The Isolation of Time

All the work I've presented to you thus far has, I hope, evoked some sort of emotional connection to the piece and the designer behind it. One of my goals here is to create a forum of understanding and conversation so that we may question, learn, and become conscious of the stories supporting the art. This is something I experienced firsthand when I discovered The Imprisoned Calendar, designed by Jason Dean of The Best Part. Part functional, part historical, largely architectural, the calendar illustrates the passage of time over nine years through the eyes of a prisoner. Each tick mark represents one day for a total of 3,190 days that 775 detainees went through at Guantánamo Bay.

I was fortunate to be able to speak with Jason about his ideology behind this piece, and came to ascertain his passion for civil rights, justice, and the overall system of imprisonment. Through his research, he has discovered the unfortunate but true methodology in which the military sometimes penalizes its offenders, at times controversially so. It was this knowledge that he brought over in his development, an enterprise he achieved via interlacing the feelings of helplessness and interminability with the action a person takes when drawing in a single tick mark day by day. This same calculation of the clock moving forward is also something used by prisoners today, thus adding a second layer of junction between the people who use the calendar and the people for whom this calendar represents.

The simplicity and honesty of this work more than merits a second glance. It touches a topic many of us are afraid to broach upon. Jason makes it worth our while to at least try.

Start Where You Are

Oftentimes when we see branding and identity work in our industry, it is related to the act of enumerating the definition of a second party. But Steve Rura, a New York City graphic designer, has taken the brave tread of ascertaining the existence of himself in his poster for The Strange Attractor. Starting at the highest possible level of actuality, the Universe, he then breaks it down tier by tier until he arrives at the most basic stratum of his being. A quote by Albert Einstein, which describes the human desire to compact ourselves to only what we know and want, is stated at the bottom of the trail as almost an explanation to why Steve took upon this exercise.

Along this journey towards blunt self-awareness, Steve implants his observations on several levels with humorous descriptions of how he views this particular part of his person, reassuring us that while the world may seem like uncharted territory, it is our own interpretations of each place that bring it to life. While the truth of the matter remains that there are some things we avoid realizing about ourselves because we dislike the way it sounds, these personal spaces still are and always will be a part of our souls. Steve's art brings us a step closer to understanding and accepting the latitudes of where we are.