Brand Lab II

Chelsea Cropper

the final. ta da!

In the end, the message here is that humans are lazy. We are creatures of convinience. The drug companies will always win, trapping us in a web of cures and counter-cures because we basically can't be bothered to take care of ourselves in ways which would prevent us from becoming ill. If we just took the time to balance ourselves through eating right and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, most likely we would not need all these pills. But in the end it is EASIER for us to take a pill than to have to worry about eating right, exercising, not drinking, etc etc etc. We would rather take the shortcut and be better NOW, and usually NOW is found in a pill. The impact of this is that we find ourselves in a constant state of imbalance. With every chemical we choose to put in our bodies, we throw something else within ourselves out of whack (hence side effects.) This imbalance then calls for another medicine, and another and another, until we find ourselves in an endless loop of medications and counter medications. This concept is depicted as a map. A map with different destinations, different routes, but no end. It is a maze that has no out.

detail images

Posted on June 10, 2008

pill map

need to reorganize the side effects so that one 'core' symptom bleeds into the next. after that is done, redirectional arrows will be included, depicting a closed loop of drugs/symptoms. eventually will look like a subway system, with lines connecting each drug.

Posted on June 3, 2008


yummy yummy pills...

Posted on June 2, 2008

drug map II

Posted on May 29, 2008

drug map

for every cure, there comes a new sickness. we are over medicated. too quick to assess ourselves as 'sick', rather than just alive. For every symptom we try to suppress, three more emerge, each with their own method of alleviation. we begin with the four most 'over-medicated' (yet very human) emotions of anger, sad, shy, stress. watch how quickly our physical and emotional selves oscillate in and out of what is considered 'healthy' the more we medicate.

Posted on May 29, 2008

human nature as a pathology

Posted on May 27, 2008


Posted on May 22, 2008

aesthetic concepts

Programming visualization: combination of typography and ellipses. We want to convey data information through sheer volume. Dots scroll from left to right, top to bottom. At times they are stationary. Size of ellipses will change depending on need. Each ellipse represents one of a kind: one human, one dollar, one crime, etc.

Posted on May 20, 2008

emotion: objectively

Posted on May 15, 2008

A synthtesis of ideas: visualizing disclaimers

teaming up with wayne. going to begin collaborating on a project that will combine wayne's concept of representing humanity with numbers, and my concept of creating a disclaimer for humanity.

Products will almost always come with instruction manuals on how to use the item properly, and without causing oneself harm. The wii instruction manual, for instance, provides interesting illustrations on how 'not' to use the wii. it cites such injuries as choking yourself, electrocuting yourself, and causing a fire. However, this does not deter people from purchasing the wii, nor any other of the plethora of products and services out there that boast warning labels.

Keeping this in mind, we want represent humanity by providing a 'disclaimer.' That is, we do not want to simply focus on only the positive aspects of humanity, but of the negative as well. This can be likened to product instruction manuals, which provide both instructions for use, as well as warnings.

not just this....

but also....

we are going to be writing a program to visualize different aspects of humanity. as of right now, we are thinking that this will be an installation. we know we want to provide both 'disclaimer' data, as well as 'how to use' data. Our goal is to create visualizations in less conventional ways. Not just your static bar graphs and bell curves. We want to represent data in unconventional and unexpected ways.

at our core, human beings are motivated by self interest. From an evolutionary perspective, this makes sense, as in order to ensure survival of the individual amidst scare resources and environmental threats, selfishness was somewhat required.

However, we also see in human beings a great capacity for kindness and emphathy. We look out for our friends, we make charitable donations, we send aid to countries in , etc

How do we represent these two opposite, yet entirely human tendencies? How do we convey the good, yet also provide a disclaimer that highlights our faults and weaknesses? Is it simply a data point/counter data point relationship we need so show to convey this?

Posted on May 8, 2008

The Concept: Greed In Action

Posted on April 22, 2008

new concept: greed

Alright, I think I have decided to work with the concept of greed. So on with the research....

GREED VS. SELF INTEREST (where is that line?)

-GREED VS. SELF INTEREST (where is that line?)

Happiness econmics: “confirm that beyond the provision of a basic level of material comfort, more wealth does not create greater happiness.”

Greed in Religion
One of the seven deadly sins. A sin of excess. Is applied to the acquisition of weath in particular.

Buddhists believe greed is based on incorrectly connecting material wealth with happiness. This is caused by a view that exaggerates the positive aspects of an object; that is, acquiring material objects has less impact than we imagine on our feelings of happiness.


Posted on April 20, 2008

Research 4.6.08 - 4.15.08


ok, reworking of the concept…
the selfish desire for or pursuit of money, wealth, power, food, or other possessions, especially when this denies the same goods to others.
Essential to the concept of greed is the awareness that the needs of others are denied, thus rivalrous goods exemplify greed while non-rivalrous goods may not.
“Greed is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms. Greed for life, for mone, for love, knowledge has marked the upwards surge of mankind….man with save the USA.” –Gordon Gekko

Proponents of laissez-faire capitalism sometimes argue that greed should not be considered a negative trait and should instead be embraced, as they claim that greed is a profoundly benevolent force in human affairs, as well as a necessary foundation for the capitalist system.
Where does self-interest cross the line into greed? What is excess?

bad guy as greedy guy (we are presented with this at an early age, in cartoons, in movies, and in books…somehow understanding this concept is entirely intuitive)
wall street

