Xela Goldstein BFA Communication Design Thesis Spring 2016

is this love?

The love letter is a carefully constructed artifact that connects two people across vast distances. It is romantic not only in content, but also in concept; lovers separated by uncontrollable circumstances forced to correspond solely through the written word. Love letters are cherished. Tied in ribbon, stored in boxes, reread until the creases of the paper are worn thin. They are symbolic of something deep and true, and move far too slow for this digital age.

As technology has sped up our means of communication, we have experienced a foreshortening of acceptable response time. It’s no revelation that our attention spans have been shot, we need instant feedback. It can feel as if months have passed in the forty-five seconds you await a response to your chat. Maybe we have become less comfortable in our vulnerability, but we are no less capable of casting heartstrings.

Although intangible, and on the surface arguable less considered, digital correspondences are the same as carefully penned love letters. A conduit for two people who would rather be next to each other. An archive of love that sits in a folder on an email server instead of in a box at the back of a closet, accessible at anytime, able to transport you back to exact moment it was typed. The love letter hasn’t disappeared, will never disappear, it has simply shifted mediums to accommodate us as we continue to fall in love.

“Is this love?” is a multiscreen projection installation that drops viewers into a digital conversation between two people in love. It is an exercise in designing experience and evoking emotion using the tension between private and public, intimate and universal.

Aesthetically the project is rooted in internet vernacular to critique our use and perception of digital communication.

46 albums

Spring 2016