Ruehle–Morekashian-Best Mansion Tour Companion

Welcome to the Historical Society of Wyoming’s digital content page for the Official 2099 Morekashian-Best Family Mansion Tour Companion. Following the Social Media Purge of 2049, almost all of Iamde and Whim’s work was lost. However, our expert team of cyber researchers have been able to recover three priceless artifacts, which we are proud to display here.

The first artifact is a performance by Iamde Best on the “Late Show with David Letterman,” a television show very popular in its time. Performing a song from his first album, you can see the groundbreaking talent Iamde had even early on in his career.

The second artifact is the only remaining clip of “Staying in Touch with the Morekashians” still in existence. Fittingly, it portrays Iamde and Whim’s wedding rehearsal. It is an incredibly rare gift to have this insight into one of the happiest times in their relationship.

Our last artifact is a genuine Iamde “music video.” Whim appears in the video alongside Iamde, making it a truly rare find. The song’s lyrics are an honest look at their relationship from Iamde’s perspective and the video displays their passion for each other. The strength of their relationship at this point adds to the tragedy of its sudden end. We warn any sensitive viewers: the song contains explicit lyrics and the video is sexually graphic in parts.

Parrett- Book

A Carefully Constructed Campus

Hi, welcome to Geneseo! I’d like to begin by thanking you for joining us today! My name is Kelly and I’ll be your tour guide…

Hit the play button for a video tour of Geneseo’s campus
Here is a map of Geneseo’s campus. All of the places that we visited today are marked with stars.

Parrett- Project Statement

My project, A Carefully Constructed Campus, intends to take the reader on a tour of Geneseo’s campus; however, only the physical aspects of Geneseo’s scenery that are discussed on official campus tours are featured in this artist book. As a tour guide, I am trained to craft a specific aesthetic of Geneseo, and only discuss the things that campus administration deems worthy of discussion. Therefore, this project is a handmade, hand-drawn representation of Geneseo’s carefully constructed aesthetic.

My book is made out of an old cardboard box, and the pages are handmade. On the inner pages, I used pieces of the Lamron, Geneseo’s student newspaper, to glue random pieces of unsequential text onto the pages of my book, much like a flat version of paper mache. The function of placing the text onto the pages is to add a visually interesting and Geneseo-specific background for my drawings and words. On top of these pages, I placed hand-drawn sketches of Geneseo scenery (outdoors) that are discussed on campus tours– the front of Doty Hall, the Kindergarten sign on the side of Welles, the view of the valley, the stained glass windows on Brodie Hall, the College Green, the Seuss Spruce, the Greek Tree, the Sturges Clocktower, and the Gazebo. The pages are in this order, as this is sequentially how a tour moves through Geneseo. Accompanying these drawings is an overlay of text to explain the images. My book is presented kind of like a scrapbook, except it will only feature the pieces of Geneseo’s aesthetic image, while all else will be omitted.

Overall, my project is a handcrafted scrapbook of the aesthetic pieces of Geneseo that are discussed on tours of the academic campus. It is important that the book itself is handmade— with everything done by hand—  because my handcrafted book is representative and symbolic of the handcrafted image of Geneseo that our administration has created.

Jones- Artist Statement

Life is memory. The present is what we perpetually inhabit, but humans tend to always be looking back, grasping at a real or imagined past. I wanted to focus my artist book on memory and how memories can be experienced through their association with objects. The idea of the music box seemed like a good place to start—I grew up with a music box on my shelf and remember its sound distinctly. I decided to create my own “book box” in the style of the music box to serve as my artist book. Next, I considered the physical design of a music box and focused on it as a container for other “relics” of my experiences. In doing so, the artist book came together as a collection of objects with personal significance and memories attached to them, with the inclusion of poetry.

While my artist book plays with the concept of the past, I also wanted to look towards the future—that is where the digital component comes in. I thought of the haunting, classical melody of the music box from my childhood and asked myself, ‘How can I transform this into a modern sound?’ Moreover, how can I relate the physical artist book with the online portion in a way that speaks to the interconnectedness of the past, present, and future? I went on to do some sound mixing and transformed a classic music box track into a modern, RNB/Hip-Hop sound. I was able to take something from my childhood and bring it into my life now in a new and interesting way. While there are some aspects of one’s past better left behind, it doesn’t all have to be—one can find new ways to bring the past into focus and learn from it to create a better future.  

Jones- Music Box

Welcome. On this page you will find the SoundCloud link to a track I made. I call it “A Modern Music Box” because I think that title perfectly encapsulates what I’ve been trying to create for the digital component of my artist book–that is, a modern take on the music box sound. Click and enjoy, then scroll below the embedded track to learn about my process.

As noted in my project statement, my artist book centers around the physical object of the music box as a means to explore personal symbology, memory, and the ways in which objects from our childhood can carry with them great significance even as we grow and age.

I began with a strong idea of what the artist book itself might look like, but I was less sure about the digital component. Then it hit me. The sound from a music box is very unique, often a somewhat eerie, dream-like classical melody. If I could take that melody and make it sound more modern using audio mixing technology, then I could really pull this project together and get people thinking about the place of pre-Internet technology (in this case, the simple machine that is the music box) in our current age.

