I once heard a profound remark from my old mechanic, of all people, that has with me through the years…
“These are the good ol’ days, if you ask me!
A simple remark that helps him realise just how rich his life is & stops him from falling prey to reminiscence.
I took this notion, and extrapolated; if you wanted it enough, today could be the greatest day of your life, so cherish it! Don’t take things for granted and appreciate every moment.
‘This Is The Greatest Day Of Your Life’ is a collection of small motion graphic and interactive works with the purpose of helping people acknowledge and appreciate the richness of their lives by showing what we can have and what we can lose.
Simply put, it is a meditation on remembrance and loss.
I. Pluck a Thread From a Lifetime of Memories
The first piece displays the title sewn into the screen, behind a vine blowing in the breeze (a metaphor explained in the final piece). The user is allowed the illusion of control over his/her environment through the use of a sparrow in flight as a cursor. Through the sparrow, the user can interact with the environment; plucking flowers from the vine and killing/regrowing the vine.The user experiences sense of loss of control when they yield to curiosity and click on the dangling piece of string: the sparrow ignores the user and flies away, partially unraveling the title. This user initiated destruction of the design is the first introduction to the themes of loss and decay. The sparrow’s thread remains as a common motif throughout as a subtle reminder of this decay.
II. A Time To Reflect. She’s Never Coming Back
The second and third pieces attempt to convey the sense of emptiness felt by any young man (myself included) of a lost love. As he stands alone, he remembers the girl on his shirt (that is - the girl in his heart.) Feeling like a child lost in the woods, all he can do is stay where he is - hope she comes back to him and finds him. All he can do is remember her.
III. In The Heart/In The Mind, Fading Memories.
After clicking on his memories of her we’re taken into his heart (the third piece), and shown his already fading memories… we see her figure as she dances, a brief glimpse of a smile, any commonplace moment of the two of them together.
IV. Stop All The Clocks
The fourth piece consists of a deconstructed Verdi piano solo, which is (for want of a better word) randomly restructured as a score to HD Auden’s poetry. The reason for the de/reconstruction of the Verdi was to give the user a haunting sense of musical claustrophobia. After listening for a while, the user can feel the melody constantly being teased out into playing, though it never actually finds the courage to play itself in its entirety.
V. Another Nightmare of Self Decay
The fifth is a simple nightmare piece: death and the decay of the self - the loss of both physical and emotional health. A reminder of the non-material possessions we can lose.
I frequently endure similar nighmares, myself.
VI. Reprise For a Lifetime of Memories
The sixth piece is a reprise of the first, and ends the user’s experience in bitter-sweet melancholy. The solo piano (Philip Glass’ “Mad Rush”) from the first piece is playing again, helping its role as a reprise.The constant flux of life on screen - the growth, decay, and regrowth of the vines and flowers - are a simple reminder that everything changes. It is my favourite piece on the site, and I hope that it serves adequately as a final reminder of our transient nature, and helps us learn to appreciate it.