Ross School - Senior Projects 2010
Mentor: Jennifer Cross
Title: HOLY ZOMBIE!!!
Usually when people hear the term Zombie they think of gross decaying bodies, personally I disagree. The zombie has always been an interest of mine because of its association with voodoo, infection, magic; I find them beautiful. I wanted to share my interest and vision of these creatures with the public through my artwork. I wanted others to experience the environment that intrigues me. I created this multimedia installation for that purpose. By integrating music, writing and visual art, my intention was to create a sensuous experience that evokes the feeling of uneasiness and horror for the viewer.
September 20th, 2009
We broke up. This was it, the third time and the last time. Over. I know relationships are just generally terrible when you’re a teenager, and a main problem- but this one was the pits. Goodbye Jack, and thank god! I’m eighteen and need to get a move on with my life; plan out college, move on from this town. Your just one less issue in my horrible hormone filled existence!
September 21st, 2009
Isabelle was sick today, and me being the responsible sibling I am had to pick her up from school. Mom wasn’t home ( typical ) and Dads still in the city. We watched Cartoons and I made her soup. I hope my deed of the day wont get me plagued with her head cold. Thank God Isabelle is still at an age where it’s easy to take care of her.
Jack called today, said he was sorry for the abuse he put me through. And he should be. The boy deserves to suffer for awhile. And I think I’ll let him.
September 22, 2009
When I came home from work today my favorite smell filled the house, but with that amazing scent came false security and love in my household. This smell was my mother’s pumpkin pie unfortunately though, she obviously had to be around in order for it to be there. I heard her talking to Isabelle in the kitchen about how she shouldn’t have gone to school with a fever. I agreed- I had told her that this morning, but I couldn’t take care of her I needed to be at the bookstore so I could get my paycheck; it wasn’t my fault I need to go to work! She should have been at home, after all Isabelle is her child. But I know first hand how careless and self absorbed she can be. We are just there so when she has guests she can say “and these are my beautiful children” and find some way to brag about us. Like she cares. And in addition…like I care about her. Nothing! I developed the feeling, I think, that I now have the ability not to feel- just for her.
She blamed me for Isabelle’s cold, she claimed I didn’t take care of her well enough (at least I’m here to try and take care of her), that my head was too wrapped around boys, parties, and drugs. That I was just some fool kid taking a year off and doing nothing with her life.
I am doing something mom- I’m surviving, like I have to, I’m building my life slowly so I don’t rush things and fuck up, so I can take care of everyone and everything in my life. UNLIKE YOU.
The good news is;
One: She’ll be gone tomorrow.
Two: I have pumpkin pie.
September 25, 2009
Dad’s still gone. I miss him.
September 27th, 2009
Barclay started working at the book store today. Haha, I hope he’ll enjoy dealing with me every second of his week. It was bad enough when we weren’t working together but now- generally we’ll be inseparable. I told him he was going to get bored; but he had recently stopped working for the local summer camp because of the season change and knew I needed the extra help. I guess that’s what best friends are for. <3
September 29th, 2009
Flu’s have been big this year, swine flu’s and everything. But I think disease is becoming more and more of a problem. On my way to work today I was listening to the radio and apparently there’s a new disease, Revinia- a virus being spread over certain parts of Asia and people are being quarantined. Asia, quarantined? I bet it’s just some crazy experiment gone wrong and the governments just covering it up. It’s probably like radiation or something. Haha maybe I should stop reading sci-fi novels when I’m bored at the store.
September 30th, 2009.
Isabelle got an 100% on her vocabulary test and showed it to me, since I’m the only one she could have showed it to. I’m proud of her.
October 3rd, 2009
Jack came to work today and Barclay almost killed him. He brought me flower, a white rose. I guess he really did feel bad… I had to throw it away. I can’t let him trick me into giving him my affection today. No matter what- I can’t. Barclay told me that, and I think he’s right.
October 5th, 2009
I woke up late today and missed the first three hours of work. When I got home after rushing through the rest of my day to makeup for time spent sleeping, I turned on the news and made two sunnyside-up eggs (ever since I read The Shining they became my favorite way of cooking eggs). “An elderly women was shot today at John f. Kennedy airport fallowing her descent from Bhutan to New York.” Was the first thing I heard on the broadcast. Then I heard her name “Ms. Leon, was enraged during the flight and had to be restrained after biting the flight attendant. When the flight landed she was brought into custody and then tried to attack an officer she was killed on the spot. “ Ms. Leon… as in Jack Leon’s mother. I’m going to have to call him tomorrow. This was even too much news for me.
