Branding, Exhibition Design,
Motion Design, Copy Writing,
Production, Project Management,
Fabrication & Installation

Visual identity and exhibition design completed as a senior thesis at Wesleyan University. It was exhibited in the Zilkha Gallery in April 2018 and received Honors.

Taking the form of a fictional world exposition with the theme of “Now”, the project integrated academic research and visual design to examine the ways in which experiential design and marketing manipulate our relationships to time on personal and collective scales. It contextualized itself within the history and modern influences of the World’s Fair tradition. exponow’s simultaneous emulation and criticism of the practice of exposition nods towards society’s current entrapment within such mechanisms.


The project was conducted in three main parts: research, design, and fabrication/installation.

I began by reading numerous academic, historical, and literary texts on the themes I wanted to investigate and synthesize in the project: world’s fairs and expositions, utopianism, temporality, and multiscalar identities. The research was by no means exhaustive, but provided a basis for the exhibition.

I then developed a brand identity for a fictional exposition wherein the visitor and their own perception of the concepts formed the content of the exhibition. The research was presented to them via large, tradeshow-esque banners and motion graphics that excerpted texts while connecting and synthesizing them. A “gift shop” of branded collateral further accented the conceptual content.

I oversaw the production of all of the collateral, including placing orders for screenprinted shirts and bags, and digitally printed posters and buttons. I used Wesleyan’s Digital Design Studio to laser cut the blue acrylic exhibition passes, and to large format print the tradeshow and tracing paper banners. I designed and constructed the frames in which the banners were mounted, as well as the brochure holders.

The show was installed over a 36 hour period with the unbelievable patience and dedication of my mother, Julie Glantz, and our family friend, Casey Berryman. The entire project would not have been possible without the support and assistance of John Gambell, Barbara Adams, Kate TenEyck, and Aidan Earle, as well as my Indiegogo backers. I also owe infinite thanks to the emotional, conceptual, and editorial support of Anna Fox, Sahil Singhvi, Josh Davidoff, and Will Barr.

The following are the banners from the exhibition, accompanied by the text corresponding to each set from the brochure.


This is an exposition about the politics of expositions. Exponow asks the question of time and how its conceptualization and commodification shapes our senses of identity and belonging on individual and collective scales. It asks this question within the context of the World’s Fair tradition from which it stems. As you move through the exposition, consider how consumption, communication, and spectacle inform your sense of belonging and identity.

1. Entrance to Now

Time, like language, is messy and mutable; volatile and subjective. It is the stuff of now, at once paradoxically fixing a thing in place even as its meaning morphs and wavers. Here at the expo’s entrance, you are given a temporal framework as a navigational tool to use throughout the expo. It draws primarily upon the work of critical theorists Jose Muñoz and Carolyn Dinshaw, who look towards queered versions of immediate temporalities (that is, current time frames like now, present, and moment) as portals into utopic, hopeful, and transformative alternative realities within our own.

Though they use the terms now and present more loosely and somewhat interchangeably than Exponow does, Muñoz and Dinshaw both highlight how the patriarchal, capitalist, heteronormative, and rational ethos of Western thought’ constructs time in a constricting and linear way. Their work makes gestures towards the latent transformative potential within the immediacy of our lived experience and quotidian realities. Exponow combines and expands Muñoz and Dinshaw’s conceptualization of alternative immediate temporalities within the frame of the now as a monosyllabic coalescence of rigid and repressive paradigms of past, present, and future.

2. All the World’s a Fair

In order to understand Exponow, one must understand the legacy of World’s Fairs. The first World’s Fair was held in 1851 in London as a demonstration of England’s imperial power. It launched a century of international events that doubled as spectacular battlegrounds of soft power. The fairs at once presented utopic visions of the future while narrating the past, often deploying racist, capitalist, and colonial ideologies. They also acted as agents of globalization in a time before mass communication and rapid travel technologies, shaping the role of art, design, and technology within daily life and at national/global scales.

As these innovations both expanded individuals’ worldviews and compressed the globe into an easily traversable realm through technological mutations of time, space, and image, the role of the Fair began to change. Though World’s Fairs still take place today, a kind of chicken-or-egg scenario has arisen in which it has become increasingly difficult to tell whether the fairs are representing the world or the world is representing what it saw at the fair.

3. The Archipelago

Exponow has chosen three primary images to construct its brand and experience: the island, the self, and the utopia. It uses them as proliferative metaphors, in the sense that they each stand in for one another as referents: the island is the utopia is the self is the island—and so on. In Thomas More’s eponymous book Utopia, which is the origin of the word “utopia” itself, Utopia was found on an island, a conceit that reappears in John Donne’s famous poem, “No Man is an Island,” which addresses the collectivity of the human condition. The island also appears in discussions of our own planet Earth as an island afloat in the cosmos.
Each of these comparisons act as single islands of meaning, but strung together they become a semiotic archipelago. In this way they show the interconnectivity of humankind in the sea of (post)modern life. The island’s relationship to utopia–and utopia’s relationship to time–pose questions about what, when, where, and how we create when we discuss, feel, and experience time and utopia. Exponow uses Dinshaw and Muñoz’s temporal frameworks to suggest that the archipelago is closer than we might realize, embedded in the ephemeral and elusive now, a transgressive realm of alternative reasoning and meaning-making ripe with potential.

4. A Map of Belonging

With all this discussion of the self and the individual as part of a network of metaphors, Exponow must ask what and when is the self? The self is an ever-changing entity–often presumed immutable–bound to multiscalar notions of belonging. In the field of critical theory, self and belonging are often rooted in a set of numerable binaries, the most prevalent of which Exponow has chosen to highlight and visualize. The same normalizing, colonial impulse that created the World’s Fairs is the same that tries to construct “the self” by positioning it between the poles of these binaries. The self’s belonging, or lack thereof, stems from the power bestowed by these binaries and even moreso from their transgression. Belonging is a phenomenon constructed through the exchange of both meaning and material. Meanwhile, theorists, academics, and activists base their work on their criticism and deconstruction, highlighting their fallibility and contradiction.
Recently, within what we now call the Anthropocene, the definitions of meaning and material have been ellided into a heterogeneous entity exchanged through the mass-sharing of image-based media and the shift to experience-based products. Exponow posits that the self has the most potential for liberation, transgression, and multiplicity within the now as Exponow defines it, as a transcension of the past/present/future trinary.

5. Gift Shop

Exponow offers a full array of merchandise that allows you to take the transformative potency of now with you when you leave the expo. Although the fields of branding and advertising have shifted their focus to that of experience, individuation, and the sensorial, they still rely on the use, consumption, and exchange of material goods as carriers for their real product: the goal of the modern brand is not the sale of the product, but rather the sale of the feeling or the meaning it provides. The product is merely a conduit for a sense of belonging belied by linearity, capitalism, and normativity. Our current market-society strives to commodify its own antithesis—the free, idyllic, and revolutionary—to harness its power in the service of profit.


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