I got to work, finding a royalty-free track from Kevin Macleod at Incompetech called “Industrial Music Box” as the basis for my “modern” track. Then, I began experimenting in an online audio mixing software called Soundtrap, playing with their Patterns Beatmaker all while praying I could produce a track that would not make people’s ears bleed.

When I played around with the track to my liking (after many, many hours of trial and error), it was time to upload it to SoundCloud. I needed cover art, and so I found an image of a music box from the San Francisco Music Box Company that looks exactly like a music box I’ve had since I was seven. I incorporated the galaxy image into my cover art to further add to the modern feel, as I have seen many artists today using similar imagery. Enjoy.

Ruehle–Project Statement

My work focuses on the space between the “reality” presented on social media and the physical reality of human lives. I think human society is in a state of flux as it grapples with the increasing influence of social media. Social media creates a culture of reward-seeking behavior, with an economy where the currency is attention in the form of clicks. The “realities” presented on the pages of the biggest influencers are tailored to attract as much attention as possible without questioning the means by which it is attracted. My work takes a critical view of social media and asks of it: For what? Where will it lead? How does it benefit future generations”?

This project takes the form of a fictional floor plan portfolio distributed by a historical society to participants on a tour of the “Morekashian-Best” family mansion. I parodied the Kardashian-West family because I believe they are an excellent case study for examining the space between real life and the way it is presented on social media. Taking the perspective of a historical society describing the history of the family’s home allows me to explore the question of social media’s impact on future generations.

I owe my inspiration for this project to several sources. First, to Chris Ware’s Building Stories, which showed me how a person’s life can be examined by looking at the space where they live. Second, to the Winchester House for the actual floor plans I used, which serve as a great parallel for social media’s pursuit of gratification without purpose. Thirdly, to the lives of Kim Kardashian-West and Kanye West for providing an incredible pool of material for me to draw from in shaping the content of my project.

The voice of the my project’s written parts is intentionally humorous because I believe audiences are more receptive when they are being entertained. Through humor, I hope to provoke thought in my audience about the growing influence of social media in our lives and whether it is worth the time and attention we give it.

Fernandez-Project Statement

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, womanhood is defined as:

“a: the state of being a woman
b: the distinguishing character or qualities of a woman or of womankind”

Throughout history, what makes a woman a woman has remained the same for many communities or shifted dramatically for others. Although “times are changing,” it is important to consider the beauty that comes within these traditional milestones in womanhood and the beauty and stigma in the modern milestones of womanhood. In this project, I hope to showcase traditional milestones that lead to womanhood as well as the modern versions and what they mean to us. Although it may not be apparent, I do want to emphasize that these milestones do not have a specific timeline. The timeline is another area I would like to discuss in this book. In different societies, these milestones must occur in a certain order and I want to make sure others know that these milestones may occur at a different point in a woman’s life in addition to it possibly not happening at all.

Lastly, one other thing I would like to mention is that some of these milestones are not beautiful, and that is ok.

**Certain pages will have trigger warnings beforehand.

The Traditional:

  • Pregnancy
  • Rape
  • Friendship(s)
  • Crush(es)
  • Heartbreak(s)
  • Menstruation
  • Losing one’s virginity
  • Cooking
  • Marriage(s)

The Modern:

  • Gaining independence
  • Orgasming
  • Aging
  • Abortion
  • Being a Trans-Woman

Hensler: Project Statement

This project features topics of sexual assault, drug abuse, and suicidal ideation.

In my almost 20 year of life, I’ve found that telling people how much I love musical theatre doesn’t always get a positive reaction. Musicals just aren’t for everyone. However, in my more recent studies, I’ve found how much musical theatre has shaped not only my identity, but the American Identity as well. So maybe musicals really are for everyone, even if most don’t realize that. 

My work takes a semi-autobiographical look into political and social issues under the metaphorical mask of a child-like pop-up board game with diary entries, some non-traditional playing cards, a spotify playlist, a cheesy (or ominous?) home movie, and the like. The “game” follows the journal entries of a main character, Lemon, as they embark on a journey down the “yellow-brick road” in hopes of finding their “somewhere over the rainbow”. On their journey, Lemon faces head-on some of the problems of both the world we live in, and the (for the most-part fictional) worlds of some beloved hit Broadway musicals such as Avenue Q, Next to Normal, and Wicked to name a few, and of course (and hopefully by now obvious), The Wizard of Oz.  

The “home movie”, if you will, is more of a trailer of sorts, something to represent the theme of this project. This movie features a pair of hands playing a joyful tune on the piano (an original, untitled piece by Rocky Nardone), but the tune abruptly changes as the voices of the main character questions both verbally and non, what they’re feeling as they travel through these worlds. The spotify playlist features songs from the Broadway musicals featured so that the reader can get somewhat of a general idea if they have never seen the show before. I found the use of journal entries to add to the adolescent-like theme in a way. Somewhat like an angsty teen who keeps journals because “nobody understands them.”

Similar to Musical Theatre, I’ve found that many people don’t always like being face-to-face with the troubles of our current world. Sometimes it’s easier to suppress the bad times, but it’s not always healthy. If only we all could see the world the way children do. If only real life had happy endings like those big Hollywood movies.  Mixing these worldly issues with beloved show tunes from Broadway, and a splash of child-like whimsy makes it easier for people to see how the world around us is not always what it appears.