As both an artist and aspiring scientist, I understand that messiness is an important aspect in making discoveries, yet kids are taught from a young age that it is imperative to be organized, write neatly, and rid all messy aspects of their lives. I wanted to use acid to burn through people’s usual perceptions of messiness and reveal how it can bring about innovation.
I added acid to a messy stack of papers of messy notes with paint splotches hidden within. The acid reacted with the ink from the notes to form a black goo, while the paint remained unreacted and shone through the blackness. The paint splotches represent the innovation that is found through messiness, which is represented by the messy notes. I then juxtaposed this messy stack and a neat, white stack of neat notes. The messy stack presented more room for creation than the neat stack, which was depicted as plain. I don’t believe that messiness should be replaced by neatness, but rather it needs to be embraced to encourage innovation.
The notes that the piles are comprised of are all real notes that I have taken. In the neat pile, I included notes from the time when I was obsessed with making every letter perfect and neat. The first small page is math notes that I took in my algebra 2/trigonometry class. While I do believe having legible notes is necessary for proper learning, I found the extra effort that I put in to make them this neat and organized was unnecessary. The messy pile is comprised of copies of pages from my art sketchbook, where I sometimes write another layer of notes over an old page of notes, or draw little doodles on the side. I did whatever my mind felt like doing and didn't bother whether or not other people could read it. The messy doodles that I made were ways for me to keep my mind moving and help my creation of ideas.