Parsons School of Design

BFA Communication Design

Thesis 2014

Sherylene Chew
Simulacra: A Map of Lived Experiences
Sherylene Chew
Simulacra: A Map of Lived Experiences

Given that we now live in an information age, there has been a shift in the means by which we archive and store information. Rather than chronicle our experiences through physical documents, our memories of lived experience now exist in an infinite web space. However, in the act of documenting our existence, what we perceive as tokens of recollection have slowly begun to shift into abstraction. As we continue to artlessly project facets of ourselves onto our myriad of social media channels, we are unwittingly creating an ersatz reality. Tweets have a limit of a 140 characters, Instagram images are singular and filtered. The metric of content has become much more reductive. These are then further condensed into statistics using data-base management software, supplementing an already overwhelming pool of big data. My thesis thus explores how our personal content transmutes into simulacra through information design. Using myself as a case in point for this paradigm shift into the hyper real, I crafted an 8-foot long double-sided map that plots the unadulterated entirety of my intersecting Twitter and Instagram feeds. The front of the map plots the daily frequencies of input in quantitative format. While the back, shows a visual topology of the actual text-image based content. Accompanying the map is a pocket-sized book with magnified views of the qualitative terrain, while the nodes on the map containing the highest frequencies of tweets exist as posters, unpacking the bulk of information through an index of meta-data.




Justin Cheung
Everyday Margins
YunHee Choi
Pattern Play