Final Project Proposal

Hearing the feedback from my peers on Tuesday, I have decided to work on a sequel to my artists book project. This one would be following the emo/scene phase of Darla’s teens. I’d like to work on a slightly different medium for this one to really hammer home the changes in Darla’s state of mind and intentions. I have a few canvases in my house that I could cut up to use as my pages. The change from a diary to something more open to others would parallel nicely the change from a girl wanting to pour her soul into something to a teen raging at the world and wanting them to know how misunderstood they feel.

As for the content, it would the expected angsty poetry, reflections and occasional song lyrics from those 2000s emo bands. I’m still thinking over the visual aspect of it and what I’d like the pages to look like. One thing’s sure, I want them to remain creative because I like the idea that Darla’s very creative but just hasn’t found how she wants to channel that creative energy yet. If anyone has suggestions on what they used to doodle/draw/paint in their angsty year I’d appreciate it, I was more of a writer at that time, haha.

Artist Book: Project Update

My artist book is a diary belonging to a fictional 13-year-old girl named Darla. My idea was to make it as laughable and “cringy” as possible. I’ve already made 5 spreads (10 pages) around things like believing herself to be more mature than she is, thinking she was “born in the wrong era”, and writing bad poetry.

However, I’ve enjoyed working on this project so much that I am looking for more ideas. More things that are relatable to the teenage girl experience that I could explore. I would really appreciate suggestions of things teens say and do that are often laughed at. I should also mention that the end of the artist’s book points out how unnecessarily mean our attitude towards teen girls can be, so if you think we shouldn’t be laughing at the behavior you suggest that’s even better.

Artists Books ideas

I really like the idea of working on a physical artist book because I’ve been trying to cut back on my screen time and use the quarantine as an opportunity to color and paint more. I’ve worked out two possible ideas to explore, both having some kind of link to women’s experiences. I must admit the artists books I’ve read this week have inspired me to go in that direction.

My first idea revolves around a collection of sexist vintage ads that I would print and paint over. I would rewrite them to create a new meaning out of them. I could either use a linear narrative to link all the images together or I could just break them down case by case and use the rewrite with commentary on what the ads are doing, whether it is questioning women’s intelligence, pushing gender roles, objectifying women, etc. But by far, my favorite idea is the second one I came up with. Looking at my art supplies and what resources are available to me for this project (I can’t exactly go shop for more right now), I realized I had some old scrapbook materials and the idea popped in my head to do a kind of diary. It would be the diary of a fictional preteen girl. I think I could use it to comment on how we often ridicule a lot of thoughts and behavior in the young girl. I was thinking about the fact that a lot, if not all, girls go through an “I’m not like other girls” phase and that it is often a result of outside influences with the underlying message that most women shouldn’t be something to aspire to be. I would love to explore how sometimes teens can turn on things they used to like, or behavior they used to display because they are made to feel ashamed of themselves. I think people love to laugh and cringe at the “awkward phase” that teens go through, but we don’t talk enough about the effect it has on those teens in the moment. I’d like to illustrate that, literally.

Nightvale

Listening to episode 13 of the Welcome to Nightvale podcast, I couldn’t help but compare it to audiobooks. I’ve recently started listening to audiobooks and there are many similarities that I picked out between the audiobooks and Nightvale. First, we are obviously listening to a story, a work of fiction. Then there is the use of different voices for different characters and finally the use of music or other audio clips to enhance the experience. Not all audiobooks do this, but then again not all podcasts do either.

I’d never listened to this type of podcast before, only the “chat cast” type. I thoroughly enjoyed the all-encompassing experience. From the cleverly weaved in world-building to the use of audio to create a more fleshed out canvas for the story. I wasn’t just a one-dimensional podcast, it truly felt like an experience. According to this week’s reading, people lined up in 2014 to hear live performances of Nightvale and I can understand why.

The podcast understands its relationship to the listeners. In episode 13, it addresses the listener directly as the protagonist of the story. It blurs the line between fiction and reality by inviting the listener to enter the world of Nightvale. Plus, the mise en abyme of the radiocast narration being present within the plot just adds layers upon layers. I would say that the podcast is definitely a literary work as it uses literary techniques, remains aware of its audience at all times, and expands on a fictional world.

Social Media Project Update

For anyone not aware of my project, I was planning an Instagram with origami dragons placed around IUP to liven the campus with ephemeral dragon displays people could seek out. I say “I was planning” because I left for Spring Break with only three pictures up and now no one’s coming back to campus. My own situation is complicated right now as I’m going back to Canada and won’t even be taking my classes from the same country as everyone else. I’ve considered making the dragons catch the virus or have to quarantine, but I personally don’t even find virus jokes funny anymore. Any reminder of the virus and its repercussions is just stressful right now. Maybe the dragons can migrate to Canada? I haven’t decided yet.

I had a brief success before leaving for spring break. Someone found one of my dragons and DMed the page, so I got to tell them they could keep the dragon. It definitely intrigued them enough to look up the page. I also had someone trying to guess where the dragons were. Although these are the kind of interactions I wanted people to have with the account, I will have to rethink what’s the goal now that people are off-campus… and now that I’ll be back in Canada next week 😟.

