andrea crespo

email | cv



Alan is a fictional young man on the milder end of the autism spectrum; in earlier days, he would've been labelled with Asperger's Syndrome as I was with "Asperger's-like symptoms" in 2005. The animated film [intensifies] narrates Alan's experiences in the world as someone living on the spectrum, zig-zagging through various points of his life in childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood alike in a non-linear fashion. In the narrative, one discovers that Alan is chronically lonely and lives as a pariah in contemporary American society. As if that wasn't enough, he realizes that despite the exclusion he experiences, people like him play a large role in the national imaginary, though in ways they didn't quite sign up for. Alan lives in a world much like ours, in which autistic children are treated as faulty machinery to be repaired, the neurologically pathologized are profiled and scapegoated as potential lone-wolf shooters, or in which entertainment and social media stereotype autistic people into staples of cruel humor and ridicule. Alan's drawings accompany the film, in which he metaphorizes his experiences through images of machines and warfare. The title [intensifies] is derived from a popular internet meme in which images are comically captioned with [AUTISM INTENSIFIES], and accordingly, this film and its paired drawings speak to an intensification of diagnoses, discourses, and affective panic in response to a perceived "autism crisis" in the United States of America.