First Kisses – A collection of 1000 answers for the question “Where were you when you had your first kiss?”
This project was developed from a previous project sparked by several questions including, what extent will I be able to learn about a stranger? Are the experiences we regard as personal truly personal? Where do these personal experiences potentially overlap with others and become shared experiences? At first, I sought to find answers to these questions by asking a selection of password security questions to ~200 people on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. With this pilot study, I discovered some interesting patterns on where people experience their first kisses. For the final project, I expanded the scope of the project by asking a little over 1000 respondents on Turk with the help of Golan’s funding from the STUDIO.
I read through every answer and categorized them into themes, which were essentially both physical and conceptual “places.” (i.e. Garage, birthday party)
In terms of representing these “places”, I wanted to retain the poetic quality of my previous project and include some visual aid for the reader to better imagine where these experiences occurred. I gained inspirations from various types of maps such as Mark Bennett’s TV show blueprints and IKEA’s direction maps. I drew an imaginative map with Illustrator for the table of contents, with page numbers as labels and included additional illustrations for certain locations including different rooms in a house and various types of vehicles.
Now that I look back, I think it would have been more personal for myself if I hid my own answer in the book. Someone suggested that it would have been also fun to collect answers from the class anonymously to include in the book and guess who’s answer was who’s.
This exploration has answered some of the initial questions I had. It’s fascinating to watch how readers experience nostalgia through other’s stories of their first kiss. First Kisses is a book of collective secrecy and an exploratory reflection on memories.