October 6th, 2009
I keep on hearing the news reporters voice “Killed on the spot” why? But more importantly why would she try and harm the officer? I knew Ms. Leon, I knew her better then my own mother because she took the most care of me when I was dating her son. Ms. Leon worked as an international translator for companies…maybe something happened when she was in Asia during the quarantine…
I called Jack, he was a mess, completely. Which I assumed he would be. I offered to come by to keep him company but he declined my offer. I’m watching the news again… seems like things are normal.
October 8th, 2009
Isabelle’s school called, it was one of those mass recorded messages sent to all parents or guardians. “All students must evacuate school grounds as soon as they can, please pick your child up immediately”. I thought it sounded a little more serious than it was, and I was wrong. Barclay came with me, I picked him up from work on the way. When we pulled up the school looked empty, there were no cars in the parking lot besides a few of the teachers. Barclay went to open the doors of the school but they were locked. I was confused and starting to gain some anger, where the hell was Isabelle?? I was scared…maybe that’s a better way of putting it.
The fall air blew over the school I remember being cold and how that made the entire scene before me feel more horrifying. We waited outside the car smoking Marlboro reds to keep us warm…until we saw it…her… Isabelle’s teacher. She limped slowly so I had the chance to get a good look at her, she was bitten all over her arms and her eye hung from its socket creating a stream of blood that easily fell on the line of her cheek bones. I froze. What was going on here? This is why I needed to get Isabelle? I should’ve come sooner. Barclay grabbed me and threw me in the car. I started to yell at him about Isabelle- but what could I do? What if she turned into that…thing…
I was lucky. When I got home and saw Isabelle on the couch curled up in blankets shaking. That knot in my stomach was gone. Thank god. Barclays staying with us- I can’t let him out of my sight.
October 9th, 2009
I called into work today but no-one picked up the phone. It’s 6:30 in the morning though, that might be the reason… I don’t want to leave the house and risk something happening. I JUST CAN’T SHAKE THIS FEELING, it’s the same feeling when you know you forgot to study for a test or you forgot someone’s birthday and are in panic until you get them a present, but not even…it’s like I’m choking...
What was that? Is this what has been going on is Asia?
Isabelle tossed and turned all night, she still won’t tell me what she saw…but maybe it was too soon to ask her. Something must have happened. Obviously something happened. I assumed that a bus evacuated students from the school, like they usually should do in emergencies.
Barclay just woke up. I’m going to make us breakfast- I’ll check in again later.
I called into work over and over again. No response. I guess I quit; which means I’m forcing Barclay to quit as well. I can’t panic- maybe it was just a minor outbreak and it was unfortunate that it was around our area. But then again Long Island is a small area and the virus is spreading fast. We stayed at home; I refused to watch the news and find out what was going on. I wanted to be ignorant for at least one more day.
We watched Aladdin with Isabelle and some other Disney movies, she didn’t seem to fight me about going to school like she usually would. But she did do her homework.
Barclay and me decided that we would stay in tonight, and try to call the store again tomorrow just in case the owner had the same idea as we did. Until we heard from the owner we wouldn’t go near the town. We still had a good amount of food left in the house.
Barclay also brought up a good point; what about our parents? What about our friends? Hopefully they were all safe and it was an issue we would have to deal with tomorrow; trying to contact them. As for now I’m tired, and want to watch the Lion King next.
October 11th, 2009
Today I realized this is getting much more serious then I could ever imagine. I was hoping this was just some weird event that happened and was nothing, just nothing, nothing important.
Barclay thinks we should evacuate, there will be helicopters exiting the city in two days. We heard that on the news. Apparently this virus is spreading VERY rapidly, and we still don’t know the cause of it; or how it got here from Asia. We’re waiting for more information on the news cast, I’ve been watching the television all day- just waiting for information.
Isabelle finally started talking, but she’s talking about things that disturb me. She was watching the news cast with us when they were explaining the possible effects of the virus and prevention with possible cure. She stated that there was no way to prevent it; you can’t cure the dead. Sure her teacher looked dead, I could have been sure- but the dead don’t walk, and clearly Isabelle’s teacher was walking…she must have been living…right?
October 14th, 2009
This winter is going to be cold. Which means many people will get sick. But it’s doubtful that they’ll just get the virus Revinia, the more we learn about these infected the more terrified I become. Apparently they are generally invincible and feel no pain, the only way to kill then is by shooting them in the cranium and disconnecting contact from the brain to the body. They figured that out in combat- I’ve become used to the shooting sounds coming from the TV from clips of the city and towns, I even saw an attack of the camera man on a live filming. I would think they would stop the news, but then again it’s the only way for the public to witness and know what is going on out there.
