Tim Romanowsky’s digital drawn animation NODON leads the viewer into a pictorial space of strange behaviors. Everything seems in flux, transformable at any time. NODON does not tell a story. Rather the film creates a frame and a grey background for things to move about: a red, brown-yellow and blue. Born from the agility of the line forms and colours keep developing. Elements detach themselves from a pictorial composition, turn into protagonists, start to listen, creep and look, only to turn back into mere forms again which integrate themselves into a new graphic structure. We watch them emerge, move and transform. They glide through a space that is as well in constant change, evoking at once the shape of a landscape, urban space and graphic composition.
The three beings, each in their own colour space, remain enigmatic. They do not explain themselves and are not being explained. They are geometric figures that have something cartoon-like about them. Unlike cartoon figures, however, it is hardly possible to ascribe clear character traits to them. As for the viewer, their surroundings do not seem easily decodable to them. They are busily move forward, but never without a certain caution. They explore and perceive: Eyes are looking for orientation. Fingers tapping their surroundings. A tongue licks at a stone. One colour figure scents another and seems a bit suspicious.
Finally, they meet in a grey interior and search for a common constellation, for their position in the pictorial space, always trying to distinguish themselves from each other. The danger is to join each other, to mix and melt. If they did, they would all end up in grey. Is it a fight against each other, or are they dancing together? Too many constellations of colours, shapes and proportions seem possible. The tiring effort ends in a frenetic rush of colours reminiscent of the tracking shot in Kubrick’s “2001: Space Odyssey” – pulling the film in dark grey ending.
Tim Romanowsky invites us behind the scenes of a world that artists and designers deal with every day: a world of colours and forms. These often seem, like the protagonists in NODON, to deal with their own ideas. They take on a life of their own and behave in a different way than the first pictorial idea of the maker suggests. Worse still, in the framewise process of animation, the shapes tend to resist and seek their own ways of deforming. Perhaps w’d rather watch them becoming and behaving rather than constantly trying to guide them thus and disrupting their journey into color, form and composition?
Film NODON | 2019