The Evolution of Silence, Generative Cinema

Generative cinema (open duration, non-sequential, random)
multiple scenes/channels (in progress)
made with Processing
1920 x 1080

Through an experimental visual approach to making data visible and palpable, ‘The Evolution of Silence’ combines fact and interpretation into a multivalent generative cinematic investigation of the dynamics of conflict, transformation of landscape, and a view of the human element. Developing a poetic approach to design language, coding, mapping, and imaging, the project further expands upon what is known or can be known about this damaged place, The Nevada Test Site. Focussing on the traces and fragments of what occurred, the project also reveals and memorializes the L.A. Darling Co. Mannequins used in the Civil Defense program in the 1950s. Their story offers compelling historical and cultural perspective on the atomic bomb and points to the human toll of conflict. This non-linear multi-channel experience (along with its web-based counterpart) allows one to bypass government boundaries and control of the area. The viewer is challenged to make sense of the scale of what happened, and to confront the malleability and authority of data as it relates to memory, war, reconciliation, and place. Through this aspect of viewer participation—the film is never fixed sequentially but endlessly generating new juxtapositions and compositions and presents the researcher as a character, one is conceptually involved in reclaiming this contested landscape and called to dismantle what Susan Sontag calls,‘the aggregate image of war’ by confronting the scale of ‘war’s murderousness.’ (Sontag, S. Regarding the Pain of Others, 2003).

Aesthetic Representations of Violence

MFA creative project document
64 pages
15 x 8 inches
Case bound, Indigo prints
Worth Higgins Inc.
Richmond, VA
April 2005

+ credits

Rachele Riley, Author
Rachele Riley, Designer

MFA thesis committee members:
Sandra Wheeler
Rob Carter
Roy McKelvey

A few spreads from my MFA document, ‘Aesthetic Representations of Violence’—in which my main creative project, Visualizing the Art of War, and other design projects created during my MFA at VCU in Design/Visual Communication, are presented and explained in terms of approach and research interest. (more…)