I finally started to make images, but the initial idea of making a 3D magazine was long gone at this point. For several weeks I thought of making a large interactive installation, but I never put my heart into it and drop it later. During this time period, I researched narratology and storytelling through object making, the cultural importance of the photo album, as well as the cultural politics of body modifications. I visited an open lecture at Konstfack regarding norm criticism, intersectionality and postcolonial perspective. Another thing I did was visit a transgender activism festival in Stockholm and listen to panel talks about trans identity and contemporary Swedish art.
All of this gave me some valuable input in visual portrayals and made me realize something quite oblivious: the best way to portrayal people in a dignified way is to imagine how they would portray themselves. I finally discarded the idea of painted banners and carte de visites, to focus more on emulating the look and feel of vintage photography. However, the idea of making deeply personal images, which resonated with my dissertation, went against the interactive installation concept, which almost demanded plainer and more archetypical designs that could be reorganized in several different ways.
At the start of the summer term, I tried to collect my thoughts and concerns about the project. I interpreted the story about failure and how we live with it. Maybe I was cynical at the time, but I felt that stories that focus on success and improvement overshadow a reality where bad things happen and we have to cope with it. Maybe it is several years of intense study, my loneliness, or my place in Swedish queer activism, but I suddenly realized that I miss a moment or place to mourn, to regret, to be non-productive, and these things are okay.
I wanted the story to show people making bad decisions, tensions that are left unresolved, with an underwhelming and uncertain end. I wanted the final piece to be incomplete, intentionally damaged, just like the characters portrayed within it. However, this realization stands against so much of my personality which has always pushed for being as productive, nice, and perfect as possible so I have still not fully accepted it.