Sunday, May 11, 2014

AP Lit: Watchmen Themes & Installation Structure (Disc/Emp/Exp)

Friday was a very big day for the Watchmen DT Challenge.

One, we got approval on the documentary.  It's happening.  Ralph King and his crew will be here on May 28 and 29 to document the installation and the reaction of the campus to what you create.

Two, we determined the major structure, shape, and scope of the project.

I cannot overstate the importance of this.  This is huge.  It gives us direction moving forward that we need.

Of course, as I write this, the cards with the specific structure are in the classroom.  Still, two of the three classes saw it and I think I can recreate it well enough below.

Start in the Lobby.

The Lobby with the Giant Clock Is XII.  Hands at XII.  We fill the lobby with other content that brings all of the themes and concepts together.

Then, users can travel either up the stairs to the balcony or along main street.

Traveling up the balcony, you will find the numbers I, II, III, IV, V and VI to your right.  These will be roman numeral style and large physical objects, uniform in size, but then decorate to reflect the themes.  These will likely be made of wood.

Mirroring the numbers on the right, will be corresponding XI, X, IX, VIII, VII on the left.

Each pair of numbers represents a polarity of themes.
For example: XI & I  may be used to represent ISOLATION & IMMERSION.  These two ideas are clearly at other ends of a spectrum.  Thus,  the features around XI would be about isolation and those around I would be about immersion.

Each pair of numbers has a set of themes like this.

Idealism/Harsh Reality

There's another pair needed that we debated and couldn't decide upon between the two classes.

Here's where it gets trickier. We need an inverse of the above pairings as well.

We want TWO CYCLES, one that emphasizes dark (the right side) and light (the left side.).  We want users to be able to flow through the experience from either end of the installation and get a full experience.

THUS, if you go up the balcony, you have numbers going up on your right.  That will be likely be the darker/negative version of the number on your right, the number on your left the more negative.  When you get to end of balcony, you go down the stairs and take a left to go along Main St.  with the numbers increasing on your right.

If you go along main street, the number on your right is more positive, the number on your left more negative.   Then users go up the stairs and continue through the progression on their right.

Thus, we need to have not only ISOLATION/IMMERSION but also SOLITUDE/SUBMERSION -- do you see how those four relate to one another based on positive/negative connotations.

So what that means in terms of workload is that we need FOUR people for every pair of numbers.  That four must communicate and collaborate in whatever way works for that quarter to create the balcony pairing as well as the main street pairing.

Let's keep going with that example above.  If it was Dunbar, Tierney, Sheldon and I, we would take on Numbers I and XI.

For the balcony, we'd have Isolation on the right at I.  We'd design the I to represent that idea of being separated from the whole.  We'd surrounded it with an installation experience using Watchmen techniques to show it.  Perhaps some poetry.  Perhaps some addtional imagery. Perhaps a color scheme.

On the left, for XI, we'd have the more positive image of immersion.  Using same techniques, we'd emphasize that idea of being fully integrated with the whole.

Now, on the main street installation, our I would be more positive and about solitude.  And our XI on the other side of the hall would be about submersion, drowning, lost in the sea of other.

Maybe Dunbar and I would handle the balcony set, while Tierney and Sheldon would handle the main street.  And maybe Dunbar and I work on everything together while Tierney and Sheldon communicate but work individually.  And then we make sure everything looks like a cohesive part of the whole.

We know everything will be bound together by the same scope and dimensions of the numbers as well as the physical space it occupies -- another way to create structure.

Hoping this makes sense to all.  Communicate!!!!!!!  There's a shared Google spread sheet for people to sign up for themes!  By Tuesday, everyone needs to have their teammates and themes chosen.  Then propose installation concepts by Thursday for approval on Friday.

LOTS! Happening!

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