Thursday, April 3, 2014

Project proposal: House of Corrigan

House of Corrigan

                Throughout the semester we have explored several vastly different types of narratives, yet they all can be related through ever present central concepts. While I believe writing is an excellent way to elucidate the nature of these illusive themes, I think that visual aids are an excellent way to bring them even further into the light. The narratives we have read all exhibit varying degrees of imagery and perceptual objectification, but none (even the video games) offer visual ‘depth’ as an imagery tool.
               When we talked about Chris Ware’s ‘Building Stories’, I hatched the idea to attempt something similar myself. In an attempt to construct ‘depth’ as part of a narrative, I recalled the paper carousel I built from Jimmy Corrigan. The experience of construction as well as the three dimensional nature of the finished product resulted in an object that not only told a story in its completed form, but told a story in its construction. Through technique, I was able to craft Ware’s story in a way unachievable by words or lines of code in a video game. This subsequently prompted me to build some stories of my own.
               I plan on making my project a three dimensional analysis of our progression through technology using the amalgamation of the cut-out comic book frames in Jimmy Corrigan. The construct will not re-tell the story of Jimmy Corrigan, but will rather utilize Ware’s careful images as the brick-and-mortar for a house of leaves style abyss expounding on the grand art of technology in narratives. I hope to create a fluid yet multifaceted collage of my personal argument on technology bolstered by central themes of the course. My construct will be accompanied by an essay describing technique for reviewing the piece, along with my incorporated essay. Think of the accompanied essay as a ‘script’, comprehensive, but it is by no means exhaustive as far as interpretation of my construct. Included in the construct will also be elements of the essay itself.
                My end goal is to provide not only a final project, but an experience that by virtue of its design will foster interpretations capable of existing as unique entities in themselves. If my grand architectural endeavor fails to come to fruition, I still intend on ably completing the accompanying analysis, which serves as the spinal cord connecting all the effectors of the class (i.e. hands, eyes, ears, intestines, each representing a body of literature we have explored with the elaboration of the connective and vascular tissue linking them). Hopefully it turns out well: I am still working on x-acto knifing all of the windows out.

                The visual and physical nature of my project will allow it to extend beyond normal paper/computer bounds and leap out into the actual physical world. Experiencing something held in hand or witnessed by eye is almost always more awe inspiring than the same occurrence unseen. The human sensory organs pick up subtle cues unreproducible by video, writing, audio recording, or other media. I hope to utilize this special aspect of sensory transduction to further strengthen my discourse on narrative technology.


Alec Brace said...


I really like your project proposal and I think your idea will turn out to be creative, interesting, and as visually stimulating as you intend it to be. It is an ambitious project and I look forward to seeing the end result. The only thing I'm left wondering is why you're restricting your piece strictly to the frames of Jimmy Corrigan. I'm not saying it's a problem, I am merely curious if you could work some visual aspects of Portal or Dear Esther via screenshots into your argument as well. Frankenstein even has some visuals from the Lynd Wards illustrations you could consider. Your plan to construct it as "a house of leaves style abyss" is intriguing because it leaves me unable to visualize how your project will actually look. A typical collage is easy to perceive, making it not only 3D but also adding the abyss factor to it brings more depth to your argument quite literally. One thing I'm either not picking up on or that is missing is what your argument is through this project. You mention that the collage will be about your personal argument on technology but never go on to say what that argument is. My own interpretation from your proposal is that your argument is meant to be that technology is reducing the depth of narratives and that the visual aspect of your project introduces a way to express that depth. Again, I could be overlooking your actual argument, but from my reading it doesn't stand out in your proposal.


Adam said...

Good idea - go do that. I honestly don't have any advice on the 30d aspects of it - I think your instincts will be better than mine would be.

My one piece of advice is generic but useful. If the project itself is hard to control and you're not satisfied with the results, don't hesitate to lean more heavily on the conventional essay part of it - even to the point of writing an essay about the challenges (or even failures) of the project. Because it's big/weird/ambitious, you need an exit strategy if things go awry.