Michael Mahaffey and Stephanie Tate
A conversation is a negotiation, each person involved analyzes the information received and chooses how to respond. We respond differently depending on the source. When confronted with a visual image the viewer instantly becomes involved in this same negotiation. Small parts of the whole begin new thoughts and ideas creating new venues in which the thought process travels. The effect of symiotics; the sign, the signifier creating the signified. In this body of work, we have attempted to engage the viewer in such a conversation while having a conversation ourselves. When approaching the senior thesis project, we wanted to develop a system in which we could engage in this visual conversation. We each contributed five items in ten containers. These containers include appropriated image, appropriated text, found objects, self work, song lyrics, information systems, social symbols, typefaces, color palette, and any graphic elements; that is 100 items per container which quickly snowballs into 1,000 items to design with for each book/panel. Also for this thesis, the catalyst for discussion had to be created. The Ten Commandments were chosen because they represent a set of rules. Also, being from the rural south (the bible belt) we both have been inundated with these rules since childhood. They have a cultural meaning and inflect upon people from any faith. This is our conversation about the Ten Commandments through cultural mediums. We have individually explored aspects of page layout, book making, and three demensional works including furniture design and mixed media. To further explore this conversation we decided on two formats of viewing. The book form is the intimate conversation and the large format transfers are the loud shout, the confrontational statement. Within the space we wanted to exaggerate this constant negotiation.
The show went very well. The work was well recieved, it seems. I was SO nervous about the presentation, but we got up there and rocked it out! Many thanks to Leslie Jensen Inman and the rest of the faculty at UTC.