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Inspiration strikes at last!  ‘Twas a brisk autumnal afternoon and all the students were stressed with the realities of study.  Whilst attending a confirmation seminar on the nature of memory I came up with my next experiment in a bold flash of clarity.  But first, I will retrace the steps that led my thinking to this point.

I arrived at QCA early that morning to prepare for my meeting with Andi, who was, as always, a bubbling well of enthusiasm.  I shared my latest thoughts on the nature of  autobiography, and the question I am considering;  “Am I the same person (in a figurative sense) as the Darren in the story?’  This relates also to my latest readings including the question of life as narrative, and the concepts of diachronic and episodic states of temporal being, as defined by Galen Strawson in his book Against Narrativity.    Simply put, Episodics believe their identity states are discontinuous, that their current sense of self is not related to their sense of self at any other point in time.  Diachronics believe they can trace a definite narrative thread running through their life, where events and experiences continue to shape perceptions and behavior.  I feel myself falling into the latter half, however I will admit that I have had rare episodic experiences wherein I felt almost as if a different person entirely.  Apparently many people are a mix of the episodic and diachronic; either way, a person’s sense of self is a constantly evolving state.

Andi brought up the idea of using graphic representation in an non-literal sense to portray these concepts.  Is there a symbolic or iconic method to graphically represent myself that will clearly indicate these changing states of being?  How can I show without words that the inner being of 17 year old Darren is vastly different to the Darren of today?

Firstly, I need to start pushing some of my visual boundaries.  I will attempt to create a system of engaging, logical devices for the representation of shifting and evolving internal states of being.  In order to do so  I will experiment, which leads us to my brainflash- the construction a comic strip using different combinations of dialogue, characters and backgrounds.  At the moment the ideas for exploration are as follows:

  • Dialogue-  Convoluted English, simple English, symbols (hieroglyphic style), intuitive mark making
  • Characters– Symbol, icon, archetype, photocopied image, caricature, anthropomorphic, photo realistic
  • Backgrounds– Realistic, simple, shade/tonal, abstract shapes, line/hatching

How, through the combination of these techniques, can I clearly represent a person as an evolving collective of experiences?

The number of combinations of style will be massive.   I will complete the basic images separately and use digital means to assemble all of the possible permutations.  In the beginning I think I will start with just a three panel strip, keeping it relatively simple for this initial leg of the exercise.  Once I narrow down a small range of combinations that seem to work most cohesively I will construct a longer narrative.  The main thing will be to keep the story the same across all combinations, and to execute them as similarly as possible whist adhering to the varying styles and techniques.  It will be interesting to see what happens.  Exciting times ahead!