Back to ProjectsBasic Space
Two images, side by side. Left: an empty hallway with posters strewn all over: one is draped on the handrail, two others on the ground. The title of the poster reads 'BASIC SPACE,' with supplementary text and a QR code around it, printed on a pink pattern. Right: a person scanning a QR code on a poster, whose title text reads 'BASIC SPACE', with their phone. A person on a website with thick black lettering that reads 'BASIC SPACE', their computer stacked on top of posters of the same title. Screenshot of a website, with a light gray background and large text in a thick, black outline, layered on top that reads, 'BASIC SPACE'. The cursor hovers over a part of the 'E' in 'SPACE', a meme from @dank.lloyd.wright popping up next to it and the area hovered over now a purple outlined circle.

⚠︎ Text contains flashing images.

Drawing from my interests in aesthetics and online culture, Basic Space is a small fictional festival exploring the design of meme formats to ask, how do information and content relate to their container? Diagrammatic things carry a natural importance and legitimacy — what happens when we empty memes, media that often is already so distilled to its most essential ideas?

This project emerged from an exercise to program a generative pattern maker. Pulling from four popular meme formats — the political compass, Advice Animals, Is This A Pigeon, and Loss — I began with a dense, quiltlike texture, which ultimately makes up the background of the event’s posters.

An annotated screenshot of an abstract texture in light brown and black. The annotations are in red, with four regions of the texture marked out, their source memes shown to to the side. a looping animation zooming in and out of an abstract texture in shades of beige, with some areas marked out in light red, green, blue, and purple. animation of different abstract patterns flashing about, each composition in a different color, on a light tan/beige background.

After experimenting with the tool at different scales and color settings, I landed on a final pattern, which I then riso-printed.

a densely packed black texture flashing about on a light tan/beige background.

The festival’s promotional materials come with a microsite prototyped in p5.js. As a metaphor for the anatomy of memes, mouse interactions reveal the outlines of the festival’s name — the bubbling circle changing color as the visitor hovers over the four quadrants, referencing the political compass. By using widely available typefaces, these assets emphasize the content-driven nature of memes as a communicative medium.

screenshot of a narrow view of a webiste with a light gray background. the text overlaid on top is in a thicker black outline. screenshot of a wide (landscape) view of a website with a light gray background. the text reads, 'BASIC SPACE' 'APRIL 20, 2022'. On the left is an outlined version of the text 'BASIC SPACE', each letter connected to the next.

Spring 2021

11 × 17" posters and website