Tutorial with Matt this morning. I’ve reached and gone through my (possibly) final impasse and perhaps most important point. I finally know what I’m doing/saying.
So rather than have this great nebulous subject that people are forced to make a decision on, the whole premise would be awareness. That is awareness of yourself, and of others, within the context of a wider subject. The crux is about personal positioning, and how we find ourselves drawn to things or forced away from them, and what things we listen to or don’t listen to. Why do we listen to some news and not others? Why do we believe in certain politicians but believe the other ones to be liars? Most importantly, this experience is different for different people and it all depends on so many different factors. That’s why I’ve reached this point – I was trying to give people a topic or a subject and get them to choose. Some graphic designed version of Sophie’s Choice. But I’ve come to realise now that it’s not some binary choice made between black and white, yes or no. There is a vast middle ground that’s not explored or questioned, which is where my project lies.
What if the goal was to create awareness? Not of a given thing, but of themselves, and of others. The whole idea at this point is to demonstrate our differences, how we are the same, and importantly demonstrate what things are important to different people. This awareness of others comes back to how we position ourselves in a wider whole. The ‘whole’ in this case is society, not a particular topic.
I can’t give people one thing to pick from, because it needs to come from themselves. By making a choice, or way finding, they become aware of their needs/wants/desires/dislikes, in relation to different people.
I discussed with Matt the Degree Show itself. People will be forced to make decisions on unfamiliar topics and unfamiliar things, and be encouraged to think laterally, liberally, and a bit left of centre than perhaps they would have previously. Matt said “They should leave feeling as though their brains are a little bigger.”
So I saw this the other week which has spurred a lot of my decision.
I’m not going to recreate this, of course, but something similar that explains the journeys of other people along with some visual aid, that also makes you aware of your position in relation to others. It becomes this map of “What Made You” – but of course the finished product is the sum of what made a number of different individuals, and not just one person’s choices and feelings.
For my subject and topic area, this would be a little more divisive. I think the ‘pins’ in my case would be a topic, and the string would be an emotion. Perhaps if you followed someone’s journey through anger or fear, and what caused those feelings and what encouraged them to feel that way?
Basically, what would be the pins and what would be the string?
Of course by the time I come around to designing this myself I won’t be using this method, but I think the mechanism is there. I want it to be some visual story of peoples’ journey, their way finding through the topics, and your position in relation to them. Together, this provides a visual ‘map’ if you will of the way that people think, and the way that people found themselves thinking that way in particular.
I think one of the most important things I’ve always looked for in my practice is to encourage people to think about themselves. Be excellent to each other is a perfect way of describing what I always want to achieve. With the Pearson D&AD brief, or the Big Idea, or Real World back at the start of the year, I want people to think differently and for the betterment of themselves, and as a whole. By creating an awareness of other peoples’ journeys and feelings gives the viewer the perfect opportunity to think of themselves as one of many, and to realise the importance of the journeys of others. We are always told that we don’t exist in a bubble – nobody does.
If people leave my exhibition with perhaps a little bit more awareness of themselves, and that they are not the only person with a journey and a story, then I’ll have done what I set out to achieve.