“Nerd Hero - Hipster Zero” is an essayistic exploration of the broader social change that needs to take place in order for future generations to meet global sustainability challenges. These challenges are for the most part caused and solved by technology. To meet these challenges we need creative problem solvers; to get them we need to integrate creativity into technological education. To remind our problem solvers that they are part of something greater than themselves, we need to reform education to focus on Social Emotional Learning and Liberal Education. In the interest of putting energy where it is both needed and deserved, every type of person should contribute to a social shift in what and who is ‘cool’ from the current archetype of the unemployed, unambitious, self satisfied ‘Hipster’ to celebrating the ‘Nerd’ for using first world privilege to bring balance to world issues.
The voice over attempts an emotional appeal in contrast to the logical computer animated charts and figures shown to reenforce and legitimize the personal, emotional argument and provide exposition. Hand drawn and cutout animation, as well as DV and HD video and 16mm Film were used poetically to reenforce emotions, severity, and to stimulate creative thinking and the imagination. Archival footage from my life was critical in demonstrating practical application of concepts.
I set out with a narrow question of what to say to high-schoolers and came out having learned what my vision for the future of America is, the best strategy to realize that vision, and what obstacles stand in between. This process of research and discovery felt the whole time perfectly suited to the introspective, exploratory, and playful nature of the video essay.
Created as part of the Nonfiction Media: Sustainability and Justice Winter quarter class at The Evergreen State College 2013
Special Thanks to Nicolas Lofredo for the polar bear animations.