Shown: 4 selected pages and cover
I was really excited as I was flipping through my process binder after finishing my book. I have enjoyed the short "stops" along the way as we have moved through the project to this final phase and found the view as a whole to be very satisfying . Although this assignment was approached on a number of different levels; type, image, communication, I first began with the conceptual aspect in class with "mind-mapping." Starting with the umbrella topic of family, I drew out around 4 maps until I arrived at "miscommunication." Specifically trying to portray the idea of miscommunication between two people as opposed to technical and other means of communication. This led to my 9 words pertaining to issues that involve miscommunication such as being elusive (not being able to express clearly) and disconnect (to detach). My theme sets the stage for an argument or a topic that is trying to be communicated, starting with a conflict and evolving into a serious issue. If one wanted to take the book even further it would lead to the causes of miscommunication and its effects of this in a human relationship (e.g. divorce, grudges etc...) Extending the concept and chosen words, I wanted to include images of human interaction, most of which occurs in two primary areas of the body; face, hands. I hope that, without the knowledge of the fact, one would be able to tell this was miscommunication of people in personal relationships rather than another form. Leading the viewer through the attitudes and actions of specific persons that make clear communication so difficult to achieve, I chose words such as ambiguity and impulsiveness to try and express the mannerisms that can end in miscommunication. I tried to relate this to actions or attitudes that I have experienced personally. Making an effort to consider what actually leads to miscommunication, I highlighted, in more ways than one, how humans don't often see eye to eye about specific issues and this difference can lead to miscommunication. I chose black and white with bits color to emphasis not only this contrast between specific people but also human aesthetics through flesh tones. I was beyond ecstatic to find a book of Braille to use as my background. Trying to communicate visually through this book with images and text obviously does nothing for someone who cannot see. Even though the actual Braille words aren't directly related to the book, it only serves to emphasis the theme of miscommunication. If a blind person were to try and read the book, not only would the text be interrupted by my images and transparencies, but the mixed pages and content would make no sense.
Combining the compositions was one of my favorite parts of the project. Having worked on both sets of 9 compositions individually, I found that many of them worked with their corresponding 9 serendipitously. I did have to go back and work with a few to make them work more cohesively with their partner but the general composition stayed relatively the same. I hope that through the combination of the text and image, the compositions are not only visually appealing but clearly communicate my theme to the viewer.
I learned a lot with this project not only about attention to craft and concept, but also how to work with my computer, the printers, and the use of found images, as opposed to creating my own. Using found images brought in an entirely different challenge for me into the project. I spent a large amount of time searching for the images and background. Half Price Books became my favorite store all over again. Bringing all these aspects into a solid, tangible form helped open my eyes to a few more possibilities of what I could have done and what I am able to do in the future.
As far as improvements go, I should have printed off my color photos onto a thicker paper. Even though I was careful to use a bone and press down the braille on my background paper, it is still visible through the paper and appears bumpy and looks poor. When I was erasing the leftover rubber cement from my dots, there were quite a few times when it would snag the end of my circles and give the edges an unclean appearance. Also, the punch I used to cut some of the 1/2'' (and smaller) circles gave some of the dots rough edges that were difficult to properly even out with an exacto knife. Extending my transparency compositions a bit further would have also helped for a cleaner end to some of the arrangements.
There is always room for further advancement and, in this project, it is visible. Despite this, I am fairly satisfied with the end product. I worked hard in the process and now, at the end of this first project, I have learned a lot and am close to content with the result.