Project Indefensible emerged out of a series of research and discussion workshops sponsored by the World Peace Foundation with leading experts on the global arms business. Together, the group defined a goal for their collaboration of fostering an evidence-driven, accountable, and transparent approach to public discussions of the global arms business. The end result of this collaboration is the text of Indefensible.
LUST approached the design and implementation of the website as a critical tool for collaborative reading and writing—offering speculations on scalable reading experiences between all target audiences, situations, and locations centered on the thematics of the Indefensible text.
I worked on the art direction and the design of the website.
The website presents an interactive multi column layout which allows the user to easily browse and cross the references and emphasizes the journalistic tone of the text.
Every time that the website is launched, the user is given a color which is the one used for any interaction with the platform. It turns the strict black and white layout into a lively platform.
The visual index is a miniaturization of the text, providing an overview of the text for navigational purposes. This is an immaterial method of way-finding within long texts—analogous to the pages in a printed book. As an index to the content, it gives context for the content readers interact with, as well as a means to reinterpretation of reading through navigation.
Contextual search provides the reader with an ability to generate an alternate compilation of a text from their own search terms. The occurrence of these terms is reflected in the n-gram; a graph that visualizes their frequency within flow of the original text. This re-interpretation creates an new narrative structure and approach to literary reading. Endless interpretations are possible, sourcing from the reader’s own interests within the text. This opens discussion on audience-generated interpretation and linearity in media as a critical media-making tool.
Social sharing allows one to share their session or portions of the reading onto social media. This launches a re-contextualization of the text onto new platforms of community phenomena to result in discourse and meaning-making within larger cultural spheres.
The creation of reader annotations is generative of a parallel narrative to the original text. The audience is invited to engage with the content by taking notes and reacting alongside the original. As their own set of annotations is compiled, the annotations take on their own form as a piece of literary media. As the original text and annotations exist laterally, they come together to produce an new and anthropologically-rich reading.
Each unique session of annotations produces a sharable link, where the reader can invite others to collaborate in session of annotating. This way of reading, note-taking, and reflection is a facilitator critical engagement and discussion. These sessions invite multiple narratives to exist in dialogue with text, generating multiple readings of the literature.
Text by Eric Li