I was recently asked to give a 6 day Neasden Control Centre practical workshop at California Institute of the Arts. I asked the students to respond to a brief based on "What is the visual language of a conspiracy theory?"
"A conspiracy theory is an explanatory proposition that accuses two or more people, a group, or an organization of having caused or covered up, through deliberate collusion, an event or phenomenon of great social, political, or economic impact." Conspiracy theories continue to transcend collective consciousness and influence profound narratives between fact and fiction of socio - political - environmental agendas. Some theories combine optimistic views of how science can empowerer our exploration of the Solar System, and the world’s oceans. Others expand on celebrity and paranormal phenomena within visionary theories which provide a basis for future fiction. Fact becomes fiction. We discussed what is the visual language of a conspiracy ? How can a direction be formed from this ? and how can this be contained within a book format ? The archive box was used as a device to reference the specific context of the chosen design direction.
The students were required to pick one of the following selected conspiracy theories: Apollo 11 moon landing, Roswell Incident 1947, The Illuminati and New World Order, HAARP and Big Pharma. The deliverables were a 16pp book held within an museum archive box. Here are some photo's during the process and finished pieces in and around the studios at Cal Arts. Thanks to Scott, Jacob and all the students who participated.