Photoshop, After Effects, Procreate, Blender / ZHdK / cooperation Giovanna Di Pietro, Johanna Klügl / mentoring Michael Stünzi

A story out of the ice

What exactly is a bow case? What does it consist of and what was it used for? The archaeological sensational find raises many questions. My animation answers them in a poetic and pictorial way.

In 2003, a Neolithic birch cork fragment was recovered at Schnidejoch in the Bernese Oberland, which had been lying in the ice for about 4800 years and was thus preserved. After many years of work, a bow case was reconstructed from it. The find is still unique in the world today and is therefore of great importance for science and the Swiss population.

In future it will be exhibited in the Bern Historical Museum. An animation has been conceived as an accompanying medium of communication; it facilitates access to the strange object. Viewers accompany a Neolithic figure from the manufacture of the case to its use and its loss. In addition there are informative inserts on characteristic features. The combination of emotional and purely informative narration appeals to a wide audience. The short animation runs in a repetitive loop; the introduction is possible at various points. The narrative flow between the different parts is guaranteed by a harmonious design style; coloured scenes ensure lasting impressions.

The bow case is difficult for laymen to grasp. The intellectual and emotional repertoire that people bring to the museum is taken into account. Therefore, the work focuses on the accessibility of the object to the general public. Visitors from all generations should be able to immerse themselves in a bygone era and learn about the history of the bow case.

The animation should lead to the object and answer questions in a narrative way. The pictorial story is universally understandable and encourages the viewer to think along. It should not be instructive, but rather arouse curiosity. The animation is accompanied purely musically by harmonious sounds designed for the museum space. They touch emotionally and support the mediation on the auditory level. 

The plot combines sober knowledge of the bow case with an emotional story of a Neolithic figure. The bow case, around which the plot revolves, is always at the centre. This ensures that the core messages are conveyed undisturbed. The action sequences of the figure, on the other hand, are usually contextualised in a spatial environment.

Scenes about the bow case convey characteristic features. For example, birch cork has similar advantages to today's outdoor equipment. Among other things, it is light, water-repellent and dimensionally stable, making it ideal for transporting and storing bows and arrows.

The figure helps viewers to imagine how the object is handled. Until today it is not known whether the bow equipment belonged to a woman or a man. Therefore the figure is mysteriously and gender neutral.

Lucy Kägi

Zürich, Schweiz