The Paleontology of Chris Wildrick Is Overrated: Emotidon, 2008-present, performed at the Museum of the Earth, Ithaca, NY, and the Redhouse and XL Projects, Syracuse, NY. Exhibited at the Museum of the Earth, 2010.


Emotidon is a set of 10 cards, each of which has an image created from the silhouettes of dinosaurs in a Rorschach Test-like shape. As with the real Rorschach Test, participants of Emotidon simply write down whatever the images make them think of, and why.

This was a very open-ended project. With many of the projects in this series, Chris had a fairly clear sense of what the projects' objectives were from the start. This one was more like, "let's just see how people respond."

The responses were interesting. Once again, they may say more about us than about dinosaurs; there were some clear trends that seem to indicate people have some relatively consistent reactions to certain imagery. The book was designed so that the text of the responses was merged with the images to recreate something like the respondee's original sensory experience.


Documentation:

You can download the full set of blank Emotidon cards here.

 

Chris placed the responses in this book (seen above), along with his response to their responses:

See this page, which collects all the paleontology books, for more photographs of the book.

(Chris recommends that you view the book PDFs on Acrobat, and that under View > Page Display, you select "Two-Up Continuous" and "Show Cover Page During Two-Up" for the full book experience. "Two-Up Continuous" shows the both the left- and right-hand pages in a spread together on your screen. "Show Cover Page During Two-Up" makes the first page of the book show as a single page on the right-hand side, thus making sure that all the following pages are shown in their correct pairings, like pages 2 and 3, pages 4 and 5, etc. Doing this will ensure that you see the book the way Chris designed it, with various visual and informational relationships existing between the left- and right-hand pages.)

 

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