Everted Sanctuaries: Increments of Silence

By Ryan Lewis

Here are some images from my recent MFA Thesis exhibition, which would not have been possible without @Lab support. Thanks also to Nathan for his help. Here’s my abstract from the exhibition: Everted Sanctuaries: Increments of Silence Eversion is a biological term for the ability of an organism to turn itself inside out. For example, a sea cucumber can eject its internal organs to distract attacking predators. The sea cucumber sacrifices these vital functions for the possibility of escape. However, this incurs a cost of the time and energy required to regrow those vital functions. Eversion, though seemingly counterproductive, is deployed at critical moments to allow the sea cucumber to achieve its highest priority—survival. Many introverts have become adept at temporarily everting their personalities to function in extroverted contexts within U.S. culture. This masquerade often puts great stress on the individual. Cultural, educational, and professional environments do not often provide introverts the intervals of sanctuary necessary to revitalize themselves. But extroversion is not the worldwide status quo. The comparatively introverted cultures of East Asia contrast with the more extroverted cultures of many Western countries such as the U.S. These introverted cultures often emphasize careful thought and reflection before speech. This collection of visual essays promotes understanding of introversion to encourage further consideration of its personal, cultural, professional, and educational benefits.      ...

Introversion: Cultural Considerations

By Ryan Lewis

These sketches use stop animation and typography to explore preferences for certain personality types within an international cultural context.    

Introversion through Stop Animation


The stop animation process provides an interesting contrast to standard live action video or live performance. While the results are approximately similar (moving objects and characters), the method with which they are achieved is markedly different. While both processes require planning, the amount and type of preparation required to produce stop animation is significant. Stop animation demands a clear and marked methodical planning of every moment of time within that short sequence of motion. Every moment is carefully constructed to produce a result that is seemingly smooth and spontaneous. Every frame is carefully calculated to conform to larger context. Each frame plays an almost inconsequential, but important role in the overall result. In comparison, the capture of live action video occurs more fluidly and arguably more spontaneously. After the planning and preparation are over, it depends on the abilities of the actor(s) to provide an appropriate performance during the interval of capture. This critical moment where everything is at stake can lead to the ultimate success or failure of the entire effort despite the proficiency of its other components. The image shows my setup for the stop animation of the bear. The video shows a preliminary sketch animating the bear turning inside out.  ...

Introversion to Extroversion


Another important aspect of introversion is the ability to transition between the two personalities—the guarded introvert transforming to a temporarily aggressive and talkative extrovert. This pretend extroversion is not necessarily instantaneous like switching on a light. It involves conscious preparation with a temporary breaking down of the outer defenses—much like leaving the gates to the city ajar and unguarded. It requires preparing the inner self for potential conflict and it can be a daunting task somewhat like rearranging a living room or cleaning out a freezer. Similarly, the introvert must pull themselves back together following this interval of extroversion requiring time and rebuilding. The transitional state of the bear in this new image explores that moment of transition. The second image is part of a series exploring how US cultural preferences for extroversion are imposed upon...

Thesis Research – Introversion


About 1/3 to 1/2 of all people are introverts, but society often expects us all to act like extroverts. My thesis aims to educate about issues surrounding introversion with a visual emphasis through design. As part of my visual research, I have been turning various objects inside out to show the discomfort experienced by an introvert when asked to act like an extrovert. Here are some of the results.    

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