by Max Johnson and Cassidy Featherstone
NOTE: this is a playlist. All 6 episodes make up the piece.
Cursed Curriculum emulates the experience of delving too deep into the dark trenches of the internet. It reflects and comments on the subculture/meme phenomenon of cursed images while being subservient to its styles and aesthetics.
While this piece’s primary focus is to match the experience of looking at cursed images, it also presents ideas about the internet in broad strokes. These ideas play out in the two diverging reactions to this questionable material.
The female professor represents the sense of empowerment that can come out of ironic detachment to this material. There’s a twisted joy that comes from knowing that you are looking at something that you shouldn’t be. This is especially true for cursed images because they are pictures that really shouldn’t be. Sharing these pictures can make feel feel powerful as you harness the images’ dark energy. Sharing them makes them more than just a part of the internet—they become a part of you.
With the male professor, we are shown the mounting disgust that comes from spending too much time with this sort of content. Viewers can feel trapped by these images: doomed by their own curiosity. The trashcan is featured prominently in each episode because the eventuality of disgust is ever-looming with cursed images; it’s just a matter of time before you reach your threshold.
The odd thing is that the viewer can have both of these reactions simultaneously. It would have been impossible to represent both states of mind in one character, so splitting them up into two characters allows for the exploration of the emotional realities of someone who has partaken of the cursed images. It leaves viewers disturbed, unnerved, but somehow entertained.