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.
This is the website of Annaka Olsen. email@example.com