The three pictures up right now:

Social Media Project Idea

Vision/Mission

I want to brighten the campus and make people interested in seeing it in a new light with a series of origami dragons placed around campus. Every post would include one or man dragons placed in somewhat recognizable places. Students could try to find the ephemeral art display before they disappear, or just reimagine the campus. My project would act as an incentive to keep an eye open for beauty in otherwise repetitive and ordinary locations. The dragons would reinvent the campus for a brief moment.

Platform

Instagram is, for me, the obvious choice. It offers the sharing of pictures which is the best medium to share my project with. The story feature could also be useful to mirror the temporary side of the project and parallel the “live” approach. Instagram is also a platform of enhanced reality which aligns with my vision of reinventing everyday locations on campus.

Execution

This project will require me to go out on campus every day to place and take pictures of the dragons. The project has to unfold in real-time for the viewers to become interested in taking part and seeking out the art while it’s still on display. To promote the Instagram page I would leave the handle written on the dragons for people who find them. The dragons would run the account as a persona, I would not reveal on the page who is behind the project as it would detract from the interaction between viewer and dragons.

Capture

Students could follow the Instagram account to keep track of the project and where the dragons are. I would leave every dragon to its own device after the pictures are posted. I could use the story feature as a compilation of all the past dragons in one location as opposed to having to scroll through every post.

Twine Brainstorm

I must admit after watching Locke & Key on Netflix a couple weeks ago, I went into my brainstorm with the single idea to have the reader explore a family estate. Mansion, graveyard, library, the different paths would all be physical rooms for the reader to explore. My idea doesn’t rely on a wrong or right path, but would rather expand into different genres. Some rooms would unlock a horror ending and others a fantasy one. The goal for the reader would be to see how many endings they can find.

I’m toying with the idea of having a key hidden in one of the rooms which the reader would need to pick up in order to find a secret ending (one harder to find because it needs the reader to get to a particular room in a certain order). But with the many paths that I am coming up with I don’t know how much time I’ll have to dive into CSS.

The plot of the story itself is simply story of the reader’s mom inheriting the family estate from the reader’s grandfather. As they move in, the reader gets to pick their room (which influences the story) and decide in what order they’ll explore the others room of the house or the outside of the property. The mom is a character in some of the endings, but mostly she’s passive. I don’t plan to have any dialogue. I want to create more of an atmosphere in each room rather than base the story on dialogue or moral choices.

The Hunt for the Gay Planet

I am the love that dare not squeak its name.

The Hunt for the Gay Planet by Anna Anthropy is a response to a Star Wars video game extension that was released in 2013. The DLC allowed for same-sex romance, but only on one planet. Anthropy’s hypertext is a satire of this decision. The reader searches in the most ridiculous of manners (such a looking under rock) for the planet Lesbionica in hopes of being allowed to love as she was born to. The mechanics of the game/hypertext helped highlight the humour in the quest and plant the seed for the position it would take on queer representation.

The true criticism of the piece is made clear in the final scenes of the hypertext. On top of the ridicule quest of having to find a single planet accepting of homosexual relationships, the planet in question is not free. It is an exile confiding the LGBT community to a place out of sight where they won’t be seen. This is an obvious parallel to the question of queer representation in media.

Even though this hypertext was a response to a DLC released in 2013, I could not help but think of the Rise of Skywalker controversy about their decision to have a one-second background lesbian kiss and claim it as representation. It seems Disney and the Star Wars franchise persist in their mediocre queer representation relinquishing them to the dark corners of the galaxie.

This first draft of my broadside looks too crowded. I will remove the vertical “culture”, but keep the horizontal one since I think it is integral to my message. I might also reduce the number of verses to one per quarter in order to make them bigger and more meaningful. I like the symmetrical look, but I would rather the attention still be focused on the words. I will need to think more in-dept about my font choice in order to make the words stand out against the background.

I’m also toying with the idea of just changing my text to a simple LANGUAGE IS CULTURE because that would be the most direct way to transmit my message. However, by doing it this way I wouldn’t be using any French on the poster which is the language I would like the reader to understand is the culture of Quebec.

Broadside idea.

Inspired by Eugene Gomringer’s Snow, which uses the repetition of “snow is _” as a way of rethinking what snow is, I set out to find a word or thing that I would like to explore in-depth on my broadside. After a discussion with Dr. Sherwood, it hit me that I should try and do something that includes French. This way the HSS would now include a piece of home and could maybe even educate people on what French can be outside of France. So I set out to represent what French is to me.

Visually I’d like to have Québec’s flag as the backdrop for my broadside as a reminder that the French addressed in the piece is the one from my home. It might also draw attention since it is not a widely known flag, and it probably isn’t the first flag that comes to mind for most when thinking of French. I have yet to decide if it should integrate the flag as a photograph or a simple graphic.

I know I want the text to be separated into two columns and for the font to be very simple. Perhaps the adjectives after the “French is/Le français est” should be in italics, perhaps that will be distracting or won’t make for an aesthetically pleasing repetition of pattern with the words, experiments will be in order.