indexed. Click here if you'd like to see the index entries without text in between.

Beecher, entry


Classics, stairs 1-2


Classics, stairs 2-3


Foster, first floor


Foster, near 316


Gates-Blake, near 418


Jones Laboratory, near 209


Jones Laboratory, stairs 1-2


Haskell, near 134


Regenstein (Franke Institute), near JRL S-102


Regenstein (Franke Institute), near JRL S-103


Kent, stairs 1-B


Ryerson, stairs 1-2


Ryerson, stairs near observatory near 358


Stuart, basement near stairs


Stuart, stairs 1-2


Swift, near 304


Swift, stairs 1-B


Wiebolt, near 206


Wiebolt, near 402


Walker, east [N.B.: actually, west] stairs 4-5


Walker, near 512




Back to wvaughan.org
Will Vaughan. Last revision February 5, 2011.