Phil and Posters

When I first start this project, I was afraid if I misinterpret his identity as a designer and visual artist, which made me procrastinate to decide how to ‘frame’ him within 6 minute. It was the first time to present someone’s point of view about the graphic design, other than mine. Every projects that I’ve done during the sophomore and junior year were to present my thought about assigned objects.

At first, I just wanted to show his daily life as a design student. My thought was though people have 24 hours a day, everyone use them in a different way, which makes individuals’ identity different. When someone use their majority of day focusing on designing website, he or she can be seen as a web-designer although one doesn’t intent to be shown in the way. So I felt that how he use his time of the day will naturally lead my video to properly present him, rather than framing him as someone with some particular identity. My first approach might be successful if I have a plenty amount of time. However, because this project should be done within 3 weeks, there is no way to make connection between him with one theme.

Second direction that I choose was his interests in posters hung on the wall of RISD campus. It was interesting to me that the poster that used to hang on the public place is collected in his personal space, presenting an event and time that the student spend and also curious why he collect the posters made to show some information for public. Before listening the Phil’s thought, many posters in RISD were made just for some days’ instant events and lose its utility and meaning after the events are done, and I didn’t prefer to stand in front of the myriads of posters attached on the wall. As a viewer of all the posters, it was visual noise to me. Although individual posters might be made with the designer’s intention and visual strategy, when all the posters are gathered at wall in 15west or Design center, it was a cacophony, degrading each poster’s quality rather than harmonize. But after I listened to his thought, it changed my view about this particular medium of design, help me to rethink about the meaning of the ephemeral posters in daily lives and give contrast to the fine art pieces. It also helped me to understand him more. The theme, ‘poster’ presents his overall aspect of characteristic such as his interest of interaction with audience, his wittiness and desire to make narrative through posters. However, I might be look passive when I record his action of ‘stealing’ poster. However, as it is for showing a person oneself, rather than making fiction based on one’s identity, what I think I can do for my best was to make him behave naturally. I think the project gives me a freedom to present my interpretation about the project itself other than my point of view about a person.


One response to “Phil and Posters”

  1. Phil says:

    I think that this piece did a good job at focusing down on a specific activity and moving away from a frame that was too broad + general to get a good understanding. When we first got together Yea Won asked me a lot of open-ended questions that I tried to answer to my best ability, but I think I might have hindered her by giving answers that were too long-winded and bordering on the side of a rant. I think I might have confused her with these answers because as Yea Won brought up my previous responses in subsequent interviews there would sometimes be a misunderstanding of what I had been trying to say. I think there was definitely a struggle on both sides of the relationship to find a focus that could be followed. Yea Won’s first iteration was definitely lacking in narrative structure and specificity towards the subject, and I could clearly see that she struggled to form an opinion about me as a person or designer that could be reflected in the piece. I noticed that Yea Won would often ask me for direction on how to frame the piece or what kind aspect of me to focus on, and I was initially reluctant to insert any part of my ego into the work because I found that part of the value of the project was to see how peers interpreted one another. I did suggest that we focus on my interest in posters, although I was aware of how contrived it would be because I don’t really partake in ‘poster-stealing’ as a very active or participatory ritual, it’s more of a thing that happens once in a while. Never the less I think the topic allowed an opportunity for me to talk about my thoughts towards design within the discussion of posters in a public space. After this suggestion Yea Won and I spent a good two hours in her room and I felt really good about the opportunity to make my thoughts concrete by explaining them to a third party. I think one thing I did do wrong was that I often made incomplete phrases and would sometimes digress into other topics, which I imagine made the editing job for Yea Won that much harder. In terms of the final result I feel that she kept the dialogue very essential and did not include much extraneous audio, which both does and doesn’t work to her advantage in my opinion. On one hand it maintains a focused story structure but on the other hand it seems to remove a lot of the context to what I was saying, especially in terms of how my thoughts on posters in public space relate to my thinking about design in general. It’s almost as if the activity was properly focused but the audio content got too specific about strictly posters and didn’t give any room to other content that could be related. I do feel though that this may be partly due to the way I responded to her questions in long continuous streams of thought rather than cohesive single questions.

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