EXPLANATION: My first response to the “Error” prompt manifested from the incoherent dialogue between my ears. The idea came to me during the beautifully delirious moment right before sleep washes over me. My mind wanders best when suspended between consciousness and unconsciousness, and while laying in bed, I was thinking about how heavy my eyelids felt. Like usual, my brain went off on tangents instead of shutting off to sleep, and I started thinking about how people are always saying eyes are the windows to the soul. With this in mind, the idea to replace the circular shape of the pupil with the silhouette of a girl curled up in a fetal position entered my brain. Before this idea could dissipate, I forced myself to wake up and write the thought down on a pad of sticky notes I keep next to my bed for this exact reason. Closing my eyes again, I attempted to erase my mind like a whiteboard, but my brain kept trying to mold this idea and make it answer the RISD “Error” prompt. Instead, a whole new thought flitted through my mind as I thought about morphing the common computer message, “Error 404: Page Not Found." What if I replaced the word “page” with “soul” and put this phrase on the pupil of an eye? The next morning, I contacted a friend who has beautiful green eyes for a photo shoot, and this is how “Error 404” was created. I have only recently started using art to express environmental issues because, for the longest time, I considered these two subjects discordant. This second piece is an example of my two passions, visual art and science, symbiotically working together. During environmental science class, we watched a poignant TED talk by Garth Lenz called “The true cost of oil.” This is when I learned about the Keystone Pipeline, which is supposed to transport tar sands from Canada into America. That same day, someone posted a picture of graffiti on Instagram, and the message said, “System Error: you do not have permission to vote.” The connection just clicked in my head. I googled “keystone pipeline” on my phone, and came across the website, https://www.keystone-xl.com/. I redrew what I saw on my phone screen using Adobe Illustrator, and included the message, “Failure to Load Humanity: please try again later.” In this satirical commentary about the Keystone Pipeline, I included deliberate details, such as the time 20:08 because 2008 was when the Keystone Pipeline Xl (phase 4) was proposed. In addition, 27% was used at the amount of battery left because this pipeline could add up to 27 million metric tons more greenhouse gas emissions per year if it is completed. This is how my second response to the prompt, “Error,” was created. Another idea I attempted was inspired by old TVs. The idea was to oil paint a girl’s face, but make it look like there was static interference over some of her features. I completed this piece and named it “Glitch”, but I ended up choosing “Error 404” and “Keystone Pipeline” because I felt that these two pieces better answered the prompt. So, I included this oil painting in the regular portfolio section instead. Overall, I enjoy these types of open-ended prompts because they foster creativity by giving me a starting point, then letting me roam free. I hope to continue stimulating my mind like this in the future, and with my sticky notes right beside me, I know I can succeed at RISD.