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  • Writer's pictureR Cipolletta

e37: Choosing the Cervids

The Detective (It_10) 17.11.20

Eenie, Meeny, Miny, Moose

Now that I have a lot of the groundwork laid out in sketches for my Polaroids, the next step is to detail - and with detailing comes research. I knew I wanted these to be types of cervids native to Canada, but not much else so I spoke once more to Calyx Allerton-Bullard, the aforementioned roommate and course peer, to help generate some ideas on international species. In addition to this, they helped me to identify what species I was probably already using without realising - the quicker to summarise of these being: the Wapiti (American Elk) in the case of the crushed cervid, and the Caribou (sometimes known as reindeer) for a potential uncanny finalist in The Bait.

As these are currently my weakest concepts in terms of what I can comfortably visualise in my head, I'll leave researching into them for a later date and instead focus on the recommendation Calyx made to one of my pieces which is very much active in my list of contenders: The Trapped Doe...

They reckoned that my original doe, stuck in the pipe, was a mule deer (right) because of the large neck and head in comparison to the body, and the specific colour pattern/pelt markings especially across the nose.

The absence of the antlers obviously made her female, and their availability as a species for free range hunting in Canada (Alberta) makes them perfect for my narrative. The only inconsistency I could spot after a cursory reading on these animals, appears to be that they don't commonly inhabit forested areas - the majority of hunting spoil photographs seemingly taken on open grasslands or planes - however I am not concerned about this due to the nature of the concept. For one, the entire uncanny principle of this deer is centred on its appearance in a place it ought not to have been (as with most of the cervids in the story, lets be honest) so to have it go from their natural grassy pastures into a nearby wooded area due to overpopulation is hardly a stretch. Secondly - and I'm beginning to note that this is a commonly occurring theme for me while researching - minute geographical inconsistencies will only serve to fuel the information-hunting mindset I'm looking to cultivate around players.

If I've noted anything from observing the theorist communities that interest me, and indeed the subject of my second year paper addressing this concept, is that the more incomplete the information is, the more interest and traction it generates, sucking in those who feel the need to complete the information.

I'm finding it to be a very convenient element of my research, and one that is massively helping me to dismantle the unhealthy micromanaging trait that I feel has been holding me back in previous years of study. Overall I'm very satisfied with the way that this specific storyline has perfectly matched with my needs as an independent creator - something which I much needed after how thinly stretched I was expected to be in pursuit of proper execution of The Blind Project.

Definitely an improvement on my mental health, and super helpful now that I'm concentrating on execution and technical application more than theory!

- R Cipolletta



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