Justin Brady Score: Dream Paper

For my score, I was loosely inspired by Yoko Ono’s Painting by Hammer and Nail, wherein the executor of the score repeats an action every day in the morning. It reminded me of a routine I sometimes do in the morning of writing down my dreams in a dream journal. I also realized how I never really do anything with my dreams after I have them and write them down, and wanted to change that. So I wrote my Dream Paper Score, as follows:

Dream Paper

Go to sleep.

Dream about something

Type your dream in a dream journal.

Pick a font size/style that will fill the page completely.

Print out the dream on cardstock.

Repeat the process every day, printing on the same piece of paper.

Use a different color every time.

You’re done when there is no white space remaining.

Artist Statement: The main purpose of this assignment was to attempt to give a sort of form to the messy mixing of memories and dreams over time. What starts as a relatively clear memory is obscured by other, newer, equally clear memories (at the time), until they all obfuscate and mesh together into a mostly incomprehensible mess. An interesting occurrence of this particular work was that there were still lines from individual dreams that could be clearly made out in the finished piece, most notably “and a flip phone.” at the bottom.  It kind of showed me how even though i originally thought that everything would be lost, there are still particular facets of each individual part that compromise the whole which are unique and visible in the final product, just like memories in an aged brain.

Here is the final piece, which I have pompously titled “and a flip phone.”

Justin Brady Appropriation Project: Story Time

For my appropriation piece, I organized a story-telling game throughout the entire class. I acquired a small green notebook at the school store and wrote a basic rule outline on the first page. Then I wrote a few words on the next page of the notebook and handed it off. I explained the rules verbally to the player, which were such:

Once you receive the book, you must write a short story on the page that starts with the words provided to you by the previous player. DO NOT LOOK AT PREVIOUS PAGES FOR CONTEXT OR INSPIRATION. The only information players may utilize is the few words written on their page by the previous player. Once the player fill the page, continue the story for a few words on the next page, then hand the book off. The process repeats until each player has written in the book.

I was inspired by the sort of stream of consciousness-ness of Hugo Ball’s poetry which ultimately made no sense to the listener. I thought it would be interesting to replicate that concept but with the intention of making a somewhat comprehensible end product. These are the pages of the story I ended up with, from start to end.

Justin Brady Intervention Project: Reverse Trick or Treating

For my intervention, I decided to take advantage of the season and do something Halloween-y. My girlfriend (who helped me with this project) and I decided that it could be fun to do a twist on Halloween standards and instead knock on people’s doors and give them candy.  We went down to Marlborough Street around 6pm. Things were already underway when we arrived, as there were already a few groups of trick-or-treaters wandering around.  We went up to a couple of stoops with people giving out candy, but each time the people politely refused our free candy. Which is weird, right? Isn’t that what halloween is all about? But eventually we both realized that no one would take candy from strangers, so instead we took a break on an empty stoop, with out candy buckets unfortunately full. Soon, though, people came up to us saying “trick or treat.” So we decided to change our plans and just started giving candy away at some stranger’s empty doorstep. After about two hours (and a fair few greedy children), we had depleted our candy reserves, and headed home, satisfied in our semi-success.

The original intent of the intervention was to cause some people to have a bit of unexpected fun on halloween, by receiving candy rather than giving it for once. However, we quickly realized that people didn’t really want to go along with that, so we shifted gears and adapted to the opportunity afforded to us. We were inspired by those prank videos where people carry around a door with a sign that says “please knock.” The door-holders would knock on a house’s door, then when the homeowner opened the door, they would see another door, knock on it, and the people carrying around the door would pretend the homeowners were trick-or-treaters and give them candy. We tried a version of that but without the door, just straight face to face offerings of candy. I’m a little surprised and upset that it didn’t work out, but I guess adults know better than to take candy from strangers. Which is really peculiar when you think about it, because they usually don’t have a problem with sending their kids out to do the same.

Justin Brady Final Project: Extremely Relevant Answers to Pressing Questions

My game is a game of talking your way from one point to two entirely unrelated points. It was inspired by the theater of political debates, especially the recent Democratic Debates between all the Democratic nominees for president. Nominees will often be asked what the average person would agree are straightforward questions, and instead of answering what was asked of them, the nominees will talk their way though all sorts of twists and turns to talk about something completely unrelated to the question at hand. This kind of mental gymnastics would be a lot more entertaining if it weren’t for the realization that these people want to lead one of the most important countries in the world and they literally can’t answer a simple yes or no question. So I thought I’d channel this general disbelief at the state of the political establishment into a fun and entertaining party game.

In my game, three players act as candidates in a debate. Rounds consist of each candidate drawing two discussion cards, and a non-candidate player asking the candidates a question, preferably with a political theme. Each candidate must then refer to their discussion cards, which all feature different unique subjects for them to try to weave into their answer. For instance, a non-candidate may ask the candidates what they think about Canadian armies amassing on the northern border. The candidate must then refer to their cards (which include subjects like “Your Favorite Anime” and “BIC Ballpoint Pens”) to see what they must talk about in their answer.

An example of how someone might answer that question with those cards is as follows: “Well you know, that’s a very important question. Obviously I take national security very seriously. I believe that everything should have a tight lid on it, you know, very covered up, prevent spilling any red. Sort of like a BIC ballpoint pen, you have to keep the cap on it or else you’ll get red all over your pocket. You’ll end up with a pocket that looks like Japan’s flag. And you know, speaking of Japan, I just rewatched my favorite anime, Yuri on Ice, and that had some Canadians in it. So perhaps if things escalate we can ask our friends in Japan if they know anything about Canadian tactics after making a whole anime about their ice skating antics?” Something like that. It makes no sense and is only tangentially related to the question at hand, but I got from the main point to my two preferred talking points, so it’s all good!

After each candidate has said their piece, the rest of the players vote on who they think “won the debate.” What criteria that’s based on is entirely up to the individual player. Whoever wins the debate gets a point, and the next three players clockwise are the new debaters. The first player to 5 points wins the game, and the election! Yay, democratic process!

As mentioned before, my game is meant to satirize the political theater that goes on in America. Everything that politicians do to secure the vote is, at it’s heart, an act. Presidential candidates are constantly performing to an audience of roughly a quarter of a billion eligible voters in order to secure their vote at the ballot box in November. So when candidates have the chance, on national TV, to talk, they’ll take it, even if it means they don’t answer what questions we really want to know. That, and just general frustration at the state of democracy in America, where not even people in the same party can agree on the most basic fundamental policies for America. It’s cathartic to goof on the process every once in a while with friends.

The actual gameplay is of course inspired by other popular party games like Apples to Apples, Metagame, and Cards Against Humanity. I like the random nature of these games, where you can’t quite expect the same thing to happen in any two games. Plus the development and testing process helps me flex my creative and comedic muscles for writing open ended prompts for players to mess with. The game-testing process helped me outline the important minutia like how exactly to write the cards for maximized humor potential, and the bigger stuff like how many rounds each candidate pool goes through, how many discussions cards they should each receive, if the players should argue with each other, those things.

Here are some of the discussion cards players might receive as candidates:

  • Game of Thrones Season 8
  • The Houston Astros
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Sheep Herding in Seattle
  • The Merriam-Webster Dictionary
  • Stale Wheat Thins
  • Your Favorite Anime
  • IKEA Furniture
  • The North Pole
  • The TV Show FRIENDS
  • Apple Products
  • Thermal Underwear
  • BIC Ballpoint Pens
  • A Red-Ringed XBOX
  • A Paper Jam
  • Amazon Warehouse Workers
  • A Hydroflask
  • An Backpack Full of Notebooks