A Design for Life

One of my favourite bands of all time is Manic Street Preachers, and the “A Design for Life” video has been interesting to me for a while. This is largely because of the use of projections whilst they are perfoming. Not just the use of projections but what they chose to project. I particularly liked the quotes, not necessarily lyrics (although some are) but quotes from other writers.

With the Invisible Letters project, I have found some lines in the letters sent of particular resonance to me, but also feel that they would resonate with others too. I would have to figure out clearly how I would use them, but feel that something like this would work to break up the footage in the planned video for exhibition.

This gif is temporamental, I think because of the file size. I will have to look into this issue in further experimentation. (Update: I now know whats up with this. I didn’t set it to “forever” in playback, so only plays once.) For this, I took a phrase from one of the letters that particularly resonated with me. I added texture using a brush I made in the last module, and simply altered the placement to add more movement, inspired by the motion and texture used in the video.

I also had a go at combining text with image in another test gif. In this one, I took a second long video, again just using my webcam for ease, and wrote using the brush tool over each frame, a total of 35 times. I chose “I am still here” as it is a phrase I seem to say to myself a lot and have featured in previous notes and sketches. To me, it means two things; that despite all the horrible things that have happened, I’m still alive and enjoying it. Also, since having this illness, the “before” me, the old me, is still here and is learning to show up more often. And having to write this phrase out over and over was actually pretty therapeutic.

Again, I added some texture using another brush I made of bubbles. No real reason as to why I used this one, maybe because they both relate to a sense of healing if pushed for an answer. I quite like the overall aesthetic, but what I want to do is to start making short animations that I can then repeat on a loop in front of longer footage. So a full minute of footage could be played with the one second looping over the top. Just as an example.

I want to use text as intervals in a way between footage. But the bulk of the animation will be animating the physical sensations of the pain and cognitive issues I experience. I can create sort of stock animations, for pain I feel regularly and am familiar with its shape and colour and movement. This can then be looped, repositioned and resized on top of other footage. I could also use just the illustrations on a plain background. This could be a reflection of sleep, meditation or moments of nothingness.

I’m gonna start to make these gifs, being conscious of the materials used to emulate the texture of the sensation.


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