Genius, Disturbed, Both, or Neither challenges the relationship between authorship, anonymity, identity, and the ways in which persona is crafted through the internet. The story is framed through a cultural lens by following one active and anonymous author on Craigslist that fits the archetype of a tortured artist.
The chosen user, DannyMcDelta, writes in a turbulent stream of consciousness. Genius, Disturbed, Both, or Neither takes place in the small town of Crystal, Minnesota. Informative graphs and journal entries are used to introduce DannyMcDelta’s situation, relationships, and way of life. As the book progresses, and DannyMcDelta becomes less lucid, graphic devices such as typography and layout structure lose control. Readers become immersed in the psyche of an anonymous person. The final product exists as part character study and essay in which identity, the private and the public, and knowledge and the unknown are juxtaposed. The purpose as the author and designer is to find the intersection of persona and reality. Through investigative research, Genius, Disturbed, Both, or Neither explores what happens when content that begins online is taken out of context and brought into the physical world.