Photo of the Day: HOT_L ROSSLYN HART-U

Photo of the Day: HOT_L ROSSLYN HART-U

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Metamorphosis: Visions of Dark Elegies

Metamorphosis: Visions of Dark Elegies

Glenn Marshall has been described as one of Ireland’s most distinguished digital artists and accomplished computer animators. He began his professional career pioneering a new animation technique for The King’s Wake, which went on to win the Celtic Film and TV festival.

Metamorphosis is an animated video recently created by Marshall, which he produced using graphic design that was programmed entirely in Processing. The somewhat esoteric animation features music by the Boards of Canada, specifically the track Corsair from their Geogaddi album, which establishes a stagnant, twirling dark tone for the film.

Marshall has given a brief description of Metamorphosis, his most recent major work:

Butterfly, my first film and the inspiration behind my whole direction as an artist, is again the inspiration here. When making Butterfly I became obsessed with the wing patterns of the Monarch butterfly and how they looked like imaginary worlds within themselves, where butterflies lived and died according to a holistic, natural mechanism of nature.

These kind of ambitious concepts were difficult for me to implement back then within the practical limits of traditional 3d/2d software. So I wanted Metamorphosis be symbolic of my passing over into 100% programmed/generative computer art, where perhaps these kinds of ideas can reach more of their potential.”

Most people who have posted brief, superficial notes about Metamorphosis have described it as “beautiful,” or “a beautiful vision.” Much to the contrary, I find Metamorphosis to be totally plotless, yet it’s emotionally painful to watch. Painful because if one is really thoughtful about this film, it’s underlying theme is revealed to be a stark requiem of anger and death. The film evolved from Mr. Marshall’s earlier obsession with butterfly wing patterns as imaginary worlds of life unto death (see Exner, J. E., 1993, p. 499). Marshall’s own metamorphosis in making this new animated film noir has ended up with his creation of a mythical shadowy world in which seemingly boundless masses of butterflies appear to be trapped in suffocating confinement, eventually flittering and fluttering aimlessly away into a darkened cosmic void, into a state of non-existence.

If anything, the action in Metamorphosis is so sufficiently and diffusely generalized that the dark elegies it conveys to viewers may well be perceived as an evocation of the unformulated experience of all times of mourning. Or as Carl Sagan, astronomer, educator, author (Cosmos, 1980) and Co-Founder of The Planetary Society once wisely observed:

We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it is forever.”

Metamorphosis: Visions of Dark Elegies

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