Sam Fraser

  • 2020

    Submission # 68

  • Output

    Student – Ākonga

  • Kaupapa

    Identity – People & Culture

    Innovation – Philosophical

  • Location

    Wellington, Te Whanga-nui-a-Tara

Project Overview:
'Covid-19' is a response to the ISTD Significance of Numbers brief that asked participants to shine new light on how numbers intertwine with our lives. It explores my interactions with numbers during the international pandemic through storytelling and interpretive typography. 'Covid-19' communicates how the pandemic shifted our perception of the world around us. The fast-paced world where the intricacies of numbers were overlooked and forgotten has been flipped. Numbers now define almost everything we do. Our freedoms are controlled by the numbers one to four (Alert Levels), we see the constant bombardment of statistics in our news media and we count the number of days until our lockdowns end. This is my experience of the pandemic in a physical form. I hope it could make the reader evaluate how their life has been impacted and perhaps see their day to day experiences differently.

Sometimes it is hard to truly grasp the meaning of something when you are existing within it, it is only on later reflection that meaning becomes clear. 'Covid-19' began with the intention of finding a new way to see the world differently. It ended as a self-reflective documentation of a deeply troubling and equally fascinating time in world history. It became as much about seeing the world through a different lens as it was understanding my own place within that world. It is important to acknowledge that this project tells a narrative of the pandemic that may not represent the entirety of Aotearoa's experiences. However, I hope that sub narratives within the project represent shared experiences, beliefs and values and that anybody who engages with the book will be able to relate to in some form.

'Covid-19' tells stories in the manner of a diary entry and is underpinned by a bold, controlled graphic style. The recto pages detail an experience where numbers were forefront, while the verso pages show a typographic interpretation of that experience. The typographic expression varies dramatically, from lists of 'Covid-19' related information to gestural marks and typographic experiments which feel more personal and human. The pacing is steady and consistent, however, three photographic spreads provide a break in the flow at various moments.

'Covid-19' is a stitched hardcover book with an elastic strap that stretches around the cover. The strap covers the 19 from `Covid-19' and to access the book the reader must take the strap off revealing the number. This act begins the dialogue between the reader and the numbers within the book, however, I hope this dialogue can continue beyond the project by making the reader more conscious of how numbers impact their daily lives.

Archiver’s Response:

"A clever, almost poetic, approach to a complex and still unresolved global situation. A dialogue between the amount of cold numbers dumped on the people everyday and one's personal life."

"Well-executed project. Deepens/ reforms visual language and the connection/ impact of numbers during this time."

"A fresh look at that period of time that's beautifully crafted"

Credits & Collaborators:
Teacher/Tutor - Fay McAlpine
Teacher/Tutor - Dr Annette O'Sullivan

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Archive Submission
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