David Bolinsky on Truth and Beauty

This presentation delivered by medical illustrator and animator David Bolinsky is by no means new (it was posted on the TED site back in July), but I’m guessing most of you haven’t seen it yet. Even if you have seen it, David’s attitude towards his job is refreshing and worth repeat viewing. For him, animation is a means of exposing “truth and beauty” to the masses—or at least to larger numbers of people than elite groups of scientists and researchers.

He explains, “I wanted to figure out a way to help people understand truth and beauty in the biological sciences by using animation, by using pictures, by telling stories so that the things that are not necessarily evident to people can be brought forth and can be taught and can be understood.”

The impulse to explain things by using animation and “telling stories” may seem like an obvious choice for you. It’s your lifeblood, after all. You eat, drink and sleep visual storytelling. But to the rest of the world, what you do as a designer or animator can often feel like a revelation, like a gigantic light bulb suddenly illuminating an immense cavern of knowledge.

That’s a great feeling, isn’t it?

It doesn’t matter if you’re selling shoes or solving world hunger, telling stories through animation is a deeply human act, one that transcends the rational compartmentalization we often use to make sense of our world. Animation instead opts for a holistic presentation of reality—or an idealized version of reality—that resonates as much with our hearts as it does our minds.

About the author

Justin Cone

/ justincone.com
Together with Carlos El Asmar, Justin co-founded Motionographer, F5 and The Motion Awards. He currently lives in Austin, Texas with is wife, son and fluffball of a dog. Before taking on Motionographer full-time, Justin worked in various capacities at Psyop, NBC-Universal, Apple, Adobe and SCAD.

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5 Comments

Kevathens

Those animations made me begin to understand the scientist’s point of view. But people in the scientific community do not understand how completely evil they make the future sound. I would hope they could learn how autism (specifically Asperger’s Syndrome, something I share) affects the way they express their ideas.

For instance, I personally feel offended when Bolinsky utters this phrase, “Truth and beauty are things that are often opaque to people who are not in the sciences.” Please, sir, the sciences are important, but ignore the arts at your own risk.

Kevathens

Sorry, that should read “Please, sir, the sciences are important, but..”

Kevathens

Or maybe cut that line out altogether. Sorry! I have trouble understanding what I’m saying.

Kevathens

Okay, maybe not. I think I got my head up my bum.

moc

“what you do as a designer or animator can often feel like a revelation, like a gigantic light bulb suddenly illuminating an immense cavern of knowledge.

That’s a great feeling, isn’t it?

It doesn’t matter if you’re selling shoes or solving world hunger, …”

Take off your rose-colored glasses!
My point of view is a different one.

I think you should definitely NOT romanticize the animations done for huge corporations which support the horrible working conditions of totalitarian countries, e.g. nike, adidas etc.

Next:
I think creating a emotional touching environment in order to sell things is just an elegant and tricky way to lie.
The reason why marketing loves this way, is because the information one stores about the brand or whatever is stored in a more effective way, when your brain is emotionally moved. All the slogans with the word “love” in it, try to use this fact.

Didn’t you ever experience the disappointing feeling if a shortfilm turns out to be a viral in the end. It’s like being cheated.

I wish there would be more designers out there with a idealistic way of thinking, especially in times of Bush, Putin etc.

That’s why I prefer Phillip Starcks standpoint :

‘After all these fantastic people [scientists etc.], I feel like shit”

http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/197

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