Justice as divine command.
(morality and justice. Where does our morality come from, what do we think/believe is just? God?)
Justice as natural law.
(For advocates of the theory that justice is part of natural law, it involves the system of consequences which naturally derives from any action or choice. In this, it is similar to the laws of physics: in the same way as the Third of Newton's laws of Motion requires that for every action there must be an equal and opposite reaction, justice requires according individuals or groups what they actually deserve, merit, or are entitled to.)
Justice as Human Creation
In contrast to the understandings canvassed so far, justice may be understood as a human creation, rather than a discovery of harmony, divine command, or natural law.
Why is this particular to human beings (or is it?) Why do conceptions of justice vary depending on the culture.
The first thing I think of when I think of justice is Immanuel Kant’s categorical imperative, which states : “"Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law." I think of no other way that law can work outside of this stipulation.
John Rawls, A Theory of Justice
Plato, The Republic
John Locke (justice is a part of natural law)
Retributive Justice
"life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, wound for wound, stripe for stripe."

Distrubutive Justice
Proper distribution

Oppresive Justice
Tyrannical oppression, the opposite of justice


[I joined the class late, so unfortunately I am delayed in beginning my research. This is me starting from scratch…]

What is human?

Humans, or human beings, are bipedal primates belonging to the mammalian species Homo sapiens in the family Hominidae. (ha, is that it?......)
Technology writing representation psychological disorder
Thought love classification dreams
Emotion religion mimesis sentience (sapience)
Motivation self-reflection consciousness materialism
Biology water learning economy Interface
Neurology patterns memory drugs Justice
Habitat Fear War Security Destruction Phobia
Language art cognitive psychology phobia
Senses dna intelligence abstraction
Organization psychology social psychology justice
Concept formation estimating probabilities reasoning imagination stereotypes
Religion lies ethics skepticism self-awareness Safe Stress

The “what it is like” character of mental states.
Qualia: "an unfamiliar term for something that could not be more familiar to each of us: the ways things seem to us"1. They can be defined as qualities or sensations, like redness or pain, as considered independently of their effects on behavior and from whatever physical circumstances give rise to them. In more philosophical terms, qualia are properties of sensory experiences.” (
“I run my fingers over sandpaper, smell a skunk, feel a sharp pain in my finger, seem to see bright purple, become extremely angry. In each of these cases, I am the subject of a mental state with a very distinctive subjective character. There is something it is like for me to undergo each state, some phenomenology that it has.” (

The concept of qualia is extremely fascinating. However, it’s a slippery concept. Very abstract and difficult for me to latch on to mentally (hence my inability to articulate its meaning and instead resulting to blatant cut-and-paste).

I seem to be naturally drawn towards psychology and mental processes when contemplating how to qualify/quantify human beings and the human experience. Our brains and the way in which we process information differentiates us from other species on the planet. We are self-aware and self-reflective, able to perceive and establish a relationship between ourselves and our environment. I find this area fascinating.

With that in mind, here are a few areas that piqued my interest and are worthy of further exploration:
Cognitive psychology studies cognition, the mental processes underlying behavior. It uses information processing as a framework for understanding the mind. (
Hmm...sounds good…let’s go from here…


Cognitive psychology
“Cognitive science is the interdisciplinary study of mind and intelligence, embracing philosophy, psychology, artificial intelligence, neuroscience, linguistics, and anthropology.” (
“Cognitive psychologists are interested in how people understand, diagnose, and solve problems, concerning themselves with the mental processes which mediate between stimulus and response. Cognitive theory contends that solutions to problems take the form of algorithms—rules that are not necessarily understood but promise a solution, or heuristics—rules that are understood but that do not always guarantee solutions. In other instances, solutions may be found through insight, a sudden awareness of relationships.” (

-Problem solving forms part of thinking. Considered the most complex of all intellectual functions, problem solving has been defined as higher-order cognitive process that requires the modulation and control of more routine or fundamental skills. It occurs if an organism or an artificial intelligence system does not know how to proceed from a given state to a desired goal state. It is part of the larger problem process that includes problem finding and problem shaping.

-There are several methods of studying problem solving, including; introspection, behaviorism, simulation and computer modeling, and experiment.

-Cognitive psychologists are interested in how people understand, diagnose, and solve problems, concerning themselves with the mental processes which mediate between stimulus and response. Cognitive theory contends that solutions to problems take the form of algorithms—rules that are not necessarily understood but promise a solution, or heuristics—rules that are understood but that do not always guarantee solutions. In other instances, solutions may be found through insight, a sudden awareness of relationships.

-Information Processing approach to cognitive functioning. The dominant paradigm in the area has been the information processing model of cognition that Broadbent put forward. This is a way of thinking and reasoning about mental processes, envisioning them as software running on the computer that is the brain. Theories refer to forms of input, representation, computation or processing, and outputs. Applied to language as the primary mental knowledge representation system, cognitive psychology has exploited tree and network mental models.

-information processing

is the process or result of generalization by reducing the information content of a concept or an observable phenomenon, typically in order to retain only information which is relevant for a particular purpose. For example, abstracting a leather soccer ball to a ball retains only the information on general ball attributes and behaviour. Similarly, abstracting an emotional state to happiness reduces the amount of information conveyed about the emotional state. Computer scientists use abstraction to understand and solve problems and communicate their solutions with the computer in some particular computer language.

There is evidence to support


Posted on April 17, 2008