The Church of the Network was a collaborative project between Katharine Wimett and I that was installed in the Closet Gallery at Cornish College of the Arts in November 2015. It was inspired by Alexander Bard’s theory that the Internet is God based on the modern idea of Syntheism and how it allows us to construct our own Gods. We began to expand upon this idea. Initially we defined the essential elements of what makes up a church using Catholicism as our main reference point and then composed our own comparisons of what that structure would be within the Internet.
Defining this structure took the form of Wikipedia articles. Realizing that the Bible is the foundation for the tenets of Catholicism, as well as other religions, we decided that the articles that were generated would be compiled to form the Bible of The Church of the Network. Within these articles we layout the extended metaphor of how the Internet is God and what that religion consists of. Visitors to the installation are able to construct their own Church of the Network Bible from the pages hanging on the wall to take away.
One wall consisted of an Emoji mural that represented how the Followers of The Church of the Network come together to form a congregation united by their pursuit of information and connectivity. The Emoji mural was made up of ten thousand individual Emojis, which we believe is the marking point of when a Follower moves from Mediocre Relevancy to becoming an Influencer of the Network.
In the center of the gallery, was the invisible Network made visible. The Network was constructed of different colors of yarn each representing an individual Follower of The Church of the Network. In the research phase of this project, we asked friends to record themselves surfing the Internet or performing their own Liturgy of the Network. The mapping of the Liturgies is divided into Altars where Followers converged most frequently, as well as, Altars of Information, Entertainment and E-Commerce.
The Beloved Hashtag, which is thought to save Followers from Digital Irrelevancy, was also presented within the gallery. Featured with The Beloved Hashtag were the Prayers to the Network which are thought to be Verbal Cues of Digital Identity. The Prayers to the Network were divided into Verbal Cues of: narcissism, humor, celebration, political views, social support, disdain for other Followers and their ideas, promotion and finally calls for help from other Followers.
Our aim was to provoke a conversation about the Internet and its influence in structuring our daily lives. In terms of understanding the world around us, how has the Internet changed our perspectives? We questioned the hierarchy of the Internet and who has control over the information that is presented to us. What are the implications of our current dependency on visual literacy and what are the codes of conduct that have been recently created online and offline?
Katharines work can be see here.
Digital Identity was my BFA Thesis project and focused on the stories that our personal digital information tells.
At the beginning of the year I started with the question "What does it mean to be human in the internet age?" In my research and exploration of this question it became apparent that personal digital information was a significant part of being human today. I decided to define this personal digital information as digital identity, which is the cumulation of all the digital information that you generate by existing and moving through both the physical and digital world. I started to become interested in the idea that our personal digital information is an extension of the human, and began to wonder what makes this digital information human. Ultimately, I realized that what makes our digital identity human is the stories that it tells us and enables us to tell other people.
In order to illustrate this abstract idea I decided that for the month of March in 2016 Jonathan Tollefson, Fidelia Lam, and I would screen capture on our phones our frequently used emojis, search history, and Snapchat stories everyday. These were then collected and laid out chronologically in a book for each person. When flipping through these books you begin to get an idea of what these people are like, who their friends are, and what their interests are. Although this does not even come close to visualizing the entirety of their digital identities it does however accomplish two important things. First, by showing just a slice of someones entire digital identity it sheds some light on just how much information we generate on a daily basis. Secondly, the information collected when put together in book form does tell a narrative.
The books themselves are also important as objects. By putting the digital information in book form it enforces a linear approach to the content as well as the idea of it being read as a narrative. For the exhibition space I put the books front and center directly below the Facebook profile picture of the the person that each book belonged to. From the top of each profile picture leading up to the ceiling are the pages of each persons book starting from end of the book laid out in continuous strips. This represents their information being uploaded into the cloud, going from the physical space into the digital.
Finally, I created a newspaper that contains all my research and process and expands on the ideas that are contained within my thesis as well as serves as a jumping off point for people to do their own research should they like.
This was a project for my Experimental Typography class. I was interested in the Post-Internet movement and wanted to do a project based on that. In my research I found a gallery exhibition that was one of the first exhibitions to feature Post-Internet work. I decided that I would take the gallery exhibition catalogue for the show which only existed as a PDF and re-envision it as a physical book.
My goal for the book was to make it for a person who only uses the internet to get their information. In order to accomplish this I separated the images and the text so that they could be browsed simultaneously, similarly to how one can have multiple tabs or windows open on a computer. The text was put into a book and the artwork into a deck of cards. The cards have no particular order allowing the reader to organize them however they choose which creates a sort of search history. Furthermore, the artwork and text contain links between the two. In the margins of the text small thumbnail images appear when an artwork is mentioned prompting the reader to find the corresponding card should they want to see a larger image of the artwork. Also on the back of each card there is a pull quote about the artwork from the text and the page number that the quote appears on so that the reader could look it up for further reading. Finally, I realized that the text needed to be searchable similar to how you can type "command,F" on a keyboard and search a pdf for any word. To accomplish this my friend Tarik Merzouk wrote a program that created an index of every word in the text which I then laid out into the third and final part of the book. It is also the shortest book and sits in the front as a prompt for the reader to search for what they are looking for as opposed to starting from the beginning and reading the whole text.
One thing that came out of this project that I would like to explore further is that the design of the object communicates the content within it. The way this book is structured and a reader interacts with it reflects how the internet has changed the way we expect to interact with content and information. In this way the object itself communicates ideas about the Post-Internet movement.