Revinia seems to effect the body like rabies, says scientists, it’s only way of turning is my direct fluidic contact between two bodies. But the side effects are more serious and the body does give out with in a matter of days.
We didn’t take the helicopters. A two hour trip with traffic and panicking people was out of the question. Crowds are a direct target for the infected. Barclay told us to wait it out until either more people die out and it’s easier to move to a safer area or see how long we could last here. It’s quiet here right now, I haven’t seen an infected again since Isabelle’s teacher. But I also haven’t left the house…
October 16th, 2009
How is it possible for things to change so drastically so quickly? I looked out the window and saw at least 3 neighbors limping around looking for food. Obviously infected. Barclay says we have to leave the house soon. It’s not a safe enough area because of the multiple windows, we don’t know how they will react when they become ravenous, and find us. Plus we’re running out of food and water. I have to keep a watch on the area, keep the house dark and windows closed. Make sure it looks like no ones home until we evacuate.
October 17th 2009
‘Zombies’ that’s what they are calling them. The living dead. Has the entire world gone nuts? Maybe I have as well, I believe it. I think the dead now live among us. We play the news very low now, and only keep it on during the day so the television’s light wont be seen as easily.
October 18th, 2009
We had our first attack today. The phone rang around dusk and two zombies broke into the house; I still can’t look at them without freezing. The situation is still shocking, mainly when you used to know the people. Me and Isabelle hid as Barclay managed to get one between the eyes with a kitchen knife and the other he locked in the closet. He was careful not to be bitten, but watching him struggle against their force made my heart race; we couldn’t lose him.
I told him that and he said he couldn’t lose me either; I don’t want him getting the wrong impression. This is the least thing I need.
October 19th, 2009
We listened to the message machine, it was the phone call from yesterday. It was Jack. The message was something along the lines of;
“I hope you’re safe. I’m alone now, and need to leave. Call me back Lauren, I miss you and want you to be safe with me.” He was crying again… and alone, which means he lost his father… We can’t chance calling anyone, the zombies can hear the phones. We’ll just have to pick him up on the way- anyone that can survive, should.
Barclay told me to pack light, and wear comfortable clothing because we might be walking a lot. He knows a lot about trips because of the camp he worked at- and I trust him.
I have to call it an early night. We’re getting up at daybreak to start heading out.
October 20th, 2009
We made it out of the house and into the car just fine, we had to be quick and nimble. When the engine hummed it caught the attention of the zombies and we had to run a few down. Isabelle didn’t seem to mind- it almost seemed like she was amused when they finally stopped moving, it’s like putting the dead in their rightful place. But I assume she had reasons to hate these creatures.
She loves to sleep in the car even with Barclay playing his old blues and country. I could never sleep through his singing. We’re almost at Jack’s house.
I’m in complete shock. I thought he was fine. For all I know he was probably delirious when he called me. We went into his house to find his father with a pair of scissors lodged through his ear, just enough to damage the brain. He killed his own father. Now I realized how much pain he probably felt- because he was the one to kill the only person left for him, he was the reason he was now alone. We searched the house and I headed to his room; since that was probably the one area he felt most safe in.
I found him. I found him hanging from his bathroom door motionless. But only motionless for a second, his body started convulsing as soon as I made a sobbing noise, he was an infected. I screamed and backed away from him crying, he was stuck on the door flailing in the air to get to me. I kept screaming his name hoping he would remember something, he didn’t.
Of all people why did he have to be infected?
I’d put him through so much…
Barclay tackled me covering my mouth, he told me I was being too loud and would draw the attention of the infected- then he saw Jack…and he held me…I watched him, Jacks face was pail, blue veins bulging out of his cracking skin, and those eyes I use to love so much looked blinded and clouded over. It made me shake- the effects of Revinia were terrifying, white teeth turning a vomit yellow under receding gum lines and this was only a recent infected… he wasn’t even rotting yet…
Barclay let me cry for awhile then smashed Jacks head in with his favorite soccer trophy.
Barclay looked sad, which was odd considering he hated Jack and if he was living would have done the same thing in a second.
We rushed Isabelle out of the house. We’re on the move again.
October 22th, 2009
Today, we went to the gas station. It looked completely deserted but that’s what a lot of things look like now a days, bleak, boring, empty, and deserted. I hate that. Sometimes I think a world like this isn’t even worth living in… but I stop myself. This will pass, just like any other stupid disease.
Barclay was happy to fill the tank and the spare gas tank without paying, he said the one good thing is the taxes wont go up anymore. That made me laugh. I should stay positive. Because if I’m not, my negative thoughts will get the best of me.
