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Dreaming of Eternal Life

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“Dreaming of Eternal life”

The storyline of the sketchbook diary begins with top left illustration showing a man’s side profile, assumed to be the artist himself, with eyes shut closed, lost in thought, “dreaming about the upload” as it states at the bottom of the page. This drawing is dated as July, 6th 1962. There is a sense of hopefulness, wonderment and excitement behind his red cheeks and the gold sparks of warm-toned bubbles that floats in and above his head. He is not having a test yet, but the hope and possibility of the uploads being able to cure cancer and enable him to live on, puts his mind at ease. At the time, it may seem like a definite possibility of this experiment succeeding. Top Left illustration titled “Donna first upload” from June, 22, 1962 shows a woman with head accessory that is attached to a box shaped technology. Through her tightly closed lips, she is assumed to be nervous. The bright colors of organic shapes floats around her head and also fills the mechanical box, indicating Michael’s belief that her mind is going through the computers. Bottom Left illustration is a drawing of a superannuated computer from the 1960s and the huge color bubbles are overcrowding the computer lab. There is a empty chair in front of the computer. It says on the bottom of the illustration: “ here where they keep our minds” . It’s largely possible, at the time, Michael still believes this experiment will work and that their minds will live eternally through the digital technology. It’s not dated, but it is assumed to be done between 1960-1965 as we can see in the dramatic change in the next illustration. Bottom right illustration shows a bottle containing two weathering flowers and cigarette waste bin beside it with one cigar still smoking black smoke. Cigars are the reason for his illness and the reason he participated in this experiment. -giving up. acknowledging this experiment is not going to succeed. Giving up hope

Maybe giving up desire to live.

The two fallen petals emphasizes the lifelessness and hopelessness. The floating organic shapes of bright colors consumes the weathered flower and it’s broken stem, The cigar smoke combines with bubbles giving the illusion that it is poisoned and is draining the life out of the flowers. The text says “The flowers my wife brought me are dying” feb. 17th 1965 . 3 years before the experiment officially ended, there is already a sense of hopelessness and doubt.

Composition is very minimalistic and simple. The spacious white surroundings of the illustrations has a sense of limitless possibilities, and otherworldly aspect of the illustration. Warm organic shapes floating in the air initially showed dream-like qualities like a strand of hope in midst of devastation. Later, the bubbles brings out the intense qualities of the colors. There is a sense of Frustration and anger shown in the last illustration. The bubbles of gold, orange, and red combined seems to indicate the minds of the research participants; to be specific, their emotional state. Though the colors are unchanging throughout the series; the mixed colors seems to indicate mixed feelings of the patients such as excitement, nervousness, fear, anger, frustration..



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