The next lecture in our design and technology course consisted of the film 2001: A space odyssey. The journey of man through various stages of evolution and into the future is depicted through symbolic visuals. Ape becomes man when it picks up tools. Man evolves and the tools become the spaceship and the intelligent computer. Man uses this technology to chase the unknown and the higher extraterrestrial life. Man and his intelligence has created equally intelligent tools. As the tool (the computer) takes on man’s likeness, surpassing human intelligence becoming the ultimate tool it has to be destroyed. Man is then left alone in outer space and becomes a natural being again. He looks down on the Apes and is a free natural being. It questions our role in the universe. Will we be able to be natural beings again? What are our tools today and what will be the tools that will lead to the end of man?
The different key stages of this journey are marked by the monolith. For its purpose in the film it has been designed with great detail. It could have easily taken the form of an alien spaceship but it did not. It was a tall black rectangle. The black colour creates mystery and intrigue and creates a modern day reference to “BlackBox” technology. The shape is key with the right angles showing it is not natural and has been created by an intelligent life force. The scale is also important as it is significantly bigger than a man, creating awe within its human viewers.
Essential to creating these symbols is music, it is important when presenting any idea. There were two key pieces.
The Blue Danube waltz by Johann Strauss II shows the playfulness and beauty of space and gravity. Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (widescreen)
The Also sprach Zarathustra by Richard Strauss creates a momentous awakening. Link Also Sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30 – Strauss
The film proposes a lot of questions about mans role and the future of man. Will these be answered in our lifetime?
Credit to my understanding rogerebert.com Picture credit - nathanbauman.com