An animated video doesn’t have to be in high-definition color to be mind-blowing and psychedelic. Presented in a minimal black and white color scheme, graphic designer Keita Onishi’s animated music video for the experimental Japanese band Haisuinonasa’s song “The Dynamics of the Subway” takes its viewers on a the most mesmerizing subway ride you’ll have in your life. Compensating for its lack of color variation, Onishi’s video’s geometrical patterns, precisely choreographed movements, and impeccably synchronized musical accompaniment stimulate your vision and mind, engulfing you in a dichromatic world of patterns, reactions, and explosions.
In the video “The Dynamics of the Subway,” each geometric symbol corresponds to a respective music note. As the song becomes more complex, the symbols amalgamate to form the subway figure, eventually giving way to a full, functioning subway system. Just as a subway in real life is the sum of all of its mechanical parts and the motions to which they give way, and just as a song is the sum of all of its individual notes blending together and fluctuating, the sum of the shapes and the interactions between them come together to create a virtual subway.
Overall, this music video is a captivating reminder of the intricacy of complex systems. A system is the sum of all of its parts, but it can be beautiful to take a moment to appreciate the significance of the individual elements that make it possible for the system to exist in the first place.