Bad Paper

Ian Gibson, Taylor Black

Kristofer Goldsmith was discharged from the US Army after a suicide attempt; eight years later, he's still fighting to right that wrong.


Bad Paper is an installation exploring the struggles of a less-than honorable discharge from the U.S. Army. In the military, an honorable discharge offers the possibility of education, health benefits, and a lifelong recognition of service. A dishonorable discharge requires court marshal and is reserved for the most serious offenses. However, there are other types of discharges that fall in-between these two, which can be given for causes ranging from minor misconduct to traumatic brain injury, mental health status changes, sexual trauma, and prior to the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, being LGBT. 13% of veterans since 9/11 have received one of these types of discharges, which leaves them without vital benefits, employment options, education access, or key medical services that, for people like Kristofer Goldsmith, can mean the difference between life and death.

Bad Paper follows Kris' story, of his honorable service, traumatic experience, suicide attempt, and unceremonious “Bad Paper” discharge from the Army, in five interactive vignettes. Eight years after his discharge, Kris is still seeking justice and benefits for him and all the veterans dismissed and cut off unfairly. In Bad Paper, audiences interact with objects to hear from Kris, as well as gain extra insight from lawyers and advocates fighting to change the military standards that cause honorable service to be rewarded only with lifelong loss.


Hacking Story Frameworks: For Social Impact/Social Issues