Creative / Writer / Researcher

Design Systems 

Project made @ ITP - September 2022

Design Systems was created as project for a class called Print and Code by Tega Brain.

Technologies used: 
  • Laptop 
  • p5.js
  • RiSO Printer
  • Cardstock

Design Systems is a seris of posters created using generative code. 

Using the p5.js and the RiSO library, I created a seriers of RiSO prints. Each generative poster creates a different color combination and placement of the main circle. 

In this assignment we were to create a political poster. 

Pulling from Foucault’s theory of Panopticism -- the theory about the development and nomarlization of surveillance and control. Through technology surveillance is being reproduced (architecturally), extended (psychologically, deeply ingraining the feeling of being watched in a person’s psyche), and therefore being made ubiquitous. Furthermore, coupling surveillance with the growing idea of “sousveillance,” the feeling of being watched and control is extremely present.

The poster is meant to question rather than answer. Subvert and interrogate the idea of being watched. Therefore, I added a box to question “Are we being watched more than we’re seeing?”

Source code.

Inspiration + Process

The feeling of being watched is very commonly propagated in sci-fi literature. And so, I turned to the covers of books like The Stranger by Albert Camus and The Panopticon Writings by Jeremy Bentham.
Circles are integral to the idea of being watched.

In my first iteration, I began to think about concentric circles with the “you” that is being watched placed in the center. I developed a generative system that makes a random number of concentric circles with each circle having a random number of circles. The randomness here is key to the idea of we know we’re being watched but we don’t really know how many people are watching us. Maybe its none but that idea and feeling never goes away.

However, this seemed clunky and overwhelming. I tried to parse it out and have separate layers but overlaying the two circles was difficult. It felt like too much was happening in a small poster.

Instead, I decided to simply do a gradient of concentric circles. The center remains the “you” being watched” and the circles around the multiple layers that are watching you. It took the original idea and simplified it.

As I stared at these shapes further, I thought about how they overlap. In the way that they are overlapped, they center circles meant to look like eyes further emphasizing the idea of being watched.

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