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Melissa Parker Kim

MA work

Project White Bear

In 1987, psychologist Daniel Wegner told his test subjects to avoid all thoughts of a white bear. The attempts were often unsuccessful, and sometimes even resulted in obsessions over the thought. 

There is someone that I miss dearly. For the time being, I desperately want to forget him in order to avoid reminding myself of his absence. On the other hand, I want to preserve all the precious memories I have of him before they fade away, or worse — alter over time. 

For the past year, whenever I thought of him, I grabbed my phone and tweeted my thoughts onto an invisible private account, @projwhitebear. By carrying around an invisible burden with the volume of 600+ tweets, I hopelessly try to accurately reconstruct the big white bear in the room, so that I can keep him around just a little bit longer. 

Info

  • Profile
  • MA Degree

    School

    School of Communication

    Programme

    MA Information Experience Design, 2014

  • I happen to be exceptionally social, and I am constantly awed by the complexity and compassion of everyone I meet. However, as an engineering school dropout, I also weirdly get a kick out of robotically processing lots of cold and emotionless data, and secretly wish that people can someday be explained with charts and equations. 

    I am interested in fragments of facts and memories that make up a person. I have lived in a dozen cities across three continents, and have left my family and friends behind in different parts of the world. While living in the perpetual state of missing certain individuals’ physical presence, I hopelessly dream that the fragments can perhaps be systematically glued into whole, well-functioning copies.

  • Degrees

  • BFA Visual Communication, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 2009; MFA Visual Communication, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 2011
  • Experience

  • Presentation Designer, DDB, Chicago, 7 months; Junior Art Director, Upshot, Chicago, 1.5 years; Data visualisation internship, The Guardian, London, 1 month; Strategy internship, HUGE, London, 4 months; Strategy internship, London Strategy Unit, London, 2 months
  • Exhibitions

  • Digital Futures, Victoria and Albert Museum, 2014; Mapping America, KK Outlet, London, 2012; GIFTED by an ARTIST: A Solo Exhibition, Siragusa Gallery, Chicago, 2009
  • Awards

  • Highest Honour, Urban Mobility: Ford Competition, 2013; Highly Recommended, Cultural Interfaces: BlackBerry Competition, 2013