Monday, February 22, 2010

type iv: I learned. . .

After conducting experiments with several types of materials including styrofoam, magnetic tape, and other plastic substances I have begun to learn how to create unique kinetic movements that occur from varying changes in static electricity and shadow casting or light changes. I have found these materials to have unique attributes that react to real laws of physics, and can create sequences that cannot be recreated in the computer without a lot of work.

When put in contact with different materials, the magnetic tape has a varying static reaction to plastic. The static attraction to these plastics gives the type that has been punched into it an especially unique consistency when filming. It also has an ambiguous nature to its appearance. This makes the magnetic tape a multi-tool for production. Only extensive experimentation can determine all of its uses but for now its purpose is to be a beautiful freak of science. It is also nice to find a use for this commonly discarded stuff called the VHS tape.

The styrofoam is another material that can be used as an anonymous or ambiguous thing that can be transformative and has many uses when constructing a reality. The ambiguous nature of styrofoam when photographed or filmed has an Allis in wonderland sort of effect on the viewer. It can seem gigantic or microscopic. I've heard it isn't as pretty when people realize it is styrofoam, but it is interesting to me to find things that are commonly known as anti-green and turn them into something useful. The reuse of styrofoam is something that could really be a good thing for the environment, and its ability to morph into many things is another interesting quality that seems worthy of further exploration.

Like the styrofoam, I have gouged slits into the side of acrylic plastic which has yielded similar results. It also has the ambiguous nature of styrofoam with even less context. It reacts in many was to light, manly shadow and high lights.

So what's the point?

Some might say that the current trend of kinetic typography has limits. This is hardly alarming to me because I've realized that the problem can be solved by applying some of the same ideas hollywood and moviemakers around the world have used when creating masterful set designs. . . use the real thing. When this happens, there are surprises like new tactile sensations to the words we read. The ambiguity of these materials in turn makes the message ambiguous and so you can shape the message that the viewer will receive. It is all very simple stuff as you can see, but the product or outcome is pretty great considering there is no need for high end applications to produce these things. The only downside to the medium is that it takes longer to create sometimes. But this wouldn't be a problem if there were as many catalogued ideas and tutorials for this sort of organic creation as there were on aftereffects.


  1. excellent thoughts, cameron. i like what you're learning here. keep it up!