The online beauty retailer account management pages that I have been working on for most of eternity have now received an official shrug of indifference from the brilliant, young boss of the company. This is amusing to me, because at this point the creative control has been taken away from four different people, me being none of the four. At this point in the design process, everyone who has fretfully micromanaged the process has had his or her decisions second-guessed at some point along the line, most finally the CD of the site, who went and redesigned the graphics that I created, making them apparently less desireable than they were originally. It was frustrating, but now it’s just amusing, because I no longer feel insecure about the process. Everyone has had their creative expression bitchslapped in a massive circle jerk of uncertainty. I, however, am working at home today. My life may be going nowhere at the moment, but at least I get to ride my bike at lunch.
After my work day was over, I headed to the Austrian Bunker where I met with my German doctors. I’m just going to call them German because that’s the accent they have. Actually there was an American guy there this time, whose name was Monroe and who, at some point in the conversation, let slip that he was a descendent of the president (and by president I mean President Monroe, the man who came up with the doctrine). He was just taking notes however, and seemed at least somewhat sympathetic when Dr. Pierley (rhymes with barely, as in ‘barely able to contain her anger’) started complaining about the demo I brought in.
Apparently I missed the whole point of the exercise, which was that the weird stroboscoping quality of the aging 16mm film was something she wanted to KEEP. She began a lecture about brainwave frequency, occular refresh rate, etc. and I stared at her with all the comprehension of a dog watching TV.
Obviously frustrated with me, she went and had a pow-wow with her Austrian brothers and I thought they were going to fire me, but instead they took me to a room and gave me the complete test in its appropriate environment… which I have to say was pretty cool.
The room was battleship grey and had ambient light sources (from somewhere), giving the whole thing a hazy, floating quality. The projector sound was masked by a low humming thing that one of the tech guys turned on, and then they sat me in front of the screen with a helmet on, that held my neck stiff and pointed constantly at the screen, with what seemed to be a laser directed into my right eye. I made a joke about going blind and Dr. Pierley assured me that it was not a laser but just highly collimated single wavelength light (which according to Google is the definition of a laser, so I think she was just fed up with me at this point).
I’d already read the entire thing for my demo, but now the questions seemed more unnerving. I had to answer “A” or “B” based on seemingly irrelevant questions about random shapes that appeared on screen. Later she told me the whole experience was designed to send the conscious mind into a kind of fugue state and that the strobing was the most important part of the process. My right eye started to throb and it bothers me still, 3 hours later. I got a splitting headache and really didn’t care if they fired me. But oddly, she seemed impressed by my responses. Not sure why, since it all appeared quite random. She said they’d test me more when I brought in the next iteration.
Before I left, one of the tech guys brought over a sheet of paper with specific frame rates and color flickering patterns that he said I should use in my flash. I felt weirdly calm and peaceful walking back to the car… as if I’d taken a xanax. But now I am going to see if I have any real Xanax in the house, because my head feels like it’s going to split in two.
How did it get so late?!