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  • Writer's picturekatebilbow

Thesis: Visual Research

Updated: Dec 23, 2021

Exploring Art and Film whereby the process or subject matter points to psychic automatism, the unconscious mind or improvisation. Inspiration for Written Thesis and Final Major Project

Initial point of interest: Hilma af Klint


- Non-objective art with the rise of scientific discoveries at the turn of the century - seeing the unseen world. Lots of visuals that could be microscopic or landscapes.

- Gaia-like theory of radical holistic interconnectivity. Less so abstraction about the political economy (as was the main intention at the time) but for translating how the world functions.

She created a codex to understand these paintings in order to understand the unconscious world through decoding the knowledge she had received. She possibly saw this work less so Art and more so a medium to express her mystic discoveries.

Codex Seraphinianus, Luigi Serafini: Surreal world-building, constructing realities, interacting with subconscious imagery

In Animation:

La Planete Sauvage, René Laloux

amazing amazing amazing

The work of Ryan Larkin (observation, fluidity in movement, watercolour- choosing media that aids in the intuitive process of creation: phenomenologically transparent medium, Merleau-Ponty)

Street Musique (Ryan Larkin, 1972)

Improvised visuals inspired by Montreal street buskers that morph between recognisable forms i ink and watercolour


Asparagus (Suzan Pitt,1979)

A look into the subconscious mind. Visualising the internal through animation - the result is a film with a dream-like quality that, as Suzan says, can be viewed from any point and still have the same meaning. Mix of realism and fantasy

Journeying deeper into your unconscious mind

Life in the Atom (Adam Beckett, 1979)


Afterlife (Ishu Patel, 1978)

Samadhi (Jordan Belson, 1967)

Can you induce and reproduce a transcendental experience

Produced in the late-60s, a result of the rise in popularity of psychedelics and Eastern-philosophy in the counterculture.

An intense link between art, spirituality and science.

As seen clearly with af Klint's work, inspired by Theosophy and new scientific findings.

Feng Huang (ROBERT DARROLL, 1988)

Really interesting look into his years in Korea. You can see the cultural influences: The silhouettes of figures in traditional Hanboks and Gats, the inclusion of the lines - known as trigrams, seen in the South Korean flag - symbolising the idea of dualism and cosmos (the fourth trigram, the three broken lines pictured in the final shot before the characters emerge, meaning the earth and the manifestation of the pure um principle, the yin to yang, in Chinese philosophy). This is shown very cleverly through abstract forms with a fluidity in the motion of geometric shapes.


Video Essay (due 12 May)

Interesting links:

Satoshi Kon - Editing Space and Time

Interesting look into Kon's editing, especially as an animator (which has inspired so many live-action film sequences). Techniques such as ___________ which attempt to visually reflect dreams and the subconscious.

Agnes Varda

Just interested to watch her films

Sans soleil

Watch this. Documentary film on memories

Tony Zhou: How to structure a video essay

Drive it with MEANWHILE and BUT not "and then". That way, you're alway nativating forward in fresh interesting way.

Another technique is "Meanwhile, back at the ranch" used by Hitchcock; have more than one story moving in parallel. When one reaches a high point, switch and build the other one, and vice versa.

A video essay is a film so structure it like one.





Video Essay on potential themes of interest for Written Thesis

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