Project 1 with Images and Words: "But Then"

You can view the project Here . If prompted, allow the ActiveX plugin to run.



Decay is an active word; to me it is not only the result of the passage of time but also the passage itself. I decided to depict this concept using the typography itself as the central image, a technique that Scott McCloud describes as “montage.”  I started with a traditional “clean” font, Times New Roman, and made each subsequent letter more and more eroded. To reinforce the importance of time in the process of decay I elected against having the word appear all at once and instead present each letter individually. The animated drip off the “y” represents the slow process of transformation towards chaos and the organic misshaping of order. This drip also feeds directly into the second element of the haiku.

“but then”
The second part of the haiku is a subversion of expectation and then a redirection. The drip off the “y” blends into the word “but,” which makes the viewer pause. From this point the haiku changes in tone and direction. It’s a moment that goes from darkness to a spark of light. I went with the image of hope in darkness, the spark of an idea as represented by a light bulb. I played with this idea by making the bulb literally illuminate the word “then,” which is the reversal.

For the final element of my haiku I decided to do a semi-reversal of the first line, “decay.” In many ways, decay and metamorphosis lie opposite each other. Both are organic processes, but one is negative and tends toward chaos while one is positive and tends towards harmony. To accentuate this, I used the same tendril that dripped down from the “y” but instead made it grow upwards to feed into the image of a butterfly—the quintessential representation of metamorphosis. My initial instinct was to tie the word “Metamorphosis” to a Greek myth in which a woman’s tears over her husband’s death leads to their transformations into birds. However, the metaphor of the butterfly is so universally evocative that I felt it would have a stronger additive property to the text and would be more immediately recognizable and would therefore invite viewers to consider their own experiences of transformation.To again emphasize the passage of time over the course of a metamorphosis I made the text appear gradually and organically.