Between You and Me, a Marriage Project

Michael Gambale

The ultimate goal of this project is to demonstrate that people place different values and meanings on the idea of marriage based on individual experiences rather than race, gender or sexuality.

Some examples of inspiration for my project include the authors, Andrew Sullivan and his book "Same-Sex Marriage: Pro and Con", and excerpts from chapters of Andrew J. Cherlin's “The Marriage-Go-Round,” and web projects for social equality like Project Rightside and the It Gets Better Project.

This interactive piece is targeted primarily towards newly married couples interested in marriage equality or sharing their personal story. This site could be used as a companion tool for discussions to help illustrate different approaches to define marriage.

User Scenario
The user has a choice on the site to click one of the four bureau icons and then is taken to another page which is a marriage line of black and white silhouettes. A user can click on any one of those and a video of a couple is played. The design choice is to mirror my experience at the bureau. How these couples I approached were unknown and strange to me but once I spoke to them they became more real, along the side of the video is a little bio and a tagged one word definition. If the user clicks on the one word definition another video testimonial will play associated with that tag. Or a user can go to the bottom and choose from a set of definitions and play a video associated with that, sometimes two videos will play demonstrating how even queer couples can want the same things from marriage that a strict orthodox religious person would want.

A documentary video project that explores how couples define marriage today and the personal stories behind those definitions. I invite guests to help me conduct interviews with the diverse array of folks registering a New York City marriage bureau in order to broaden my view and others' views of marriage. Interviews are catalogued by one word definitions and by bureau and uploaded to a website for the public to view the individual stories behing these definition.

All and all the interviewing and video shooting process has been the most valuable aspect of my project rather than the web based interface. Not only did I get to meet a diverse array of interesting couples but also ultimately broadened my understanding behind the who and what of marriage life rather than seeing it as something one does because they are simply "in love" but a commitment which depends on an individual's personal circumstances.