thesis, thoughts on first week

After talking with my small group following the break, I realized that I hadn’t done a great job of articulating exactly what I’m interested in exploring and how my thesis concept relates to my ideas, which I think was the cause of some confusion in the general class feedback. I probably spent too much time describing the technical and design considerations for the project, without really explaining my reasoning and motivation.

So, to try to be more articulate: I want to explore the way that technology has changed narrative, or the way stories have adopted to new mediums. I want to demonstrate the differences/similarities by combining the aesthetics and language of video games and digital media with a print/prose story telling tradition and physical sculpture. It’s possible that this is totally ridiculous and confusing, but I also like things that are totally ridiculous and confusing.

As for cats, I’m not interested in exploring the physicality, biology or whatever you want to call it, of actual living cats. To me, the robot cat is not a representation of a “real” cat, but a representation of the mythos of the cat in the digital world (which is of course a representation of real cats in some ways). The inspiration I draw from Beware the Cat is the similarity I see in the mythologization and anthropomorphization of cats in these medieval texts and the way that cats are treated now given their Internet celebrity. It’s, admittedly, a tenuous connection, but there’s something linked in my mind between that act of story telling and the differences/similarities in medium.

So, if that made any sense, talking to my group helped me think more about what form this should actually take, as Gabe mentioned in class, there’s something strange about the spacial relationship between the elements as I have described/drawn them. The idea was to have this visual divide between the physical/”real” representation of a cat that lives in a digital world. But it might be easier to simplify the installation to a video monitor and a joystick, and work within the screen to tell a story. Or, to use a joystick and a robot cat (or maybe just some four legged creature) that navigates the physical world. I hope to think and draw more this week to see how many ideas for the installation I can come up with, and maybe through that process start to get a sense of what is essential to the concept.


Author: owen ribbit


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