This project started out for me in a very different place than it ended, but I think that was for the better. I started with a passage from Gertrude Stein’s book “Tender Buttons”:

“in the evening, there is feeling. In feeling, anything is resting, in feeling anything is mounting, in feeling there is resignation, in feeling there is recurrence and entirely mistaken there is pinching.”

To me, this stanza speaks to the moment when you can finally relax, perhaps at night, just before you go to bed when you have finished all your work, chores, the day slows down and you can take time to decompress. As a grad student, this is a very indulgent thing because we rarely have a space where we can not think about anything. When I am in this space, this is often the time when my mind is racing the most; Did I pay that bill? Did I waste my 20's? Will I die alone? Where is my passport? I began thinking of the most opulent thing I could do which immediately I thought of as sitting and eating cake, a very overly decorated, sugary pastel cake.

My initial mood board explored pastel pink themes, indulgences and ornately decorated pastry, as well as various flower imagery and their symbolic meaning. I wanted to explore how the videography could enhance the words and vice versa, thinking of a very narrative scene where each element in view would mean a specific thing relating to my state of mind in that moment.

My initial storyboard played heavily into the theme of indulgence and relaxation, intending to show a scene of gratuitous cake decorating, cutting and eating, flowing into a scene in a bathtub, casually consuming the cake but never looking at the screen. My intention from primary ideation to final product, however, was always to highlight the juxtaposition of what happens externally vs what happens internally. On the outside, I appear calm, relaxed, but in these moments is when my mind is the most erratic, I am thinking about projects, deadlines, work, relationships, fear, goals, literally everything over the course of my life, I am considering in that moment. I wanted the type to reflect this, I wanted to do a typographic overlay atop the casual video footage of heavily effected text, depicted in the above first iteration.

After the first round of presentations and feedback however, I realized that I could push this concept further. The bathtub footage would be 1 of 4 screens playing simultaneously, juxtaposed with typographic treatments depicting scanner effects, cake type decor and type dissolving in water. Each screen was meant to represent the erratic nature of thoughts in my head, from the grandiose to the fearful and uncertain. From here I began type experiments but never fully found what I was looking for in the analog effects, which was a first for me (and likely more-so a result of being crunched for time). I started to think more about my mind in that moment and as a graphic design grad student, and realized I wanted a more digital output. Dan shared with me a motion type generator called Space Type Generator (https://spacetypegenerator.com/) from which I produced a series of experiments culminating, which I juxtaposed with an AI sketch generator I had been playing with (https://sketchmachine.net/). By adjusting the parameters specific ways I aimed to achieve the aesthetic that I didn’t feel I was finding in the analog experiments.

The final output is a video which runs through a choppy vignette of typographic experiments meant to push the notion that our brains are never sleeping, they are always iterating and ideating. In considering my thesis, we as makers require conscious iteration and unstructured play in order to solve visual problems in new ways. To finish, I recorded my voice through a warbling audio effect over an atmospheric soundtrack to round out the footage.