Sunday, 24 January 2010

"Day and night the same - blank. Precisely like death."

For the last project I did, the brief I chose was the Don't Panic poster with the theme of 'Resistance'. I decided to look at resistance and time. The area of this I chose was memory. I had been inspired by a tv show I saw on BBC4 called 'Time' presented by Dr Michio Kaku. One segment of it was about a pianist called Clive Wearing, who for 25 years he has been suffering from anterograde amnesia. This is when new memories cannot be formed any more. Like in the film Memento, 50 First Dates, also what Archer had in the episode Twilight from season 3 of Star Trek Enterprise. Clive's is the worst case known, he can only remember things for about 30 seconds or less before forgetting again. Every time he sees his wife it's like its for the first time in years, it's really sad. Here's a clip of it:

For my poster i'd decided to draw Clive in profile then have a representation of his thoughts going through his head in a strip. As well as that I had the idea of having a sieve behind him (memory like a sieve), I thought it would represent him forgetting and look quite cool and sieves are a bit strange for on a poster. My first thought was a film strip for his memories, I added a quote his said on top:

"I've never seen anyone at all.
I've never heard a word until now.
I've never had a dream even,
Day and night the same - blank.
Precisely like death.
No thoughts at all.
Brain has been inactive."

The film strip wasn't quite working out. I then came up with a great alternative! Musical note lines..i'm not a musical person at all, can't remember what they are called but you know the things, 5 horizontal lines the notes sit on. It was perfect! It fit in much better with the style of the poster which was simple line drawings. I studied what the different parts meant of the sheet music and decided to just use the horizontal lines, treble bass and the end thin and thick vertical lines to show the end of the 'song' or memory in this case. I then had the cool idea to repeat the end lines 2 more times along the horizontal lines to represent that memory being forgotten and totally at its end. I placed the quotes in a way which looked like strike through because Clive sometimes writes in a diary but forgets after he has written a line then crosses it out as he doesn't believe he has wrote it. It's all there in my poster.

I'm really pleased with it. It shows his brain resisting new memories and himself trying to resist forgetting. His memory is resisting normal time, to him it is as if he has been unconscious for years and in a way he has time travelled to the future, resisting the normal passage of time. This was the personal project, and it was personal because I too took on the theme of resistance and resisted my usual urges to crowd pages and make them really colourful, this time I tried being more minimal and simple.

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