Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Introduction to the gestural lexicon with Memex

Animation use gestures as tools to signify the emotions of characters in the same way as traditional theater. Gestures are powerful signifies because we understand them kinesthetically, and in education studies, they have been known to increase the transfer and retention of an idea.

Stills from Memex by Marshmallow Laser Feast.jpg

Duologue’s “Memex” by Marshmallow Laser Feast

September 2014,
Courtesy of the Nowness Channel, YouTube

Animations that employ VFX compositing are becoming powerful tools for understanding gestural human interaction. By repeating gesture and micro gesture in virtual settings, basic human interactions defined by gestures are set to become an independent lexicon. We can look at internet memes as a less complex example of this phenomenon. Memes speak to words falling short of expressing the total emotional record.

Memex is a VFX short film released in September, 2014. The film is a collaboration piece between Duologue, a London based electronic group, and digital artist Marshmallow Laser Feast. The entire film content is computer generated. The illustrator creates an uncomfortable and emotionally moving exaggerated reality. The film opens with a close up on skin, the camera hovers close at angles impossible with normal film. In the absence of her own movement we as viewers can imagine how the character feels frozen in her pose. As artists and designers continue to delve into gesture and micro gesture, there will be room for recognizing the competence for storytelling and fostering greater cultural understanding. 

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