Suus - Rona Nishliu

Made by Matthew Bofenkamp

3D interpretation of the song "Suus" by Rona Nishliu

Created: October 17th, 2016



I wanted to use Suus by Rona Nishliu as inspiration for the piece because it's a song I really like, due to its very emotive nature, and the fact that it's in Albanian, and not English, which makes the meaning of the song more open to interpretation, since I don't know what the words mean. From the song, the main emotion I took away was despair, so my goal was to make that despair clear in my project. My motivation was the passion I had for the song, which I arguably have more for this song than for any other non-english song I know about.



In the end, I produced a piece consisting of an Erlenmeyer flask filled with tissue paper, silhouetted figures with poses that showed sorrow, despair, or the feeling of being trapped, and the lyrics to the most powerful verses in the song wrapped in a ribbon around the neck of the flask. I chose red and yellow for the paper on which the silhouettes were drawn because I felt like this song had a sort of boldness that I associate with yellow, and sorrow that I associate with blood red. I chose light blue for the lyrics because I wanted it to be a subtler color that seemed fit with the red and yellow, and the three primary colors seemed like the way to go. I used the Erlenmeyer flask because when I think of being trapped, I think of how I felt trapped for years in a future as a biologist, which I felt was inevitable, though I had no real passion for it. I simply thought I'd never find a career I could achieve and enjoy at the same time, and biology was the closest I could come to that. I included the paper strip of lyrics to tie the piece back strongly to the song and the Albanian culture that produced it, as well as to fill a bit of empty space. I included the tissue paper to simulate a cloud, separating, surrounding, and consuming those trapped inside the flask. The tissue paper is tipped with red to simulate blood, referencing the bleeding heart vibe I got from the song.



I started by writing the Albanian lyrics to Suus on a long strip of paper. I wrote the lyrics in a different handwriting from usual, one that I'd often take on in high school when I was feeling particularly emotional. It involves much more downward and flowing strokes than my usual handwriting, and tends to fall down the piece of paper slowly as I write. However, the ribbon ended up being about four feet long, which is much more than I expected, and certainly too much to wrap around a tiny flask while keeping the contents visible. In the end, I only kept the lyrics that I felt were most important. The rest can be seen in the photo below.

I then stuffed the flask with tissue paper and cut off the remainder so that it would not be flowing out of the top. I then drew the figures, sketching them in pencil before filling them in with black gel pen. I cut them out and stuffed them inside in the appropriate places, I then taped the remaining lyrics to the neck of the flask and shifted the tissue paper to obscure parts of the figures, so it could look like the tissue paper was starting to overtake them. To finish off, I attacked the top of the tissue paper with a red gel pen to add the red streaks.



I don't dislike this piece, but I sure wouldn't want Rona Nishliu to see it. I think I showed some despair, but not with the same power as the original. I learned that it's really hard to control tissue paper inside an erlenmeyer flask. Creating artwork in a 3D space is certainly difficult, though I saw that coming. Just not to the extent of the truth. Next time I would make the figures larger and insert the tissue paper in a way that can more easily obscure bits of the figures.

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62-150 Intro to Media Synthesis and Analysis

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New creative industries are empowering new modes of collaborative consumption, creation and reuse of media. This often relies on successful collaborations between cross-trained artists, designers a...more


3D interpretation of the song "Suus" by Rona Nishliu