An Unreasonable Longing examines the construction of time and history, mixing together visual moments culled from an open source collection of Lady Bird Johnson’s home videos. These videos span the decades leading up to LBJ’s election as a senator, and then his time spent as Vice President and President of the US. The collection primarily focuses on small vignettes that document the changing of the seasons, gatherings of friends and family and colleagues, and the growth and life of both Johnson daughters.
An Unreasonable Longing strives to explore simultaneousness, juxtaposition, and the nostalgic and cultural implications of memory. Frames of time are presented as animated GIFs and stills in the format of an interactive interface and a hand-bound book. Moments can be understood in isolation or as a sweeping narrative. The associated labels and audio descriptions are often confusing or inaccurate, reflecting the nature of how time and history are often documented. Viewers are forced to skip through time—the pages and screens are compressed time-frames arranged in a non-chronological way.
In our current media landscape, when all times and places seem simultaneously searchable and findable, when memory combines with curated content and information to create a unique interpretation of events, we need to cultivate a more nuanced understanding of the illusion of both time and truth in our networked world.
You can view the interface at: zahabidesign.com/UnreasonableLonging
You can view the original archive at: www.youtube.com/user/TheLBJLibrary