When Anni and I first had met virtually, we both had so many ideas that we wanted to explore in our project. While we were looking for a way to tie all these ideas together, we wanted to try infographics design to organize our ideas and data we found from research. We first began to brainstorm our ideas in mindmaps and collected artists and researched artists and their works that we got inspired by as well.
Although infographics was a somewhat unfamiliar topic with us, we wanted to try a different method to deliver our message. However, during critiques, we were reminded to stay open and spend more time researching different topics. Anni and I tried to stay away from making decisions from the beginning and constantly began to research artists who used conditional design in their works and researched how their works were executed. We also tried to stay open as much as we can and really see where our iterations can take us.
Since Anni is in Beijing, China, and I am in California, USA, we had a 15-hour time difference between us; therefore, we had less flexibility in our meeting times. We constantly communicated with each other through Slack, iMessage, Zoom, and scheduled meetings every week at 9 PM in California and 12 PM in China. We really tried to stay focused on the fact that we are working on all of our iterations “together.” Therefore, we kept each other updated with images or inspirations that we randomly found and sent iterations that we worked on every week.
While we were working on our iterations, we realized that we can take ideas from each others’ iterations and play with some layering effect or even create a different iteration using that certain technique or color/shape. After several iterations, we were surprised by how much iterations we were able to create by borrowing or re-interpreting each others’ works. We were inspiring each other and creating our own language and narrative through our process of making. This is when we decided to make a documentation book that contains all of our processes.
Anni and I tried to explore different types of mediums in our iterations as much as possible as well. Instead of just working on screens, we branched out and tried to mix mediums by using hands-on materials such as paper and mixing those with digital works. We also found that a lot of photographers, such as Amy Friend using holes in her works, to execute different styles in their photography. Like Friend, we also played with layering effects in photography; and we were able to see interesting effects when we overlapped two images on top of each other. Also, the overlay effect with images and graphs allowed us to represent two different topics in one iteration as well. We weren’t able to think about these iterations coming next to each other, but while we were putting our iterations together, we saw that we created our iterations in pairs as well.
We believe collaboration was the biggest key point in our process and by working together with Anni, I got inspired to execute my iterations and also be motivated to create. For example, I played with some infographic design and tried to track down on how many times my professor mentions “make” or “try” (image on the top right). And Anni had some film camera photos that represented learning in 2020 (image on the top left). When these two such differently rendered images came together, I was able to see how they created a totally different response to the initial meaning of the image.
Before we began our iterations, we spent our time researching and finding inspirations that would support our ideas. We didn’t limit our search only to graphic designers, but we also explored different artists who use different kinds of mediums to express their voice. We also read articles that inspired us to make our iterations and explored their ways of coming up with ideas and reflecting their ideas to screen or physical space. Throughout our entire process of making, we constantly referred back to our initial research to remind us and keep us to keep producing using different systems. We had difficulties producing all the iterations in different styles, but we placed more emphasis on our process of making and working off from each others’ iterations.
We also chose 9 12 PM as our title for our book because we realized that all of our meetings were at 9 PM in California and 12 AM in China. We kept this time and location difference factor by indicating each iterations’ creation time and date as the page numbers in our book.
Throughout all of our experiments, we were able to play around with different types of symbols, shapes, words in various ways. By working together and inspiring each other to create different iterations each time, we learned that we were able to create our very own interpretations of different topics we researched. We tried to reflect our thoughts and process on each of our iterations and ultimately invite the readers to interpret our process in their own ways.
We also connected 9 12 PM book with our video by combining video clips of our daily lives side by side with our works. We physically wanted to represent the fact that we are in different locations, but we are working on this project together by collaborating on all of our iterations. At the end of the video, we included clips of lights turning off to indicates that we are done with our iterations.