“Brainstrips: A three part knowledge series” by Alan Bigelow is a web created, comic strip. An adobe flash plug in is required to view the work. It has sound video animations and things that could not be reciprocated in a non digital platform.
The work starts out with some Philosophy. The reader can pick a question from a series of readily available questions. These questions include, What is art? Are men more sensitive than women? Does god exist? “How do we know we are human?” “Do trees have rights?” and lastly, “Is color real?” all of these philosophical questions are valid and seem to be more than reasonable questions, asked by a community of intellectuals discussing life. For instance “Does god exist?” is a question that has always been highly debated, the popularity sky rocketed of course, after Darwin wrote his book “On the Origin of Species” and this arose doubt amongst the masses, in Victorian era England, which shook the foundations of belief and science at the time, as well as geological discoveries during that time frame. The point in saying all of this is to establish that these questions are indeed hard hitting.
Some of the comic strips seemed satirical, For instance when the reader clicks on “What does it mean to be human” the comic strip homepage opens up to a new comic strip into a science fiction genre. You can tell right away by the rapid blaster sounding effects when the strip first opens that war is occurring. The humans are at in intergalactic war with Aliens. The humans are being harvested for nutrients and eaten up. This seemed at first very jarring and made me think it was satirical from the question that was originally asked, being “What does it mean to be human” and what lead me to end my skepticism on satirical boundaries are the last line presented by the Aliens, it goes like this, “if only they would accept what a lower life form they are. Then they could find pleasure in being a hot lunch” And what lead to my conclusion about this not being satirical is Humans often find themselves superior to all other animals on earth. It is our consciousness our ability to think critically, to adapt to invent, to do all these amazing things, unlike a jellyfish which literally has no brain. So due to our superiority we control the animal kingdom, we as a species eat cow and pig. So it is more than possible that because space is so enormous and we have barely even seen a glimpse of it, that there could be a superior being. We as humans may have a complex were we think we are the best amongst the other animals living in our world, but in reality we may be inferior, we may be some one else’s lunch and deem us unworthy and just like we as a whole deem animals as hot lunch. So some of the questions may seemingly be deep but the format presented by the comic strip turns out to be fun, there could be deeper meaning behind it.
While some other strips just seemed to be down right satirical and humorous. By no means am I insulting the other, perhaps I am the one that does not understand. With that in mind, when you click on “Do trees have rights?” by the end of the strip a girl wakes up thinking she was a tree and I did not see any deep connection here. Maybe it is talking about imperialism and the struggles for land I am unsure. All I know is that Brain Strips is extremely complex and a good read. I only discussed the philosophy section in my article. There is plenty more to learn about.