By Darissa Townes
Motion media can be a difficult art to define. I’d describe it as a combination of graphic design and animation, but this doesn’t convey enough about the art.
On Friday March 11, SCAD’s motion media department hosted “Connextion” at the Digital Media Center (DMC). It was a showcase of student’ works that made me realize theres more to motion media than just a combination of graphics and movement.
At Connextion, in the DMC’s lounge area on the third floor, the students created unique ‘stages’ to show their art through projections. One student used paper cards placed on a cork board to show their work. Another used a three dimensional polygon and showed their work on all the sides. Some used the walls, but featured multiple screens. The unique differences between the displays made them fascinating. Each one had its own personal flavor, showing that students considered the displays long before making the actual motion media.
On the second floor of the DMC in the studio, motion media professor Christina Maloney had an assortment of colorful toys called Hoberman Spheres, ball-like toys capable of folding and expanding through a series of joints. We played with the Hoberman spheres in whatever way we felt the most enjoyable. We would roll it like a bowling ball or imitate fireworks exploding.
As other students and I fiddled with the surprisingly therapeutic toys, I started to realize how motion media was similar to the sphere. There wasn’t an right or wrong way to play with the object. Animation can imitate life and graphic design can catch the eye, but motion media has no specific niche when it comes to what it does best. Motion media artists can use their imaginations to make anything move the way they want to on any surface.
At the event, there was a sense of freedom seeing work that captured each student’s artistic individuality. Every piece had a memorable aspect to it. For some pieces, the songs used and interesting shapes made a lasting impression. For others, it was the typography, color and lighting that stood out the most. Each display at the show that night felt like another piece of a Hoberman sphere. A colorful toy that in and of itself can be enjoyed in a multitude of ways.