...is a pretty good track title for 2009, a year full of this kind of terror:
But hey, as ever, there's a French philosopher to hand, with three parts depression, six parts hope (and a cupboard full of Commes des Garçons, if my encounter with BHL several years ago is anything to go by).
I think that we can have negative feelings, negative experience concerning injustice, the horrors of the world, terrible wars and so on. But all great movements in the political and historical field have been created, have been provoked not by that sort of negative feeling but always by a local victory. If we appreciate, for example, why we have during two years the great revolt of the slaves in the Roman Empire, under the leadership of Spartacus, it is not because slaves have the feeling of injustice...Because they always have that, it is their experience day after day. It is rather because in one small place, a small group of slaves finds new means, finally to create a victory. A small victory, a local victory.
Describing images of their work, Milan-based Density Design stray deep in to non Computer-Aided-Design-monkey territory when they write:
Often love affairs are unstable,
fleeting and unpredictable. It seems
emotions change in a chaotic way.
Now most of us just get buffeted by the emotional turbulence; but this isn't good enough for the group of academics and students of Communications Design at the Politecnico di Milano.
Earlier this year, in a Herculean move, they decided to chart a course through the chaos of love and model a relationship as a dynamic system.
They took one of the greatest films of all time - French filmmaker François Truffaut's Jules et Jim- and sought to synthesize in to a mathematical model
psycho-physical features of the three
characters and their long and turbulent
What followed was a sequence of graphics that map the course of human relations in the film - cutely assuming that love relationships are "dynamic" (don't stop reading) and ignoring scuzzy soap and socks left on the floor.
You'll find background on the project at Density Design's blog, a complete set of visualisations on Flickr but here's a sample of their mapping of the triangulated trauma of characters Jules, Jim and Catherine.
The path of the characters through the story, visualised by Francesca
The skeleton of their love affairs, visualised by Anna
The fluctuations in their relationship, visualised by Maria Chiara
And the spiral of love intensity (my fave), visualised by Roberta
The writer of Jules et Jim was Henri-Pierre Roche, a Dadaist womanizer who's said to have modelled relationships in the film on his own love triangles - God help him!
But isn't this a great project?
It brings science to storytelling, implicitly acknowledges the value of time in human relations and in spite of all of its typographic neurosurgery, love affairs remain as unstable, fleeting and unpredictable as ever.
Thanks to Density for their permission to publish images here. (And sorry, lost the source of the image at the top.)