Final bridge Project for Int 1: Circus Reflection

My name is Amanda Guo. I am a current student in communication design which is a mixed study between design and information processing. It transforms and combines ideas and informations in to a form that can be read and seen visually. To put it briefly, it helps people communicate ideas and massages with a visual aid. It is primarily associated with 2D forms such as typography, poster design and logos. Typography is what I expected the most and I am most passionated in my future undergraduate study. I am enthusiastic about solving problem and forming ideas in visual language where I feel the most creative about myself. In years to come, I expect myself to be an independent artist and designer.

The theme of our forth bridge project for Studio and Seminar was circus. In Studio, we were making figures associated with circus with mechanical movements; in seminar, we were writing a research paper related to circus.

For my research paper, I focused on clowns and discussed about why they are so scary to some people. The reason for my focus is that I enjoyed watching American Horror Story Series which involved a lot of clown characters. They are portrayed as scary creatures, however, in real life, they appear in children’ events and circus as funny characters. This drew my interest towards clowns and the whole phenomenon behind them. To start with, I searched the history of clowns in general in order to gain more knowledge about clowns. Then I went online and searched for the psychologists’ analysis about the phobia towards clowns. I found some connections between psychological and historical points. I came my thesis after gathering all the information, which is—it is the inhumanity of clowns’ appearance and behavior that have caused the phobia of them, and the fear towards our own self is a part of it. For Studio, I wanted to focus on the body movements of clowns which can be refer to as their behavior which is related to my thesis.

Rough Craft

For the outcome, I discussed the psychological reasons of why people fear clowns with reference to a few expert in neuroscience and psychology such as Jordan Gaines Lewis, and Andrew Stott. On top of that, I related it to the historical fact that clowns used to serve in court as fools and sometimes could even speak against the ruler. I concluded the reason as a fear of the unknown regarding clowns’ true identities behind dramatic appearance and behavior. Then it led me to the idea of that our fear towards clowns is a part of the fear towards our own humanity that we actually love clowns’ acts of fool and ridicule. For Studio, I made a group of clown puppets. Each of them has one certain movement such as kicking. These movements can be repeated over and over again, and they look normal at first, but after the repetition, it can look almost bizarre and insane since their move is not organic at all. I think it is a perfect presentation of what I discussed in my research paper.


Final Products

After this project, I realized that I really like to work in small-scale objects(my clowns are of 7 inches tall each). I used to make a similar project, but in digital form. This time I explored making physical mechanical installations which I have never done before. It was both exciting and challenging in terms of working with different materials, scale, and space. It was also intriguing to me that the repetition of the same motion can create a bizarre effect. Beyond that, repetition makes the process of thinking slow down and sink into the motion itself. I would love to explore more with repetition of any kinds such as motions, graphics, and sounds. There are tons of possibilities that I can try out in the future.

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