Utopian Gaze

Play, Practice,
Prototype, Critique

Play, Practice, Prototype, Critique

Utopian Gaze This long form book catalogs portraitures of Utopians— from Mark Zuckerberg to Thomas More. It is formated to be a monotonous chronological archive, each subject's eyes hitting at the exact same hangline. The book concludes by following this gaze, tracing an index of excerpts from each “visionary.” I chose not to exclude the Utopians whose visions fail darkly. Through scripting, I automated the design of the book to present each portrait in a non-hierarchical way. The book gives the same real estate and visual treatment to each figure. The intent was to create a horizontal landscape for the audience to draw their own conclusions about man’s quest for an ideal society throughout time.

Earlier this year, I began reading Angelika Bammer’s, Partial Visions Feminism and Utopianism in the 1970s. Bammer argues for the expansion of the narrative of utopian planning. When I sourced the internet utopians I didn’t turn up many women. If we redefine “utopian literature” to resistance literature the field expands dramatically to include those who write from a place of oppression, wishing to subvert the dominant narratives and status quo of their time.

Available through Draw Down

Published by Fourth Press, 2018.
Softcover, 105 pages, color and b&w, 6 × 9 inches.
ISBN: 978-1-36-406621-5

This is the website of Annaka Olsen.    annaka.olsen@gmail.com

This is the website of Annaka Olsen.    annaka.olsen@gmail.com

This is the website of Annaka Olsen.    annaka.olsen@gmail.com

This is the website of Annaka Olsen.    annaka.olsen@gmail.com