Times are changing. My grandfather lived in the Industrial Age, and was part of the union movement (for newspaper workers, coincidentally). But his time is closing, and it has been for a while. My whole life, I have been surrounded by information – from my earliest memories of exploring my mother’s library (an actual library, she ran the small house of knowledge in the town I grew up in), to my most recent experiences of trawling the internet as I prepare for my exams. The Information Age is here.
I have spent the past four months exploring. In preparing my application for grad school, I have searched for CVs of other people in the field of Scientific/Medical Visualization. There are more jobs in this field than I could have dreamed. In my studies of animation, I have come to realize that there is very little to which visualization could not be applied – it’s certainly applicable to any verbal concept I have been presented with in my science lectures. Visualization has the ability to change the world; in the words of my professor, what is an aquarium but a building full of windows? And why can’t these windows be replaced with screens, through which we can see animals too large, too small, or too slow to otherwise observe? Not animals kept in tanks, but animals projected onto screens, where their entirety – from their appearance down to their behavior – would be based on scientific research and biological equations. There is potential for a future where these exhibits feature photo-realistic, animated, and programmed animals, where the study can take place outside of the confines of Plexiglas and concrete. Exhibits where the animals are not made of flesh, but of light and data.
The more I learn about it, the more I strive to be part of this field. A five and-a-half year long journey came to an end today, and I am immensely relieved that, at the end of it, I know where I’m going. In retrospect, it is amazing that I ever felt lost.
Now! Without further ado, I would like to present to you the fruit of my labour! An animation inspired by (ridiculous) controversy, backed by science, and made with the help of two ladies who had the guts to follow my lead, despite not knowing where it would take us.