Julia Griffey, MFA ’05


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Name: Julia Griffey

Graduation: 2005

Program: MFA

Another early project that dealt with the experience of human motion was my Hand Movie, a piece I made in the Dynamic Typography course. The assignment was to represent music visually using time-based media. The goal of the piece was to not only express the music visually, but to also see if simple, human gestures could take on a poetic quality.

The soundtrack for the film is a short, simple classical guitar piece, “Prelude in C Minor” by Andres Segovia, and the visual language consists of video of simple hand gestures. Volume and speed changes, repetition and other musical patterns dictate the editing style. For example, grander gestures correspond with bolder phrases in the music and darker more colorful clips with louder moments in the piece. In keeping with the simplicity of the music, the color palette is limited to muted shades of pale blue. Was I successful at accomplishing what I set out to do? I think the piece could have been stronger. The most interesting moments in the piece are those in which the visuals are abstract and the subject slowly becomes apparent. And at the end of the piece, when the music picks up, the gestures should have matched the energy. Even in a short, abstract piece, there should be an introduction, tension and resolution.

While the visual language of the Hand Movie was limited, it could have been exploited to a greater degree to demonstrate a larger range of visual possibilities. Nevertheless, there are some beautiful moments in the piece that cause even me to see a simple hand gesture in a new light.

Keywords: music