INterrupt 3, 2015
Identity, website and print design for
a digital language arts conference
engineered to inturrupt itself at random

for brown university digital language arts 
design with megan feehan

After doing the design for Interrupt 2, John Kahley asked us back to do the conference’s 3rd iteration, an event created by the Digital Language Arts program of the Department of Literary Arts. This conference explored ways that coding can create new forms of literature. The format of the conference included “Interrupt sessions” in which artists had five minutes to present their work but could be interrupted at any point by another presenter. In this way interruption itself became a protagonist, taking on various unexpected forms throughout the weekend.

Building off the identity we had created the previous year, we were interested in embracing the ways that reading reading online is full of constant interruption, how our attention spans are becoming attuned to this, and how print design might respond to this condition. We created ten different versions of the poster, each with a unique combination of pop-up imagery. The pop-ups, while seemingly haphazard, were placed systematically.  The posters were hung in groups of three, assuring all info would be visible on at least one, maintaining  relative legibility across the system without compromising the overriding narrative that a search for meaning will only be frustrated at some point. Pop-up pictures also occur throughout the pamphlet we created for the event, but in a way that is less obtrusive for the reader needing access to the information in print.

Pop-ups are annoying, and we didn’t set out to fix that problem. On the contrary—the most dynamic (and annoying) use of the pop-up interruption is in the website. The reader has the choice to remove each pop-up on click, or disengage and allow them to gradually take over the screen. We built the site on top of an actual google docs page,  adding a rawness to the design and allowing conference organizers to make content updates until the very last minute with little to no guidance from us.

mobile version of site with reduced pop-up scenario

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