Dedicated to Jean-Dominique Bauby, the head of French Elle magazine. He suffered a massive stroke in the ‘90s and wrote the beautiful book The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by blinking his left eyelid. This video piece is inspired by the second to last chapter
of the book, where he describes his mundane day until the fatal tragedy strikes.
The animation is synced to the audio and monitors audio waveforms to change the way it moves. The lovely artist/designer Katie Kerr let me record her synaesthesia to adapt for this project.
I started by reading the book and then going back and highlighting parts of the chapter that really meant something to me, that evoked emotion out of me. Moving to audio production software, I wrote a piece of music that spoke to the emotions and details that I highlighted in the book. The synthesizer on the bottom was very important in achieving the evolving timbre I wanted, as it is designed to drift around certain parameters.
Once I had music, I contacted my design friend Katie Kerr, because I knew she experiences synaesthesia. This is a rare condition where some people can experience audio in visuals, almost like hallucinations, that dance in front of their vision. Katie wrote down everything she experienced while listening to my music.
Using Katie’s synaesthesia notes, I animated an evolving, flowing motion graphic that synced up to the audio. The visuals are made to resemble brain synapses.

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