The tools you use to view the world affect how you
understand it. I love digitial media and make my living from
it, but as automation and nihilistic disruption continue it has
also become hostile and alienating to people. I created Shift
to break out of this pattern and create something digital
that is introspective , personal, and promotes a meaningful
relationship to the physical world. The app
can’t ask or answer the same questions as the painting and
vice versa and as a consequence the project bridges digital to analog
in a novel way.
Your state of mind also affects how you understand the world.
A bad mood distorts your impressions of your past into a
mess of mostly negative experiences with your good
moods doing the opposite just as effortlessly, intensely,
and unnoticeably. I sketched out a visual of two circles
after an image I saw in the middle of a stressful experience. I was
convinced my life was mostly negative if not catastrophic (orange and red).
At the time, I was designing a system of five values in circles and it fed that initial
image of the circle on the left. It was clear it wasn’t true, so I later intuited the circle
on the right. It is clear this is a big question to actually
answer, so I built a simple tool to ask the question in
smaller more precise chunks.
Both were wrong.
The application is a more mature version of the tool I
created and ultimatly a full life journal. The participant
creates a timeline from birth to now and fills out the
important experiences. This includes details about it’s
positivity/negativity, significance, length, and finally some
story to describe it.
The app summerizes the data into the two-circle display.
The person can adjust for optimism/pessimism and for
intensity until they feel like they have captured how they
understand their emotional world and how it fluctuates
relative to their state of mind.
The painting is a physical manifestation of the data. It is
two plates of glass painted with a mixture of linocuts,
giclee, and hand painting.
The idea is to make it real and embedded in some physical
material. The harsh digital edges soften with the linocuts,
the persistence of it on a wall more reflective. The final
composition and production asking far more questions about
how the person understands their life story and
The fun part being that it is a unique design, an artist’s
vision, but could be populated with anyone’s life. It is
immensely personal, practical, and embedded in the crafts
of our time.