Janice Ji


Prompt: We had to make a piece of work inspired by the research it did in Integrative Seminar 2. The research topic and medium was up to the students.

For Bridge 4 in seminar, I studied how the Cold War affected our perceptions of Mars during the 1950s, and I found that science  fiction played a role in connecting societal fears at the time with Mars. Drawing from this research, I made a “3D” postcard inspired by 1950s science  fiction media showing current American xenophobia for my studio project. I made the postcard design digitally, but because I do not have any way to make a real 3D postcard, I used Adobe After Effects to imitate the 3D effect I wanted. Making this postcard in 3D was crucial to make the human silhouettes fade in and out as I moved the card, making these ominous, dark  figures look like they were coming out of the shadows. American fears of the “other” have taken different forms throughout history; during the Cold War, it was the fear of communists slowly taking over the country, and now it is the fear of immigrants taking our livelihoods away and transferring disease. I wanted to show a contemporary version of this fear by making the immigrants coming from boats or over walls look like Martian aliens coming to invade white American society. However, I kept these silhouettes distinctly human instead of exaggerating any features to show that these “aliens” are just people and that these fears are hyperbolic.