This is a personal project I did in the summer of 2015. Recently I've been very interested in the human experience and existence and how memory is a huge part of that. Specifically all the moments in our lives that we live and then forget (routines, commuting, work); lost time. To explore this I took 3 photos a day on disposable cameras for the entire summer in hopes of capturing some of that lost time. Interestingly enough out of the 270 photos I took, 207 actually came out. Thats 63 moments that are lost forever, serving as a very real illustration of this idea of lost time.
I compiled all the photos into a book to make them easier to look back on, and I just like making books. The photos are displayed life size (4"x6") and are left without any captions or page numbers, allowing the viewer to focus on the photos and not on what order the photos are in. This is because we don't usually remember a moment based on what day it happened but instead of where it took place in relation to other moments. Finally the gradient represents our relationship to moments in time, in that the further we get away from them the more they fade.
This is a screen printed poster series that I designed and screen printed. There are three poster designs, each one pulling a quote from Bruce Mau's "An Incomplete Manifesto for Growth". I really enjoyed what what it had to say about process and exploration and wanted to make something that would allow for experimentation and feature the process in the final result. To achieve this I created abstract compositions in three colors with the scrubby side of a sponge. Then, I printed the quotes on top. The result was a series of posters that exhibit the experimentation and exploration in the process of making them.
This was a denim collaboration that I had the opportunity to work on through my job at Blue Owl Workshop. This collaboration was our first with Los Angeles denim brand Rogue Territory. The denim was an incredibly slubby unsanforized (not pre shrunk) denim. We decided to do a special edition limited run of this collab that we would take to Golden Gardens and soak in the water and then hang dry there. My contribution for this project was the illustration on the leather patch, and then I created the packaging for the special edition. We thought it would be fun to include a towel and a film photo from disposable cameras in the special edition package to make it a little extra special and reference our day at the beach spent soaking . Also, the extra packaging made it more photogenic and helped build more hype on the blogs, in fact we were featured on denim blog Heddles. Finally the towel was designed so that when folded for the packaging the owl would be front and center.
This was a project for my Design for Social Change class. The goal was to rebrand an existing non-profit. I chose Resonance Records, a jazz label that seeks out brilliant, young and up and coming talent to help record, produce, promote their music in an industry that often only cares about established talent. The bright colors and paper cut shapes reference the album art work of mid-century modern jazz album artwork, as well as show the dynamism and rhythm of jazz and youth. Furthermore, Eurostile reflects the flavor and spirit of the 1950s and 1960s. It has big, squarish shapes with rounded corners that look like television sets from that era. In the context of Resonance this technological optimism applies to their goals to make the future of jazz more diverse and brilliant.
This is student work.
This was a project for my packaging class where we were assigned a local coffee shop to design a new bottled beverage for that reflected their aesthetic. I was assigned Espresso Vivace and did my best to bring the Espresso Vivace experience out of the coffee shop and into a bottle.
Going into this project I knew that Espresso Vivace is an iconic Seattle institution with a rich history. So, I wanted to stay true to that and did a significant amount of research on them and their italian roots. Ultimately I didn't want to rebrand them but instead offer up a fresh take that brings unique elements from their existing brand to the forefront. For starters, I cleaned up their logo so that it would be more recognizable and then to reflect the packaging they already have for their whole bean which is transparent I let the coffee show through the label. Finally, besides excellent coffee, Espresso Vivace also takes great pride in their latte art and in fact, they were one of the first pioneers of latte art. So I knew that this was a crucial part of the experience, but its not possible to put latte art in the actual drink; so, I snuck it under the cap. There are multiple latte art images so that different people get different and unique latte art similar to if they were in the Coffee shop.
This is student work.
Blue Owl Workshop specializes in raw denim and sells a lot of jeans that go off and are lived in and transformed into beautiful garments that tell the story of their owners. Because of this they wanted to start a program to bring some of those jeans back and immortalize them for customers to enjoy and learn more about how different fabrics age. I was given the task to create an identity for this program and introduce it to the customer base through instagram, as well as create a way to archive faded denim in the store so that the each garments story can be told. To do this I created a simple logo that fits within the stores current aesthetic and then created a set of images of faded denim to be used as assets. Finally I designed a simple tag that has all the info a customer would want to know about a pair of faded denim to get a good idea about the life that was lived in them.
Youth for Christ Skatespot is a summer camp in Winnipeg that commissioned me to create some art for the bottom of some skateboards that could be given away as prizes. Since what ever design I came up with would have to be stenciled on by someone else I had to make sure that whatever I made was simple yet dynamic. Also, since I am in Seattle and they in Winnipeg, I would need to design clear instructions to make sure that my design translated from screen to board.
To accomplish this I first decided to brand Skatespot with a simple “spot” that looks like a skateboard wheel. Then I tackled “Youth For Christ” by shortening it to “YFC” which allows that element to become bigger and ultimately the focus. Finally I realized that this simple composition could instantly become rather interesting and dynamic simply by adding multiple colors or being repeated. The result is something that is simple, cute, and fun.
This is a project for my fabrications class where the goal was to design a chair that took human dimensions into consideration and create a scale model of that design. In my research I became incredibly interested in chairs that are more utilitarian and that are part of a system, such as folding chairs, stackable chairs, stools, and chair desks. I also took into consideration that people like to sit in chairs in many different positions. The result was a chair that is general purpose. My general purpose chair is a classroom, presentation room, workspace, desk, or it can be folded and put away so the room can be empty. Furthermore, its construction is just flat panels and hinges so it could be flat packed, and easily assembled