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Sustained Investigation Statements

  1. The central idea of my concentration aims to reproduce mental glitches that cause both auditory and visual hallucinations that are associated with Schizophrenia.
  2. According to research, a person who is schizophrenic suffers various hallucinations which can be caused by Genetic disorders, which affect Chromosome 22, and chemical imbalances in the brain. For example, a person who hears voices has a defective Auditory Thalamus. These people perceive reality differently, because of dysfunctional communication within the brain. These miscommunications caused by Chemicals, such as Dopamine and Glutamine imbalances, lead schizophrenics to mistake everyday noises for voices in their heads. This malfunction in the brain, is very similar to a glitch in a computer code.  The imagery I created mimics the malfunction to create new images from the progression of the disease. I have manipulated the photo’s coding, the same way that the genetic disorders manipulate this person’s perception. The first pieces have minor glitches, easy to overlook, such as the first symptoms. As my pieces advance, the glitches become more disorienting and make the original composition hard to distinguish. Eventually, I coded several pictures together, which resembles a person’s inability to decipher what is real.

Score Rationale

  • The topic of the mental glitch as a symptom of schizophrenia is unmistakably and coherently integrated into the digital photo collages.
  • The investigation of the topic provides convincing evidence of informed decision making and discovery. The same conceptual framework is used for all images, but informed decision making is shown by development of unique design solutions using 2-D design elements within each image.
  • The sustained investigation clearly demonstrates an original vision and risk-taking. Original vision is evident in the concept of the visual digital glitch as a metaphor for brain dysfunction. The work demonstrates risk-taking by using photography and digital imaging to recompose images as complex interpretations of hallucination.
  • The evocative and engaging theme of the digital glitch as a metaphor for the physiological glitch of the brain is sustained through all the works.
  • Works show a thorough understanding and effective application of 2-D Design principles. Throughout the portfolio, unity and balance are achieved within the complex, fragmented images through the use of repetition, rhythm, contrast and emphasis. For example, image 7 interweaves added vertical and horizontal shapes/lines into the underlying image to create rhythm that flows intuitively through the space. Image 10 creates emphasis on the figure both by repeating the vibrant orange color (contrasting with the muted blue background) of the figure’s clothing into added geometric elements, and by surrounding the figure with repeated images of airplanes of varying scale and direction.
  • The work conveys a sense of successful transformation and growth. The statement explains that “the malfunction in the brain is very similar to the glitch of the computer code." The work is clearly presented as a chronological progression of the disease, so that “the first pieces have minor glitches, easy to overlook such as the first symptoms. As [the] pieces advance, the glitches become more disorienting," creating more disruption of the original images and more complex compositions.
  • The work is technically excellent; materials and media are used effectively to express ideas. Digital technology is used to create complex, well-composed photo collages. The fragmentation and intersection of imagery within each composition works to visually suggest the disorientation of hallucination that is symptomatic of schizophrenia.