A Persistent Existence—An Exploration of Becoming

“You are the dust of the universe intricately sewn together, each needle prick a colossal certainty.”

I came up with this sentence late one night which became the catalyst for my final project. I had always enjoyed “existence” related content and wanted to make my own. At the start of the semester “corecore” was an emerging trend on TikTok. It was a self-aware meta take on the internet phenomenon of adding the suffix of “-core” to any visual aesthetic (e.g. fairycore, cottagecore)

Corecore edits combined pieces of media to serve one unanimous hopeful message and disrupt the always-online nihilism that was developing on TikTok. Such as all the other “-cores” it served to romanticise or visualise a feeling. That feeling being us—existence.

“Blending together contrasting images and sounds, #corecore edits are designed to evoke a mood. An access point through the desensitising, constant loop of algorithm-led feeds and For You pages, it seeks to make an otherwise numb audience feel something for once.”

“…Nothing makes sense, but for those thirty seconds of suspended reality, it doesn’t matter —we’re no longer numb.”

Dazed Magazine

With this, I wanted to make something that would encourage people to pause and reflect in a similar manner. I observed that nothing makes me pause more than the realisation that everyone around me has a life just as complex as me and we’re all human in the same ways. I took this thought and started to develop my campaign.

To pay homage to my original inspiration of corecore, I shot and complied a video in a similar manner to the edits. The video is set to QKThr by Aphex Twin, which is the popular sound associated with corecore.

I took the format from corecore, but I wanted the message to be my own, and a little different. The background sounds combine train sounds, city noises and movement. The visuals are mundane everyday moments edited to look hazy like fading memories. The video as a whole represents the journey of time passing— even in the most mundane tasks, time is passing, we are existing, we are moving.

Memories were an important focus for me because its how we are able to reflect on our past. This resulted in the main outcome of the project, a zine entitled Sometimes I Wonder What My Brain Sounds Like. It captures 6 stories from people from different parts of the world. The stories are ordinary but fond memories. The title came from the idea that your entire life is stored in your brain and if you squashed it all into the pretty illogical property of sound, what do you think your entire existence would sound like?

Would it buzz like a busy city street or will it hum like wind in a meadow?

The Notes on Existence section contains my own words and thoughts on the topic that I felt drove the idea of reflection. The imagery in the zine comes from my interpretation of the sounds each person submitted, combined with abstract pixelated shapes— a reflection of the inherently digital inspiration behind the topic.

These objects were then used to create more elements. The rest of the project was completed by creating collaterals that support the message. Not all collaterals were printed so I displayed them using a merchandise brochure.

Collateral Merchandise— Including t-shirts, tote bags, phone cases and stickers

I created two poster sets as well that took quotes from the zine.

Collateral Merchandise— A4 posters

Lastly, I wanted and interactive installation on my booth as well. Since memories are a big part of the project, I thought of people writing their names on locks and locking them onto bridges and landmarks. Its a human way to physically materialise a memory and I wanted to do something like that. I created these Memory Locks which had some memories that didn’t make it into the zine and some blank ones. The blank ones were for people to fill in on the day of the exhibition itself.

Memory Locks

Alongside the main project, I also added some other objects that represented the theme of time and memories. An hourglass, candles and stars.

Final Exhibition Display

You can find my full progress, outcomes and workflow on my blog post here.

“In the end, we are just a bunch of noise spinning in a soundless vacuum. You matter in a way that doesn’t matter at all. Take the time, take the moment, persist.”


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