October 23, 2009
I’m starving and so is Isabelle. Something she comments on every 20 or so minutes. I’m sure Barclay is too. I don’t say a word like him, only give Isabelle a sibling scold and tell her to shut up. The grocery store could be dangerous, a lot of aisles which makes for a lot of corners. But we need to get nourishment, and I have the worst craving for a snickers bar…mmm I should stock up on those… and cigarettes…good combination.
October 25th, 2009
We parked outside of an IGA, and the second we did I already knew this was going to be a really bad idea, but my stomach taunted me and told me to do it. My eyes lazily watched the passing zombies within the parking lot, customers pushing carts, living dead clerks eating the already dead clerks. There were nine of them, nine, only nine outside. What does that tell me about the inside? I clenched the baseball bat I had brought for protection, breaking a piĖata was the closest thing I had come to killing something, so I thought it was sufficient.
I WAS SO FUCKING SCARED! I was so scared I don’t even really know what happened; I just ran, ran and swung. AND THANK JESUS DIARY! I didn’t freeze up at the sight of them! And I’m alive!!!
I’m was alive and between two automatic glass doors! I looked like a Jackson Pollock painting with the amount of blood sprayed on me! I was breathless, and so tired! I was Just waiting to see what was beyond those other sets of glass doors, I waited and waited for Barclay to catch his breath diary- and then we went out. Ready to see what we were up against and you know, there weren’t as many zombie’s as we had thought there were going to be, only two more store clerks which was lucky for us. I could see my heart pounding through my chest.
I have my bat next to me as I write to you. Barclay left me alone as he went to get Isabelle from the car. I guess we’re staying here for the night, or maybe a little longer, I have no idea...
October 26th, 2009
At least we’re a bit safe in the grocery. I can still see the zombies through the door, but we locked the electronic doors. Isabelle checks on them every now and then, and scolds them like dogs under her breathe.
I’m still worried about her, but she’s still a sweet heart- her reactions to zombies is just strange to me though. I’m scared of them and she, she wants to see them suffer...
Barclay is happy wandering around the IGA and trying to make bedding and what not out of potato and flour sacks... men...
October 28th, 2009
Isabelle reminded me that Halloween was right around the corner. Haha some Halloween this is going to be. Maybe we camp out in the candy aisle and munch on junk food all night.
October 29th, 2009
We cleaned up a bit, found the brooms and mops.
October 31st, 2009
Everyone’s asleep and I’m sleepy too, but diary I’m so happy! Halloween ended up better then I had thought it would. We did end up camping in the candy aisle, but we told stories about our past Halloweens and what we’re going to do when we make it to a safe zone. For once I’m calm. I never though I could eat so much chocolate and laugh as much as I did! Barlcay’s so sweet he really made sure Isabelle had a good time… and me too.
I think I’m going to sleep next to him tonight. He looks pretty cute when he’s asleep.
November 1st, 2009
NEVER! Never will I ever let my guard down again! A good Halloween, yeah, my ass. It was about 4 in the morning when I heard the glass shatter, and even then I still couldn’t comprehend much after being up so late, it took me a few seconds- a few desperate seconds which I should have taken the time to realize what was going on. THEY BROKE IN! enough of them pressed against the windows, one of them cracked!
Isabelle shot off through the aisles, and I tried to go after her, before I could though Barclay grabbed me and threw me into the freezer, jamming it with the broom. HE WENT AFTER HER HIMSELF, WITH ALL THOSE INFECTED! I watched I counted one by one, FOR TWENTY FUCKING MINUTES!!!!
I was crying- which burnt my face because of the freezing temperature I was forced into. But I saw them somehow, they survived by knocking over the infected with shopping carts and using my bat as a weapon. They got into the fridge as well. Isabelle wrapped herself in Barclay’s jacket, shivering...
And I kissed him, I couldn’t help it. I owed him so much… but I regret it.
November 2nd, 2009
I’m so cold. I just want Barclay to stop talking out loud about ideas on how to get out of here. We’re not getting out of here. We’re going to freeze, I mean I look at Isabelle who’s blue in the face now, she’s going to die living in this temperature. But if we go outside we’ll die too, there are so many infected…
November 3rd, 2009
We’re out. I felt so stereotypical like in those spy novels I use to read in the bookstore, I climbed threw a vent! And boy, do I assure you it’s not at all as easy as it seems it would be, vents are dark, noisy, and shake a lot. I’m surprised the zombies couldn’t figure out where we were.
When we exited the vent we ran, and ran fast. Barclay gave Isabelle a piggyback ride. Because she looked so tired. We found the car, still with gas. Which was lucky. And now we are on the road again. I’m worried about Isabelle, but when I ask if she’s okay she always tells me she caught a cold in the freezer.
