23 April 2020

Affordance (アフォーダンス, 2016)

Hayato Nove (野辺ハヤト, b. 1971) is a graphic designer and illustrator by profession. Along with his web designer wife Tomoko Nobe (野辺智子), he has his own company breath piece which specialises in illustration, album cover design, web design, logos and other art projects. In addition to these commercial endeavours, Nove is also an artist and musician. In recent years, he has experimented with the medium of animation. Affordance (アフォーダンス, 2016) is his second film after his 2013 work Caterpillar (watch here). It was a part of the animation selection that I curated for Nippon Connection in 2017, and we were lucky enough to have Nove join us at the screening and answer questions about the film.
The term “affordance” is relatively new to the English language. It was coined by the late American psychologist James J. Gibson in a 1977 article entitled “The Theory of Affordances” and explored more deeply in his 1979 book The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception. Gibson is considered one of the key 20th century researchers in the field of visual perception, with his work exploring how we see the world we do. Affordance pertains to how our perception of an object defines the possibilities of how it can or should be used. Thus, the concept of affordance is a key one in design (See: Don Norman, “Affordances and Design”, and Nove encountered the term during his studies at Musashino Art University.

Using Nove’s characteristically minimalist monochrome palette, Affordance is a mesmeric film, weaving in and out between simple line drawings to elaborate patterns of movement and metamorphosis. The varying pace of the animation is matched by the soundtrack, which was composed and performed by the artist himself .

You can immerse yourself in Nove’s unique poetic vision on Vimeo now:

Nove is currently working on his latest work Parallax, due out sometime this year.  Watch the trailer:

Cathy Munroe Hotes 2020