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Research Week Two

Updated: Feb 12, 2022

My week started with a tutorial, As I identified the early stages are the most problematic, this is where I want the guidance the most. After talking to Ben, the zombie concept seems to be the one which I possibly can create the best outcome and I think I will have the most enjoyment possible from.

I re-read the CONPLAN document again, to analyse and find the question for the project. Part of the document was specifying the different types of zombies. Although at this stage I am not going to investigate this, it will become a factor later in the project. With this said there were two types that stood out as areas to investigate:

Pathogenic Zombies (PZ)- zombies created from organisms infected by a virus, bacteria or another form or contagion.

Chicken Zombies (CZ)- which, is an actual proven real-world zombie case, documented by Jonatan M Forester in 2006.

Both of these have already started formulating ideas, with collecting the chicken zombie article for future research. With the chicken one, I would be interested in creating more understanding to possibilities of this and have asked Alex Frost, who studied neuroscience at Keele University to discuss.

As well as banking this research, I have started to collect zombie related books. The document guide, the CONPLAN, listed a selection of resources to look through, and I feel validated that their research concept of using pop culture matches my method.

Further reading was suggested by Lorri Trewhella to read; The girl with all the gifts, which has a different take on the concept of my subject.

Some interesting ideas started to come through my reading of the CONPLAN document. The document subject’s environmental impacts in the event of a zombie break out. Water and shelter becoming issues. This are both interesting areas, due to the fact these would likely be commodities of high demand. Later in phase 0- shape, it is proposed as this stage to supply military with the correct personal protective equipment (PPE), which could easily be another commodity to the general population.

As it is suggested in the document, the virus likely could be spread similar to a pandemic influenza. As I mentioned last week, I believe that COVID-19 can provide some data to apply to this project.

I believe at this stage of the process, I am considering the concept of a zombie outbreak that instead the world becoming an apocalyptic space with few survivors here and there, to one that is spread but there is a level of control from being overrun. I think this avenue, allows a study into the reaction of the population.

The document states.

“The human instinct for self-preservation can cause newly infected zombie hosts to deny their imminent zombification.”

Something that raises how people would react to not only if they are infected or how they do on the news of a loved one having infection. Would possibly a semi-controlled outbreak (one where the zombies haven’t over run the police and army), would we see rituals, like natural flow tests on a weekly basis, or if testing positive how would it work of for the patient? Would they need to isolate for a period, or go to a specific place? Emotionally, considering the idea of self-preservation, how would this regulated and would be cheat to avoid showing a positive?

Another factor to consider is the reaction of people’s perception play into the outbreak, with conspiracy theorists and deniers of an outbreak. Those who believe that it is a foreign weapon or population control. I have made contact with two people already, who have strong view on the COVID-19 outbreak being a conspiracy.

With this idea of living with the outbreak, I mentioned before on the about commodities, such as shelter, water and PPE. Other items like drug development possibly could factor in. They are also the financial aspect of would we be locked down for months at peak infection points? What effects, positive or negatives, to capitalism would come from the event of a zombie outbreak?

This gives some avenues of design in this project, one being of providing information and the other of commercialisation of an outbreak. I believe this is a far more interesting take on this project over simply investigating a zombie survival kit.

I have began to collect a my resources fot this project. As there is a wealth of information, by this a lot a zombie books, films comics, I aim to read a book a week and minimun of 2 films/TV.

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