Thesis Exploration - The Beginning

I have been thinking about my thesis since I started at SCAD in the Fall 2015. I left my undergraduate education and entered graduate school wanting to go back to the reason my graphic design journey began. I originally pursued a degree in Advertising because I wanted to be a copywriter, but along my journey found I was much more passionate about Art Direction. This surprised me because I never saw myself as a Graphic Designer. I love reading and that love morphed into a passion for writing, but as I furthered my education I started to realize that "writing" was not the right word and "storytelling" became a much more apt description for what I loved to do.  

Over the past two years I have been able to explore what it means to be a visual storyteller. The ideas of being a reader, writer, and visual storyteller have always been circulating in the back of my mind so, when I stumbled upon the book House of Leaves, I knew I had found something that was really special. I was first attracted to the book because of the fact that different typefaces and colors meant different things within the story. Then after reading the novel, I thought the experimental narrative was fascinating. After doing some research on the novel, I came across a  new-to-me term: Ergodic Literature. Ergodic Literature is a term coined by author and professor, Espen Aarseth. It describes a type of literature where the reader traverses the text in a non-trivial way. The reader has choices within the text and can choose to take different routes through the narrative. The easiest example of this type of text would be the Choose Your Own Advernture books. Aarseth wrote a book about this concept of literature entitled, Cybertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature where he discusses the future of literature in relation to the Internet. 

This is where my thesis exploration began. I knew I wanted to explore my passion for storytelling, reading, and graphic design and thought that looking into the concept of Ergodic Literature would be a really good start.

Meagan Leigh Vanderhill