Part of a class assignment where we were assigned a randomly-selected 60-second segment of a string quartet by Hungarian composer Béla Bartók and instructed to create a motion graphic based on the segment.
For the motion piece, I wanted to explore a few specific techniques I have recently been interested in, like character animation and a walking cycle. Beyond these few technical goals, I sought to portray a semi-coherent (though abstract) visual narrative surrounding the concept of “suffering”, which was the central theme of this movement according to Zoltán Kodály, Bartók’s lifelong friend and colleague. My motion piece is a response to the somber, amelodic quality of my assigned segment of music, and includes a few interpretations of suffering according to various schools of philosophy.
(Warning pretentiousness ahead): The Existentialist perspective is represented by the lumbering, blue giant, whose gaunt, sinewy frame echoes Alberto Giacometti’s Existentialist sculpture. The blue giant, who is meant to represent human suffering, is a comment on the personal responsibility of the individual to overcome suffering and rise above the absurd condition of humanity. Existential nihilism, represented by the shrinking blue planet at the very end of the piece, implies man’s insignificance relative to the universe and therefore the absurdity of suffering. Aristotelian “flourishing life”, represented by the blooming flowering plant, represents joy and happiness, and suggests a more optimistic perspective that suffering is only a smaller component of a larger, fulfilled purpose.