Existence Stories Project

Five artist books with intaglio and aquatint covers are sitting on a wooden display shelf. There are pens positioned between the books. The shelf is sitting on a long table which is draped with a white tablecloth. Two green and brown folding chairs are positioned in front of the table.

Existence Stories is an interactive activist art project that gathers and amplifies personal narratives from people about the ways in which their lives have been impacted by the current political climate in the United States, particularly surrounding the 2016 Presidential election and its aftermath. For more information, you can read the associated thesis paper here.

To participate in the Existence Stories project, contact me at existencestories@gmail.com or via the project tumblr.

Books

Artist's book standing slightly open against a white background. The cover is an aquatint and intaglio print of a woman in a bridesmaid's dress holding a bouquet of flowers. Her face has been erased. The title is in pencil at the bottom of the cover: Cry in Secret.Acetone transfer of a handwritten story.Handwritten stories on the interior pages.Handwritten stories on the interior pages.
Artist's book standing against a white background. The cover is an aquatint and intaglio print of two androgynous people dressed as though for a wedding, slow dancing. The title is in pencil below the image: You Are (Probably) Already on a List.Acetone transfer of a handwritten message.Handwritten stories on the interior pages.Handwritten stories on the interior pages.
Artist's book standing slightly open against a white backdrop. The cover is an intaglio and aquatint print of a woman's silhouette standing in the center as hands reach in at her from all sides. The title is written in pencil below: I Knew.Acetone transfer of a handwritten story.Handwritten stories from interior pages.Handwritten stories from interior pages.
Artist's book standing against a white backdrop. The cover is an intaglio and aquatint print of a person in work clothes kneeling on the ground with a newspaper draped over their head. The title is in pencil below: Get Out of His Country.Acetone transfer of a handwritten story.Handwritten stories from the interior pages.Handwritten stories from the interior pages.
An artist's book stands against a white backdrop. The cover is an aquatint print of a person in a wheelchair with their hands cuffed behind the back of the chair. The title is written in pencil below: Being Allowed.Acetone transfer of a handwritten story.Handwritten stories on the interior pages.Handwritten stories on the interior pages.

Animations

Comics

See transcript for Althea, 2017: Nightmare for detailed image descriptions.See transcript for Althea, 2017: Nightmare for detailed image descriptions.See transcript for Lijia, 2018: The Day of the Election for detailed image descriptions.See transcript for Lijia, 2018: The Day of the Election for detailed image descriptions.See transcript for Lijia, 2018: The Day of the Election for detailed image descriptions.See transcript for Lijia, 2018: The Day of the Election for detailed image descriptions.See transcript for Anonymous, 2019: Accepting That Fear as Normal for detailed image descriptions.See transcript for Anonymous, 2019: Accepting That Fear as Normal for detailed image descriptions.See transcript for Anonymous, 2019: Accepting That Fear as Normal for detailed image descriptions.See transcript for Anonymous, 2019: Accepting That Fear as Normal for detailed image descriptions.See transcript for "Diane," 2017: Grandmother for detailed image descriptions.See transcript for "Diane," 2017: Grandmother for detailed image descriptions.See transcript for Coe, 2018: Moonville for detailed image descriptions.See transcript for Coe, 2018: Moonville for detailed image descriptions.See transcript for "Diane," 2017: Thirty Percent for detailed image descriptions.See transcript for "Diane," 2017: Thirty Percent for detailed image descriptions.

Existence Stories comics are adapted from videos recorded by participants. These participants share anecdotes about their lives post-2016 US Presidential election for the camera. Each comic's format is tailored to the story being shared.

Transcripts for Existence Stories comics:

Althea, 2017: Nightmare

Lijia, 2018: The Day of the Election

Anonymous, 2019: Accepting That Fear as Normal (image credits)

"Diane," 2017: Grandmother

Coe, 2018: Moonville

"Diane," 2017: Thirty Percent

Installation

Vinyl text on a gallery wall. Top line: EXISTENCE STORIES bottom line: ALTHEA KEATON.Two people at a table where the books in the above image carousel are displayed. One is standing, the other seated.Three people sitting and reading zines. Two are seated at the round table where they are displayed, one is sitting on a short flight of stairs.Althea, 2017: The Marriage Question installation view. It is projected against a wall beneath an arch.Carousel imageTwo people watching an animation play under an arch. One is standing, the other sitting on the wood floor.Installation view of Althea, 2016: Nightmare. The large pages rest on an angled wooden shelf affixed to a wall, light shining down from above.Installation view of Lijia, 2019: The Day After the Election. The large pages sit on an angled wooden shelf affixed to the wall, light shining down from above.Installation view of three of the comics, all situated on angled wooden shelves affixed to the walls. Two people stand reading at each comic.