Modern Times | Skillshare Projects



Modern Times

I recently re-watched Charlie Chaplin's masterpiece Modern Times and thought that the themes in this movie are quite present today. 

In the first scenes, Chaplin is constantly overhelmed with his work resulting from his boss' greed. This is shown in Chaplin's constant battle against the steadily faster assembly line.

The viewer already senses that there is now way that in the long run Chaplin (humans) can compete with the ever better performing machines. At least not in tradtional terms of output and success. It culminates in a rather depressing picture. High unemployment, riots, criminality, angry crowds and the constant struggle to survive are the reality for most now.

Despite the comedic character of Chaplin's movie, my nouns, verbs and emotions are pretty dark and threatening.

Today new technologies such as high-tech robots, nano-tech, drones, artificial intelligence and 3D printing (to name a few) again bring about new opportunities to advance as individuals and as societies. Those new technologies enable us to tackle some of the most wicked challenges and to create better lifes for many. The other side of the coin is that again we are in a phase of transition (did we ever left it?) and unemployment rates are rising in many countries. New technologies swiped out many jobs that now can be accomplished way more precise and faster by technology. It's not only low-skilled work that is in transition. Also knowledge work is more and more replaced by fast learning machines.

In my poster I wanted to transfer the bleak scenario of Modern Times into our present. Instead of cog wheels and engines it shows the very core of information technology - the digits 1 and 0. 

I was looking for an element that would reflect that we shouldn't forget about our unique human traits like love. Because eventually, despite having lost everything, Chaplin is happy with a befriended orphan girl. I couldn't find a good way to bring in that element (Feedback welcome).

I am a beginner in illustrator so the basic techniques I used are mask clipping, the paintbrush tool and the scribble effect. There is more potential for more advanced graphical illustration. However, I like the poster for it's simplicity and enjoyed the process. What I enjoyed most is thinking about how you would convey a message via a static medium (despite the limited skills to go super fancy.)



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