Though it's a bit morbid, the death of a feral cat is not a hugely significant event. However, happening upon a dead cat on the sidewalk impacted me disproportionately in realtion to its significance. It was the contrast between global significance and personal impact that inspired this project.
This project is a study contrasting two significant experiences: seeing a dead cat on the sidewalk and witnessing the tragic results of hurricane Katrina—cemented with the text of Joyce's Ulysses.
I chose Ulysses as a canvas because this work deals with a similar magnification of significance. On the most superficial level, Ulysses is about a day in Dublin. However, the style and detail reveal greater meaning rather than than simply portraying events. Joyce's stream of consciousness writing reveals great detail, personal thoughts, and themes from another historical work, the Odyssey. However, interpreting beyond Joyce's words reveals far more; the history of his characters, sociopolitical thought of Joyce's time, and, even further, a projection of Homer's work onto the aforementioned. It is the layering of themes that interested me during this project. Applying further layers of information (physicality of the book, images, and typographical illustration in regards to both content and style) makes this information-dense work even more rich.
This is not an attempt to neatly house a work in an appropriate container. It is an examination of layers of meaning—does the density of information add or detract from the work? By adding interpretable layers do I make the work more accessible by adding more paths of interpretation, or do the additional layers of abstraction cause an already great task to become insurmountable? I would argue that these additions cause both—the book can be picked up and flipped through like a coffee table book, or the additional elements can add points of inspiration for additional (perhaps new, originally unintended) interpretations for the reader.