The premise around my project is that of lies and truth. From the tiniest white lie up to a gargantuan whopper, dishonesty fascinates me and as humans we are all dishonest. The Greek philosopher, Diogenes known as ‘Diogenes the Cynic’, is, according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica (Diogenes. 2015) the subject of an apocryphal story in which he wanders, during broad day light, with a lighted lantern in search for an honest man. He is said to have died without fulfilling his search.

It is this which fascinates me, a trait in which each human being shares. We are all fallible; we are all imperfect and no matter how much we profess to being ‘an honest person’, it is in our very nature to lie and lie we do…

According to lie detector and author, Pamela Meyer (2011) “we lie anywhere between 10 – 200 times per day.” Lying has became ingrained as a fundamental part of our everyday lives.

Surprisingly though, in this age of information, the least likely place where we lie is online. Renowned psychology professor Jeff Hancock (2012) claims that of 3 types of media inclusive of phone calls “email is the most honest”. This is of course in reference to our personal, social and professional communication rather than the Nigerian prince ‘wanting to give you $1 million dollars’ online scams. Hancock (2012) goes on to define a number of deception tactics that we do use online or via text message.

One in particular sparked my interest is referred  to as “The Butler” this is when we, (and yes we’ve all done it) use falsities such as ‘I’m on my way’ or ‘oh I’m sorry my battery died’, to excuse our behavior. Hancock (2012) suggests that we do this for a reason; we are now available 24/7 via text messages, mobile phones, social media and email; there is no escape. These so called, white lies, are aimed at protecting a relationship. We don’t wish to hurt anyone so these simply serve as buffer to protect our space, our sanctuary. Much like the role of the butler in the country manors of old.

These findings could perhaps help shape part of my project. The Butler, or Servant archetype falls under the Everyman fundamental archetype and is categorised by the ego. Ways in which this archetype could influence the aesthetic or be used to influence an emotive response to said aesthetic are certainly lines of inquiry which I plan to investigate as I delve deeper in to this world of deception.

My mind is now racing with ideas of ‘what the butler saw’ and how I could perhaps mask areas of print giving the suggestion of an image but when the mask is removed a totally new image or idea is revealed. Demonstrating how our eyes can lie and not to always believe what we see, or think we see. Exciting possibilities.

Diogenes. 2015. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 04 March, 2015, from

Hancock, J. (2012). The future of Lying.

Available at: [Accessed 2 Mar. 2015].

Meyer, P. (2011). How to spot a liar.

Available at: [Accessed 2 Mar. 2015].


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