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This is Layer 7 by Armin Vit      Tools:

Ben Greenman's Layer 7 Commentary

Ott: The Hoopla

We have two designers each pursuing their own course, but seeing that course set (and reset) by an opponent.

What half-man/half-devil designed this game? Today's participants have made it even harder on themselves by endeavoring to create a narrative. And as we know, of course, narratives can be jointed or they can be double-jointed or they can be disjointed.

With Layer #7, Armin has taken a fourth course, one that is similar etymologically but radically different in other respects: he has opted for the rejoinder. Armin has selected one of Sam's possible futures for fetus/alien Discus and investigated it in greater detail. The form he has chosen, though, is very much in keeping with the game of Layer Tennis that we have been playing up until now, since he has reinvested issues of time and development. Discus, seen here as a grown man, proceeds through several stages of "Photoshop Abuse," which starts out as an inside joke between today's two designers but ends up as something much more terrifying. As we enter an era where we are known mainly by our images, and our images are more controlled than ever, we all risk being victims of Photoshop abuse. In Armin's layer, it is self-abuse (Discus is both the abuser and the victim of the abuse), but in the world Armin's layer imagines, it could be any kind of abuse at all.

The most brilliant stroke comes from the way Armin ages Discus. The fifth-panel man is not much worse for wear than the first-panel man: he is older, perhaps, but perhaps he is not older. Is he closer to death or just further from life? The only thing we can say about him for certain is that he is stylized. In this respect, Armin's time-lapse is the opposite of true time-lapse photography. Here I am thinking of the work of Dr. John Ott, who pioneered the botanical time-lapse genre in the middle of the century: you may know his work from such films as Walt Disney's "Secrets of Life," which came out in the fifties. Ott wanted to show the inexorable crawl of time. Armin shows something much more menacing--the way in which time can be disrespected entirely. And nice red background: very menacing.


Play by play commentary for this match is provided, as it happens, by Ben Greenman.

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