Course, Assignment, & Project Timeline – Plastination! Unlock a World of Post-Mortem Possibility! (6.1)

RHE309K: Rhetoric of Death and Dying

Assignment Handout for Hannah Moreno Project

First, I had to decide on a topic. I had composed a list of topics and noted my personal opinion to the side of each. I also went through the list and created a list of the claims I wanted to make about each topic. I chose the topic that I found to be the most controversial. I also did not want to pick a topic that any of my classmates had picked. Choosing a topic required that I ensure research sources could be gathered for the topic as well

After I chose my topic, I used Google to search for the official websites of the exhibits learn about the science of plastination and some of the testimonials of exhibit visitors. I did this to observe the way the viewing experience affected people. I also looked through many images to find some that were reasonable to use in my digital project. At this point, some images I gathered, I discarded because of their explicit sexual content. I felt that, though shocking my viewer was one of my goals, these images crossed the line. Still, it is worth noting that such displays exist .

After selecting some of my images and gathering my research materials from official websites, I constructed a basic outline for my project. I wanted to be able to display the images I found, because I found them to be a promising tool in the way of affecting the viewer. I ruled out all project formats that would not allow such pictures to be incorporated. This was a text-based outline from which my digital be created. This outline included the major topic, claims, and information I wanted to include.

Next, I synthesized my project proposal. Because this proposal required the discussion of a potential type of media for the project, it was at this point that I decided to make an infographic. I searched the web for a tool to make one and found Piktochart. Because I had never used Piktochart before, I decided to make a practice infographic to familiarize myself with the software’s features.

Title block and Subtitle block 1 – “What is plastination?”

First, I chose the background for three blocks of my infographic. I picked a light background so that the dark images would be easily seen and to contradict the dreary subject matter of inevitable death.

I assembled the title block and the definition block. I selected graphics for the blocks that I had already created and I adjusted font and color. I also reformatted the text to incorporate the graphics.

Subtitle block 2 – “What do I have to do?”

Next, I wanted to create a block that included a “Protocol” so that the viewer would get the impression that I was using pseudoscience.

Subtitle block 3 – “Did you know?”

Next, I created the “did you know?” block. I began by placing the text box in the center of the block and formatting it. Then I added icons to all four corners of the block as well as above the block title. I chose these icons so that they were relevant to the text in the text box.

Subtitle block 4 – “So you might be wondering…What are the benefits?”

After this, I decided to make a block about the “benefits”. I formatted a list of benefits below the title and added arrows to each item listed. I added a border to this block and changed the background. I fashioned an assembly of graphics to place next to the list that emphasized the “validity” of one of the points.

Subtitle Block 5 – “Beautiful”

I merged the next block by extending the background and border. I inserted two images from an exhibit and created a poem in a text box layered onto a notebook paper background.

Subtitle block 6 – “Think about it”

Next, I fashioned a block which I filled with trigger phrases in a variety of text colors and fonts. I inserted three pictures and created frames for each. I scattered these elements across the block and adjusted the background to make the images stand out. I added icons to selected trigger phrases.

Subtitle block 6 – “Guess what?”

I adjusted the background of the next block and placed two pictures in it. I added captions to the pictures, gave the block a “title”, and added graphics.

Subtitle block 7 – “Here is a bright idea!”

Because the previous three blocks contained images from the exhibits, I chose not to include any on the next block, though I did merge the background and the border. To this block I added two trigger statements and adjusted font and color to make the highly visible. I added light bulbs, clocks, and hourglass icons as well as a heartbeat graphic and a silhouetted figure with lungs.

Subtitle block 8 – “Don’t end up here!…”

The next two blocks were given a red brick background. I added a silhouette tree and grave as well as a large black cloud with an arrow. On the cloud I placed a text box with another hard sell statement. Below I added an image of the grim reaper and layer a red “X” on top of him. I then added a sad face to the tree silhouette for emphasis. Molecular and DNA graphics were added.

Subtitle block 9 – “Be remembered. Be Immortal. Be plastinated”

On the block below, I placed two images. I gave both of them captions. I placed one caption above its related image. Next I added a torn notebook paper graphic and placed a text box reiterating a “benefit”.

Subtitle block 11 – Open up your eyes to the possibilities of plastination”

In the final block, I placed my closing statements and footnotes as well as the hyperlink to a consent form.

I added numbers beside each image to correspond with its associated footnote. I changed the background of this final box for contrast. In total this infographic required seven hours to assemble not including the time spent gather images and information.

Revision Timeline:

First, I made an outline of the approach I would take to accomplish each of the suggested and required revisions

I made the footnote visibility adjustments on the infographic by making them larger in all cases, and white on the darker backgrounds.

Next, I added a warning block below the title.

After that, I added more trigger phrases to my project working from the top block to the bottom block. This was meant to emphasize my intended tone. This included the addition of a block at the end of the project to impose the bandwagon affect on the viewer. This also included a crucial absurd justification specifically mean to address a reviewer’s concern. It reads as follows: “Your opportunity for legal public nudity!” This statement is meant to act as reassurance that I am undermining the idea of plastination displays.

Finally, I went through my project to proof it for typos and overall aesthetic appeal.

The revisions took approximately four hours, with a significant portion of that time spent brainstorming my approach.

I wrote my reflection, created my Text-based description and finally, my timeline.