November 6th, 2009
I can’t do this anymore, we’re now living in a motel room where two people shot themselves so they wouldn’t become the infected, I believed they were lovers. We through their bodies over the balcony. I refuse to sleep in that bed, I can still smell them there.
November 7th, 2009
She’s so pale… and she wont take that jacket off, and she wont look me in the eyes.
She talks to Barclay though… that’s good.
November 9th, 2009
They’re both gone… I didn’t think it would end so quickly…
Dear diary, I will tell you what happened for the last time before I leave you behind. I need to end all these memories and start over, plus I’m not sure I’ll have the time to write in you anymore, you might just be dead weight.
Isabelle was bitten, her death was at 4:30 pm and she rose again at 5, and finally fell at 5:15 by my hands. She was the first zombie I’ve ever killed. Barclay told me everything before he jumped head first over the balcony. He was bitten too…
Isabelle, she was attacked at the grocery and didn’t want to tell me she thought I would hate her (I could never hate her), so Barclay helped her by covering her bitten shoulder with his jacket, no wonder she wouldn’t take it off… I can’t believe I didn’t see it coming.
She tried to bite me. Her own sister, and I grabbed the suicidal lovers gun, but I couldn’t shoot, I wouldn’t shoot her. Even with Barclay yelling at me. Stupid!! UH! I’m so stupid!! She lunged, but not at me, at Barclay and he screamed at the skin ripped off his cheek… I panicked and squeezed. BANG!!! I couldn’t believe it I shot her, I shot her right through her right eye. 5:15 pm.
Barclay admitted his love for me, and took the gun saying he wouldn’t make me shoot another person from my old life. He told me to move on and survive So I will as best as I can. I’m taking this gun to replace you dearest diary. Goodbye.
Last year we were asked to create a senior project there was so many ideas that came into my mind- I wasn’t to explore the paranormal, dark humor, the lifestyle I adapted myself to. I decided my main focus should be “the zombie” which was an obsession of mine, I had a huge love of the living dead.
Eventually I came to the conclusion to generate a space with my own artwork and an atmosphere that would facinate the eye along with a fictional diary to go along with it about a girl and her undergoing zombie invasion.
Holy Zombie!!!! was my outcome it was a creation meant to amuse and disturb the public. Make them comfortable and uneasy at the same time through images, music, and different forms of artwork in a confined area. The Zombie was the main focus in the creation of the installation and the main theme. The reasoning the zombie was chosen is because they are a constant interest in my life. The zombie is a human- a dead human. So we share a bond with the monster even if it has horrifying capabilities. I myself have always been fascinated by the dead, supernatural, and mythology and in a sense because being surrounded by it for the majority in my life seek comfort in these things.
I wanted people to realize that feeling I had. Be able to find a sense of fun and fantasy in the generally disturbing. Within the installation created 3 oil paintings. I worked with all kinda of things spraypaint lace ink dolls wax and lots of fake blood- in the art aspect I was even apart of the installation it’s self when dressing up as a zombie for opening night. One of the main parts of my project was also a diary of the conflicts of a teenage girl trying to survive in a now zombie dominant world this was important because it explored my writing abilities which is another great part of my life- art and writing. Overall Holy Zombie was a great experience and help me develop in the interests I've constantly had within my life.
Grahame-Smith, Seth, and Jane Austen. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: the Classic Regency Romance--now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem. Philadelphia: Quirk, 2009. Print.
Brooks, Max. World War Z: an Oral History of the Zombie War. New York: Three Rivers, 2006. Print.
Adams, John Joseph. The Living Dead. San Francisco: Night Shade, 2008. Print.
Brooks, Max. The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead. New York: Three Rivers, 2003. Print
Dawn of the Dead (1978). Dir. George A. Romero. Perf. David Emge, Ken Foree, Scott H. Reiniger, Gayleen Ross. 1978. DVD.
Dellamorte Dellamore. Dir. Michele Soavi. Perf. Rupert Everett, Francois Hadji-Lazaro, Anna Falchi. 1994. DVD.
28 Days Later. Dir. Danny Boyle. Perf. Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Noah Huntly, Megan Burns. 2002. DVD.
The Evil Dead. Dir. Sami Raimi. Perf. Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss. 1981. DVD.
Recht, Z. A. Plague of the Dead: the Morningstar Strain : a Zombie Novel. New York: Pocket, 2010. Print.
Golden, Christopher, and Tom Sniegoski. Monster Island. New York: Simon Spotlight, 2003. Print.
Community Member (Details)
Leslie Fromm- local artist that works on installations and stained glass. Also a performance instructor.