Ioana Luciana Matei  Pedestrian

Throughout the course of my learning process within the Media Practice degree I have been exposed to various types of media phenomena and studied their distinct effects on society. What has particularly drawn me most from a conceptual standpoint is the potentially destructive consequences of the technological advancements of the media. This aspect, coupled with my corresponding passion for dystopian literature as well as supporting critical research, gave rise to my final project idea: a web-based interactive animation loosely exploring and illustrating Ray Bradbury’s 1951 short story “The Pedestrian”.

Bradbury’s work is essentially an anti-utopian view on what happens if the so-called “progress” of society would actually trigger the loss of humanity altogether. As people start watching more television, children give up reading and playing outdoors in favour of playing on their gadgets and exploring virtual worlds. Despite exploring the unfortunate consequences of the popularity of a medium that has now long been surpassed with the arrival of the digital age, Bradbury’s story retains its initial impact in that it raises the same poignant questions about media, progress, and, ultimately, how far humanity would go in its pursuit for novelty and evolution before essentially sacrificing what made it human in the first place.