The North American Review is the oldest literary magazine in the United States. In 2019, the editors invited visual artists and designers to submit posters responding to the theme The Open Space of Democracy, inspired by Terry Tempest Williams' book of the same name.
In response to Terry Tempest Williams’ piece “Commencement,” the poster I created juxtaposes the so-called “Open Space of Democracy” with the cramped and claustrophobic feeling that so many Americans feel today as they try to sort through the mass of distorted information surrounding them. It’s a large burden to spend every day constantly thinking of how to piece together the different shreds of testimony, rhetoric, and even opinion pieces – but once in a while, during that “ah ha!” moment where all of the shredded pieces have finally been connected, everything makes sense again
This piece is a tribute to the vigilance of critical thinking that modern American citizens maintain in their everyday lives during a time of political instability and emotion. It is an encouragement to keep rifling through the filing box, because there's definitely something in there.
Creating the collage
In order to communicate the complexity of modern political rhetoric, I printed out Terry Tempest Williams' essay on laser paper and highlighted and crossed out sections of the text that were contextually relevant. I also cut, shredded, and crumpled the paper before scanning it back in and assembling it collage style.