Alison Lucy's Blog


The Black Monolith
November 27, 2009, 12:48
Filed under: Hidden

These ‘non-spaces’ got me thinking about the space contained within my broken hard-drive and how it holds so many invisible items within its black case. These items are very precious and hold a definite mystery about them. This might not be an obvious jump to many people but this hard-drive now reminds me of the black monoliths in Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’. I love how Kubrick builds the tension within this film with the appearance of these alien monolith objects and I think the eerie music that comes in around the 2 minute mark has a great deal to do with that in this scene.

The use of symbolism within this film is something that has become to really intrigue me when reading in more detail about the mystery behind the ‘Black Monolith’. There are theories that unconscious symbols are used across Kubrick’s work to effect audiences directly, so I’m interested in looking into the semiotics and steganography of Kubrick’s other films also. I like the concept of these ‘hidden’ symbols effecting us indirectly. The music that appears every time we encounter the black monolith throughout the film is of extreme importance, we also hear it at the beginning of the film and during the interval against the black cinema screen. What I found fascinating to discover was that at this point we are in fact looking at the surface of the black monolith, so the monolith is in fact a representation of the cinema screen itself and if we rotate the monolith 90 degrees we see that the dimensions between the two are quite similar.

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