Concept 1: Social Media/Social Isolation, and the resurrection of Existentialism’s first (anti)hero

Title: Tweets From Underground

According to a 2011 Canadian study¹ of over 1.2 billion tweets, 71% get no response from the world.

The above images seek to combine this fact with Fyodor Dostoevsky’s 1864 novella Notes from the Underground.

Often described as one of the first the existential novels², Dostoevsky’s anti-hero, the Underground Man, is an everyman who is ‘one of the characters of the recent past’ (Dostoevsky 1864, cited in Pevear & Volokshonsky 1994).

Tweets From Underground posits that such a character not only still exists today, but the contemporary iterations of which are commonplace occurrences in the world of social media.

In 2016, instead of retreating underground, the modern Underground Man hides himself behind a computer screen, his anonymity shielded by a Twitter handle and over 300 million³ other users, and his journal, a series of 140 or less characters, written for an audience with the knowledge that they’ll likely never be read.

Dostoevsky, F. 1994, Notes from Underground, 18th edn, Pevear & Volokshonsky.

End Notes
Wired, 2010, It’s not just you: 71 Percent of Tweets are ignoredCanberra, viewed 30 August 2016, <>.

² Kaufman, W. 1956. Existentialism From Dostoevsky to Sartre. New York, Meridian Books, pp. 52

³ The Statistics Portal, Twitter: number of monthly active users 2010-2016, New York, viewed 30 August 2016, <>.


I thought that including the 70% stat would be too literal. Do you think I should include it  somewhere?

I couldn’t decide whether having all the other tweets, despite their being relegated to the background, would still be too much text for one image? or is that part of the point i’m trying to make? like TLDR? #TwitterLongDidntRead

I kinda like the cleanliness of the first version, the other’s seem too busy. Thoughts?

Version 1: Just the Dostoevsky Quote

Version 2: Dostevsky Quote with transparent others
Version 3: Dostoevsky Quote with transparent others BUT 70% of the quotes are legible


2 thoughts on “DL A3: Concept 1 – 1st draft(s)

  1. I think that the image of having everyone on their phones or laptops to represent social media is a great idea and the lighting and tone really helps the concept you are trying to convey. But I think this concept of isolation has more emphasis with the tweets being faded out and the person above everyone else’s tweet much more apparent. I think a good way to emphasise your concept would be to make the people on the lower floor’s tweet’s blurred and still apparent to present the crowded nature of social media while directing the attention of the photo to the person above everyone else to represent isolation.

    Liked by 1 person

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