*a quick note: the images show up too teeny tiny, click on the pixel dimensions to see full size charting aweosmeness
Seeing as yesterday was my birthday and I spent a huge majority of it at the LACMA for the remaining days of The Kubrick exhibit, I really wanted to share some pretty tightly realized process for The Kubrick Project (TKP).
I was 24 when I first saw 2001: A Space Odyssey, and embarked on a seemingly endless mountain of a project. A few months (and many a headache later) I moved on to The Shining, with the idea that it would be easier.
I had no idea how many times I’d be trying, re-doing, failing, re-trying, failing some more, and eventually coming up with a process of dissection that actually worked. I think Jake and I counted 7 different takes of process to break open the films meaty semiotic goodness.
Around November, I began to notice that a lot of what I was understanding about the film’s messaging and symbology took me back to what I loved about geometry (did you know that people could love geometry?): Geometric Proofs.
It was something that came so completely natural to me that my teacher strongly encouraged me to join math competitions, but as a graphic designer, it’s morphed into some awesome euclidian-visual hybrid.
For the last 8 months, I’ve been mapping the overlaps, juxtapositions, repetitions, and all of the other semiotic snippets embedded within this film. While I’ve mainly completed the first section (of 11), I know that most of the battle has been finding a process that’ll allow me to continue. Finally having a tangible piece of workable process to speak of? That my friends is worth all of the work in the world.
The first set of mapped ‘strips’ act as a collection of all symbols across the chronological timeline. While I map out the information, I also need to think about how the information will be received. Since I know I’ll be developing multi-navigational paths for the user to explore the wide variety of information, I want the charts (and the information within) to be as fluid as possible for this stage.
Going through the movie chronologically helps keep me reigned in, but I’ll also be taking it up a notch (of course I am!) in that I need to map out themes, devices, and other ways that Kubrick communicates conceptually. Those I’m calling “Geometric Proof Charts” – until I can find better language.
(While showing this to my brother, he let me know how overwhelming it was to look at in one long strip. I broke it up into chunks so you would be able to see all of the little ins & outs)
The Chronological charts:
Geometric Proof Chart: Play
I’ve worked out the ‘play’ aspect of the Play/Work Theme, it’s a really interesting facet and one I can’t wait to flesh out more. I know once I’ve plotted out the ‘Work’ aspect, the rest of the elements (like the Freudian aspects of Jack, Danny, and Halloran) should fall into place much easier.
This one is a little bit harder to understand visually (and without knowing the movie to a disturbing level), but the points move from top to bottom. In my understanding, Kubrick works to bridge meaning across the movie using multiple symbols to create a very complex statement. The yellow bug (exploration) becomes the tennis ball (boredom/distraction), and then eventually bait for Danny. So right in there you’ve got a whole connotative mess of meaning for what ‘play’ can mean. And then the climax is “All work and no play make Jack a dull boy”? No, sir. That begs for exploration. And I’ve got some.