I love conspiracy boards. They are my favourite macguffin. Everybody knows what they are, but nobody knows what they do. In an RPG, you could totally get a bonus dice for having one because they are cool. And the hero or the maniac has to have one to prove he is cool. But have you ever seen a film where they actually use one? Maybe back in the 80s they would draw lines on the map. Occasionally they will pull the one important photo off. But what do the lines of string mean? The newspaper clippings? It’s like fins on a ray gun: it exists because the film language has told us it exists, and it means nothing more than what we have come to think it means. It is a referrent with no referrer, which is a wonderful thing that happens in genre stories.
And since I like silly things and I like genre tropes and I need a crafty project, I’m going to build one. And I want to build a good one. So I have some rules.
Rule Number One: All conspiracies must be post-facto. This is important because it’s too easy to develop a conspiracy than pick things that prove it. I want a board that suggests multiple conspiracies and allows the viewer to use his imagination and come up with his own. It’s not about this conspiracy or that conspiracy. It’s about itself.
Rule Number Two: In the spirit of Foucault’s Pendulum, everything has something to do with everything. Everything is important, if only you are illuminated. Therefore it is important to have the most amount of variety on the board. There are some things I definitely need: a polaroid photo, a map with flags in it, a series of strings connecting dots, an inexplicable graph with unlabelled axes, an aerial photograph of something. But otherwise I want it to be as random as possible.
Rule Number Three: The project is alive and ongoing. I will add things to the wall continuously, and then at a fixed point (I’m thinking six months) I will stop and it will be finished. If six months is too long I will cut it down or if it is too short and there is lots of empty space I will expand it. But the project will thus be somewhat random and chaotic.
Rule Number Four: Apart from the corkboard and pins I got today, I’m not allowed to buy anything. I can use things I bought for other reasons but it can’t be picked out and purchased for the wall. That makes it hard and interesting and random. Like a scavenger hunt. It should also help ensure I’m not fudging towards a predisposed conspiracy.
Rule Number Five: It is going to be a bit personal. I want it to be MY conspiracy wall. So I will chose some things that mean something to me. Some of them will be weird things I’ve picked up in my travels around the world. If anyone wants to, they can send me stuff from their lives to go on it because I think that would be super lovely and extra personal.
Because I’m using some personal stuff, I realize this is basically taking scrapbooking and making it as nerdy as possible. But I’m cool with that.