The artifact in question is a portrait, painted by one █████ ████████ (we'll say it's Kevin Bacon for the sake of this conversation). It's difficult to tell exactly what it looks like, but a few things that are agreed upon are:
- It's of a person, with many claiming similarity to the Mona Lisa (approximately 85% of people claim it to be so, the other 15% see something else while acknowledging it might be the Mona Lisa, but it's difficult to tell given how terrible it looks).
- It looks terrible.
Prolonged visual contact (shortest time: 40 seconds, longest time: 43 minutes) brings about the anomalous effects. The greater the artistic aptitude of the viewer, the shorter the time, and the more intense the effects (although defining "artistic aptitude" will naturally be a concern).
The viewer is repulsed at the sight of the portrait, and is disgusted that it exists in the first place. They are, in turn, driven to outdo the artist. They will attempt to re-draw and improve upon this supposedly poorly-drawn Mona Lisa, but find themselves increasingly unsatisfied with their attempts to the point of obsession and mania. These attempts do not possess anomalous properties. If allowed to continue, this leads to sleep deprivation and starvation, as the newfound artist neglects personal health their fruitless quest.
Given enough time and exposure, they will start to refer to themselves as ███ ███████ (for the sake of this conversation, we will say it's Leo DiCaprio). They will claim to have a personal, hateful history with Kevin Bacon. They will also reference events long since past in Renaissance Italy, perhaps even speaking fluent Italian themselves, despite not being capable of doing so before. This is capable of being counteracted by amnestics.
I think this has the potential for some very interesting interview logs, although I imagine it'll have, at max, two: one between someone claiming to be Leo DiCaprio and a doctor, and another between two people claiming to be Leo DiCaprio.
I'm also actively seeking a co-writer for this particular project. Previous attempts to create a skip solo have failed, and I blame my own inexperience with the style and a frustratingly sticky casual tone. I hope someday to strike out on my own and create an original article on my own, but right now I feel that can wait until I grow up just a little bit more.
I'm looking forward to hearing from you guys!