Guthrie - Director and Animator
Emeritus of Art
The School of Art and Design
The University of Illinois
John Chase - Music
“Without a Doubt" is a digital animation that illustrates one variation on the 17th century philosopher René Descartes' view of the world. This time-based visual metaphor draws together Descartes' understanding of geometry, expressly the invention of the Cartesian co-ordinates (X, Y, Z), and his most famous statement, 'I think, therefore I am,' to present an introspective dimension within our own understanding.
A figure composed of measuring devices quotes from René Descartes’ “Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting One’s Reason and of Seeking Truth.” His shadow is projected on a wall comprised of an infinite number of drawers, each containing a simple room. The viewer enters a total of three rooms, after each of the recitations. A drafting compass and political globe are the main subjects in the three scenarios reflecting the physical and philosophical construction of our world. At this point, the drawers begin to open and the compasses jump into the unknown. The open drawers visually define a large compass that becomes the leader of an army on the march along the Y-axis toward the origin of the world. On a large plane inscribed with geometric symbols, a second line of composite men marches along an X-axis toward the compasses at a 90-degree angle. After they meet, the leader of the composite men recites the famous line, “I think, therefore I am” just before objects begin to fall from directly above. These objects are physical embodiments of the words “I Think.” and “I Am,” falling in rapid succession and building a stack along the Z-axis. The camera begins to track along the three axes, building in speed until it reaches the very center of the world. A globe pops up and slowly bounces across the floor, finally exiting the large space.