Space is time's ultimate interface
I loved the above composition. Perhaps it’s just that I took Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics WP epiphany too seriously, but I feel there’s something deep about it. Space and time are one, do you see? The three small panels on top convey a quick sequence (and I can’t help but hear a zippo clicking open and the smallest of sighs), while the long panel invites us to rest on her at leisure. And we can go back, turn back time and see it all over again. Or stop it altogether and focus on the third panel with its bright flame. Or we can go backwards, make it into an infinitely regressive spiral. Or we can try and take it all in one visual gulp. Present is where you are. And all it takes is looking.
Space is time’s ultimate interface.
There’s also another superb quick-closeup, similar in structure, in Animatrix WP ‘s Final Flight of the Osiris WP. It’s more joltingly impactful, to be sure, but that’s also its greatest shortcoming: it’s gone before you notice it. Our interfaces have evolved and our media player can let us see it slowly, frame by frame, but we can’t readily choose our frame. We can’t try and take it all and dream of synchronicity. That is, we can’t unless we space the frames.