by aaroncroft

This work has been commented by 2 curator(s). Read the comments




Debt Doom

Concept author(s)

Aaron Croft

Concept author year(s) of birth


Concept author(s) contribution

Developed idea and created the work.

Concept author(s) Country


Friendly Competition

Debt. (2012)

Competition category

Visual communication practice

Competition subcategory


Competition field


Competition subfield


Subfield description

University of Ballarat Bachelor of Visual Arts (Graphic Design/Multimedia)

Check out the Debt. 2012 outlines of Memefest Friendly competition.

Description of idea

Describe your idea and concept of your work in relation to the festival outlines:

I have responded to the theme of debt through the creation of a publication. The publication title ‘00.05.00’ reflects the stability of the global economy. Linking into the idea of doomsday and the doomsday clock, the countdown provides a visual and figurative representation of the state of the economy. Throughout the publication the time left to the figurative collapse decreases intermittently. This reflects the constant flux of the global economy and the domino effects that are caused from the collapse of one market.

The typography used throughout the book is warped and distorted, reflecting the impending doom and the effect debt has on the world. Debt manipulates and twists lives, creating a society that is enslaved by the power debt has over life. The type becomes more distorted as the time approaches closer to zero.

The countdown reaches 59 seconds on the final page of the book. This reflects the current economic crisis and is calling on humanity to control the way that we could cause a catastrophic collapse of the world economy.

What kind of communication approach do you use?

I have created a publication that visually responds to the theme of debt. This publications intention is to be distributed to the general public. To provided a different outlook on debt and promote change within society.

What are in your opinion concrete benefits to the society because of your communication?

It is hard to judge any concrete benefits of this work. The intention is to provide an outlook on debt that allows for discussion on the role of debt within society and how we can move forward without causing the economy to collapse.

What did you personally learn from creating your submitted work?

I have learned how debt affects the lives of everyone and its presence and effect on our everyday lives. This presence is often not seen as debt has become normalized within society.

Why is your work, GOOD communication WORK?

It is GOOD communication work because it engages with the viewer allowing them to visualize debt on a global scale, and prompts the viewer to question debt's place in society.

Where and how do you intent do implement your work?

This publications intention is to be distributed to the general public. To provided a different outlook on debt and promote change within society.

Did your intervention had an effect on other Media. If yes, describe the effect? (Has other media reported on it- how? Were you able to change other media with your work- how?)


Curators Comments

Shoaib Nabi

The metaphor of the digital clock being used to develop the correlation between time, debt and the state of emergency has vast potential. I enjoy your typographic exploration and it grabs the viewers attention if that is what you want to go for, however you must build on this publication. You need tangible data, statistics and a fact based handout even if it is only to open a dialog on the subject. The constant 'flux of the global economy' is perhaps the outcome of globalization being a cure for everything at one point. The 'domino effects' that you state is also a result of interdependencies. You have the attention of the viewer - where do you plan to take them? The (booklet) publication could have a level of interactivity, perhaps you can make this a workbook and your 'viewer' into a user. The booklet requires engagement and you need to think how it can become more than what it is offering at this point.

Jason Grant

I'm in two minds about this one. On one hand, do we really need more pronouncements of doom? Fear is negligible as a behavior change tactic because it quickly results in a paralysis of agency. On the other hand, the notion that as a species we might in the relatively near future, and eventually inevitably (after all humans have only existed on earth for about .003% of its history) cease to exist, urgently needs to be contended with.

Our friend and colleague Tony Fry writes that we, via our designing, make or negate time. "The instrument of time arrived, via instrumentation, and culturally contested the variable measure of time. But now another time is arriving, a time of unsettlement, undoing, unsustainability and defuturing wherein 'world-time' as the finite time, puts before us the challenge of having to make time – the extended event of being that is the essence of sustain-ability."

Apart perhaps for very early forms of life, such as blue green algae, no living organism has had such a transformative impact on the earth's biosphere as humans have. And if we imagine the earth's lifespan of 4.5 billion years as a 24 hour day, then we have only been on earth for about 6 minutes and done most of the damage here in less than a second.

So all this is to say that our finitude is a supremely valid subject but I think there needs to be better ways to contextualise finite time than just a linear countdown to doom.

Formally however, the expressive typography is very well realised. The illustrative quotes and the restrained compositions result in a controlled and convincing visual outcome. Much potential.