Tutorial // FMP

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.

Image result for about time meme

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.

Getting the attendee to make the graphics in your booth. "Great way to add some interactivity" -triadcreativegroup.com::

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.

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Fear Tactics // FMP

Oh boy isn’t everyone tired of hearing about Brexit and Trump but whatever, here I go.

Image result for jean ralphio the worst gif

Donald Trump is a fool and Brexit is our most foolish endeavour.  There, I said it.  Two of the most polarising subjects in the Western World at the moment.  The thoughts of American citizens lie with Trump, and ours are on Brexit.  There’s too much fear and sensationalist news articles for anyone to be able to know anything.  The Brexit campaign was based on some untruths (said through gritted teeth at the very least), but it worked.  Why?  How did a campaign with so few relative facts and figures win?  A red bus emblazoned with dodgy stats about raking in millions more pounds for the NHS has since proved to be lies, and it’s all turning out a little bit shit.  If the people up the top with degrees in Economics, Political Science, or EU Law had no idea whether to pick Leave or Stay, how are the UK peasant folk (this includes myself) expected to react?  They will react in the way that people normally do when threatened, which is to lash out and shun the outsiders (here meaning refugees and immigrants), and they voted for a solution based on border control ergo fewer immigrants ergo safer jobs/housing/money/banks etc., but we just know that’s not how it works.

Let’s take a quote from Hermann Goring on how to whip up the populous into voting for and putting their faith in something quite sinister.

“The people don’t want war, but they can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders.  This is easy.  All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, ad denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and for exposing the country to danger.  It works the same in every country.”

Are the similarities not achingly similar?  God damn it’s too much.

Besides, for me this is all about how your personal position on a topic can be influenced, even without you realising.  It’s about personal preference and personal choice.  By encouraging the viewer to perceive the world through different eyes is that not how we reach greater levels of understanding?  Reading an infinite number of articles on Facebook that may or may not be true, I would argue is making us blind to the real facts of the matter.  Fundamentally we are all human beings with similar needs, and ultimately our position in this life is determined largely before we’re born.  But what if the viewer was encouraged to view or understand themselves in a different way?  In a way that meant that they understood their position in relation to a given topic based on something more real rather than fear tactics or frightening statistics that nobody quite understands?

After speaking with Matt, he said:

What’s missing from your email is the ‘what’.
What are your viewers being asked to position themselves on? Where’s the bit where your viewer empathises, and as a result, becomes uncomfortable?
Are you:
a) Creating an experience that promotes reflection on the nature of positioning and influence in general terms – i.e. the information content is predominantly factual, and maybe deals with stuff like cognitive bias, subliminal messaging, body language etc.
Viewers are directed around your way-finding points with simple exercises that illustrate some of these principles.
b) Creating an experience where the viewer is directed to position themselves within a topic, and the way-finding is more about you curating that personal journey for them.
c) A mix of the two, where the general principles behind your idea form the touch points for the viewer to position themselves on a topic.
I think for me the whole thing is about how to bring those things together.  It’s about how the audience understands it and reacts to it, which will be entirely different based on the viewer themselves.  By navigating through some story or map, I would like the outcome of this to promote questioning, or as a way-finding exercise through some overarching ‘story’.

Something that means people realise at the end that they have in fact made a choice, whether they were aware of it or not.  I just need to find the ‘Something’.