DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.
Getting the scraps together and playing around with paper placements.
What, specifically, is this piece trying to accomplish?
I made a mistake in my project that writers often do. As I was putting the panels together, as individual scenes with a sequential purpose, I saw the meaning with such clarity that I didn't take into account all the different interpretations that could be had by the viewer. I mean, that's a pretty dangerous thing to do. To expect your audience to take in your message exactly as is seen through your own lens. Looking back, I should have widened my own vision to understand that each viewer will tap into their own experiential understanding as they step into my project. I should have prepared for differing perceptions, and welcomed them in a way that would still reveal my own purpose, to convey a plot that aligned with my own experiences reading The New York Times in a class that encouraged deeper thought on the subjects presented. This wasn't meant quite as an argument, but an expression.
I didn't expect viewers to internalize every detail I placed into each panel, but I hoped to reach out with a positive overall message that could speak to my own experience with The New York Times as a mode to challenge my own relationship with critical thought. Even more beautiful about the project was that The New York Times itself, with images and text from its own pages, could create a platform for its own value in our pathways toward personal growth.
What specific rhetorical, material, methodological, and technological choices did you make—
Initially, I was simply going to create one panel, one scene, as my remix project. The memory of blowing on dandelions as a child, and finding joy in watching their seeds spread out across the grassy lawn, popped into my mind as I tried to break down the daunting task of a meaningful remix into a brainstormed plan. But one image turned into three once I completed the first panel and realized it was a story unfinished in a way that could never get my message across. It was just the catalyst for a truly beautiful journey that was meant to play out further.
The first panel, one in which a person is blowing on a dandelion, the wind created by strips of NYT text, causing one small seed to detach and float toward the right side of the frame. In the next, the seed is now embedded in soil, represented by columns of text, with rain drops-- intentionally cut from The New York Times' iconic title-- falling down to meet the seed. (That's why I couldn't help but chuckle at the irony when the idea of "acid rain" was mentioned!) In my mindset, both the soil and the rain, elements that aren't always seen in a positive light in our daily lives, actually represent nourishment. Finally, I bring the viewer to the last panel where the work of the prior to scenes comes to fruition. The sun is shining heavily on the panel covered in orange and yellow scraps of paper from NYT newspapers and magazines. Here, a new dandelion has grown and with it comes the potential for the sequence to begin again with each of its seeds-- all with just a little push in the right direction from the wind, and a bit of added nutrients to help with their growth.
Choices that you might not have consciously made, those that were made for you when you opted to work with certain genres, materials, and technologies—
I tend to be a pretty meticulous person, so it's not often that I release my control to unconscious choices. But with this project, the root of each decision I made came from an opportunist's mentality. I was confined to my stack of saved newspapers, so I couldn't go into this project with a clear line of vision. I knew my purpose. I knew my goal. But how exactly I was to get there was left to the resources I had in front of me. Which colors were used often enough in the images of The New York Times for me to create something of it? Which words popped off the page as I flipped through in search of some direction? Often, I'd be looking for something specific-- "I need a blue background to complete the sky"-- when I'd happen upon something totally unexpected. For example, the sun in the first panel was actually an image of an eye contact lens from the recurring article Who Made That? in the NYT magazine.
Why did you end up pursuing this plan as opposed to the other possibilities you came up with? In your case, did you consider other opportunities?
My vision unfolded as I turned toward The New York Times as my source for both materials and inspiration. I didn't seriously consider any project ideas completely out of the realm of a collage, but with that said, my initial thought of what I would make changed pretty drastically by the finished piece. I originally planned to have just one image, as I mentioned earlier, but that just didn't say enough. Oh! On the topic of "saying enough", I just remembered a change in direction I made, one that I find very significant in the final outcome. I had the bolded word "curiosity" cut out from the Times and ready to be placed on my piece for about a third of the time that I worked on it. I thought the word would sum up my message very simply. I thought it would help viewers understand and put less pressure on my artistic abilities. But I decided against it for one main reason: I remembered seeing a dance, an absolutely stunning and creative dance, that finished with the dancers unraveling three banners with large words spanning across them. The words were simple values, like "JUSTICE", "STRENGTH" and "LOVE". That, for me, felt like a copout in the art of dance. I think a part of nonverbal arts is lost when we use words as a crutch for expression.
Who and what played a role in accomplishing these goals?
I didn't collaborate with anyone on my project, expect maybe borrowing glue from my roommate. No, it was just my remix and me.