Flora: A Study in Postcards by Travis Alber.



This is “Who’s Flora?” original project. It is available inside the hypertext, in the section “About this project” as a PDF’s file (http://www.whoisflora.net/alber.pdf ) . Here’s the abstract:


“We are surrounded by pieces of the past--concrete messages from lives that have

gone before us. Yet these artifacts are largely ignored in our present world of planned

obsolescence and digital communication. My project combines unsuspecting messages

from a past life, my interpretations of those messages, and a computer interface through

which to understand them.

In the summer of 1998 I discovered a number of postcards from the year 1947.

They were sent by a twenty-something woman named Flora who traveled the United States

alone, sending postcards to her family. The postcards moved me because Flora and I have

many things in common: our ages, upbringing, and struggles, and because she traveled

alone in that era. My project focuses on studying the cards, the notes they delivered, and

my own impressions gathered from them. I was able to categorize the cards into four

dominant themes: age, sense of place, time, and communication (primarily with family),

and from those themes I created two separate storylines. The first storyline focuses on the

death of a friend and the personal ramifications involved in such an event; the second story

deals with the marriage of a friend and the tension between independence and love.

The project was completed as an interactive CD-ROM using Macromedia Director.

My two objectives were: to create, with the aid of the real postcards, sound, graphic

design, text, a believable Flora character, and to discuss my own feelings about issues

presented in the storyline. My opinions were visible in Flora’s writings, but were also

presented on screens of their own. Using a computer allowed me to present other aspect

of the experience: the sounds gave a sense of place, the graphic design of the Forties gave a

sense of time, the writings gave a sense of age and filial communication. My two objectives

were accomplished in the creation of these elements.”






Academic year 2008/2009
© a.r.e.a./Dr.Vicente Forés López
© Ana Belmar Villar
Universitat de València Press