It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.
Our project will show innocent things being forced to grow up, purity being tainted, and natural things being mutated or dying out. The goal of this project is many things. The main goal is to show the intense, Manichean, disturbing juxtaposition and perspectives that occur all too often in our modern world.
Visual Aspects and Juxtaposition
Visually, our project will feature two tablets with text between them that states a “query question.” As one looks at the piece, there will only be one tablet “on” at a time. One will show an image while the other is completely black. First, on the left tablet, we will show something such as a young child or a flower on a black background. After a few moments, the image on that tablet will fade to complete blackness. The other tablet will begin to fade out of black, revealing the complete image. For example, the tablet on the left that showed the child on a black background will fade out. Then, the tablet on the right will begin to display the full image of the child including the background that was previously “blacked out.” This would be something like a complete photo that features the previously cute, innocent seeming child in a terrible situation such as an environment obviously recently affected by a cataclysmic natural disaster. This is meant to display stark contrasts.
We are also considering the possibility of including some sort of touch-sensitive “switch” on the tablet that would show the incomplete, blacked out image. A viewer of the piece could then interact with it, switching that tablet off, and in doing so, the other tablet with the full image would come into view.
Another design is utilization of the question space as a interactive space by creating a switch. Combining the interactive space and the question itself can create even more intense experiences of the display.
The question that will be featured on the text between the two tablets will read:
Did you see everything?
Do you really want to?
Creating a Social Network
A Social network is created through personal interaction with anyone outside of its own circle. This interactive display creates a social network by engaging people by taking people into surprises, shock, realization, and controversy. The images and the discovery of truth provokes a sense of urgency to share the major social issues that are displayed and start up a conversation between the audiences about the display and hopefully, how to resolve them.
In the project “Who benefits the most? The student or the institution?,” the juxtaposition of the two different groups of people are shown through the use of photographic mosaics. On the left, an image of a student will be shown and on the right, an image of SLC’s campus will be shown. Each picture will be made up of smaller images. This medium will be very similar to the popular style of pointillism, which relies on the collection of colored dots to create a broader image; however, instead of dots, the project will use photo mosaics. The smaller images are positioned so that their general color correlates with the colors of the greater image, recreating the image. The smaller images within the project will be photos of the SLC student body, faculty and campus.
A general outline of what the completed project will look like once installed.
The juxtaposition comes from the idea that the student and the institution exists on opposite sides of the coin. Although they work together in a complementary relationship, they provide and receive differently from this mutual interaction. What the student gains from the college experience is an education, guidance, and life skills. In return, the college receives the student’s tuition, productivity, and possible future reputation. In this juxtaposition, it is easy to imagine the student as a consumer and the institution as the supplier because the student and their family are paying for the services of the college. This reveals the juxtaposition of the buyer and the supplier. And even though the titles within the buyer-seller relationship can be reversed, the opposition remains the same. Although, we chose to have the two photographic mosaics be of an SLC student and the campus, the juxtaposition posed relates to all colleges. The message that we are trying to put out there is that the relationship of a student and their college is a complicated one that involves beneficial and detrimental factors for both parties.
An example of a photographic mosaic. The image of a seagull is formulated with smaller pictures of birds in hexagonal tiles.
The questions that will be in between the two images is “Who benefits the most? The student or the institution?” These two short phrases will help clear up any confusion that the viewer may have. The concise wording reveals the two groups of people involved in the juxtaposition. It also directly makes the viewer think about the relationship of the student and institution.
A photo mosaic alone is not a social object, but we made it into one by relating the two images to the juxtaposition of a bigger issue. Since we are using images from the campus and members of the SLC community, it creates a personal connection with viewers that is shared with everyone else on this campus. The object is relative because it pertains to the reason we are all here: the college itself.
An example of the type of images of the campus used in the photo mosaic. The entrance to Heimbold is mostly grey and so can be used to represent a grey color in the greater picture of the student.
self portrait of sophia; example of juxtaposition.
This project entitled “Can you see the Real Me?” uses juxtaposition of two images in order to create an impactful divide between how the world sees someone and how they see themselves. There will be two Polaroid pictures placed side by side with a question in the middle. The first Polaroid will have a person looking at the camera with a straight face, and the second Polaroid will have the person smiling. What creates the juxtaposition between the two pictures is the question between them that will read: “Am I _______ or am I ________ ?” The person in the pictures will fill out that question. What the question is really asking is how they think society views them and labels them versus how they view and label themselves.
The juxtaposition found between the two pictures is very powerful. Identity is one of the most important aspects of who a person is. Often times, people are viewed and judged differently than how they see themselves. By creating a side-by-side image of the same person with different facial expression, the juxtaposition between the images and the identity of the person will become clear and understood.
Our piece in total…
The question between the two Polaroid images will read: “Am I or am I ?. This question is meant to trigger a powerful response from the person being photographed. As a result of labeling, judging and stereotyping people, others are hurt and put down. This question is meant to allow the person to have a voice and express who they are using only a few words.
Creating a Social Network
A Social Network is defined as “a network of social interactions and personal relationships”. This installation creates a social network because it draws people together. Not only do we have to interact with the person being photographed, but we have to ask them a personal question and create conversation. By creating a social network with them, they will be more comfortable to open up to us and share their thoughts and emotions. Also, once the project is installed, it will create a social network because people will gather around the installation and observe and talk about the project and people’s different responses.
What it will look like when installed
The juxtaposition is created through visual representation of slot machines. As one of the most popular gambling method, the slot machine is easy to play and appeals to passersby: the only thing you have to do is pull down the lever and release it when you feel the odds are in your favor. Then you wait to see what your luck brings you. Usually the outcome is not extremely profitable but you are so close to winning so you want to try it again, and again and again.
Our depiction of this will result in two slot machines side by side. One representing money, wealth and material things while the other represents nature and natural resources. The visual differences aspects of the ‘luxury’ one will be more high-end and upscale and glitzy. To contrast, the ‘natural’ one will have elements that are more calm and less showy. Also, in the luxury slot machine, objects such as diamonds, cash stacks, and gold coins will be spinning while in the natural one, objects such as trees, icebergs and rivers will be spinning.
With this project, we are creating a juxtaposition between the luxurious, excessive consumption and the effect it has on nature. In The Affluent Society, John Kenneth Galbraith argues that the desire to demonstrate one’s social status urges unnecessary consumption of luxury goods that has no larger use value than its reasonably-priced counterparts (126). By doing this without concern for natural resources that are non-renewable and definite in amount, it’s clear that we are starting to ruin our planet. People are willing to destroy the environment or ‘overlook’ the damage they are doing because they care about how much money they can make or how much they can save. As the user pulls the lever on the luxury side, the objects in the slot machine on the natural side will start to die or deteriorate. The ‘health’ level will also go down on the natural side and the cash amount on the luxury side will go up.
The question in between the two slot machines will be, “What are we gambling with?” This is suppose to make the audience think about what they’re doing and consider the cause and effect of their everyday life choices.
Creating a Social Network
This juxtaposition creates a social network by engaging people intellectually by discovering that the nature elements on the natural slot machine are deteriorating, it brings the audience through a process of realization. If they had little awareness about this social issue before, it will leave a deeper impression on them. We are hoping that it provokes a sense of social responsibility on everyone that interacts with it. The subtlety of the project and deeper underlying meaning will hopefully invoke conversation between the audience and get them talking about their thoughts or memories on the popular issue.
By Yuci and Kadie
References:Galbraith, John Kenneth. The affluent society. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1998. Norman, Donald A. The psychology of everyday things. Basic books, 1988.