Hunting Moby Dick

Hi! My name is Sophie- I’m a first year foundations student at Alfred University. One of our first projects (in addition to creating this blog) was to take an short excerpt from Moby Dick and photograph the nouns in the passage. We weren’t simply taking a photo of the word, we were asked to find people, places, and objects that would literally represent our words and then photograph them. After we collected our images, we chose the best for each word and collaged them together. All the images were in black and white so that when each student (there’s about fifty of us) finished their collage, we could put the story back together in one big book. Of the fifty collages, no two were the same. Many of my peers created an entirely new atmosphere by filling their entire paper, while others used the white of the paper to create movement and space. Students also used sharpies, markers, and pens to add different dimensions and drawings to the image. This assignment asked us to solve a problem- how can we represent a single word with an image? How then can we relate it to our passage and best represent the images Hermon Melville initially created? Our professors forced us to think observationally and analytically as we went outside to photograph words like “Rome” and “spile” in the small, middle-of-nowhere village of Alfred. For words that are unheard of at our university, we had to change our way of thinking and our perspective in order to find a way to best represent the passage we were assigned. This assignment was, yes, frustrating, but allowed us to be creative in the way that we approached it.

foundations

Here are links to interesting things related to Moby dick and our project:

Every page of Moby Dick illustrated:

http://www.brainpickings.org/2011/10/11/matt-kish-moby-dick-illustrated/

Five interesting things about Moby Dick:

http://interestingliterature.com/2012/12/08/five-facts-about-moby-dick/

Herman Mellvilles thoughts on art:

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/182480

DESCRIBE PROCESS: Right away when I walked out the doors I went my own way and didn’t follow the crowd. I had my words written down in my journal and I went exploring. I had to keep my eyes peeled to look for these objects that I would use to represent my words. It was challenging to look for these certain objects. I had to search everywhere! I looked high, I looked low and I had to use my communication skills to find some extra help. I ended up walking around town and in the neighborhoods to look for some inspiration.

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