Last Suppers by James Reynolds / 1963
A single olive requested by Victor Geguer, executed in Iowa in 1963 for the kidnapping and murder of a doctor.
Every visual artifact, from a street sign to advertising commercials, is an event of culture, a cross-section of time. Crucial to my work as a designer is to build an interpretive understanding of these images as more than surface, more than banal. Embedded in their construction are dense, unseen strata of contextual latencies—social, economic, and political forces—that combine to define a cultural moment.
This thesis offers a series of lessons in making visible visual infrastructure. It emphasizes design’s semiotic potential to examine and leverage a view on what these visual signs represent as ideological constructions. Through a conscious un-layering of their deep and complex structures, I make an ethical case for producing work that augments understanding of our socio-cultural milieu, while catalyzing larger structural reform.