Much better than this

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much better than this by Rafaël Rozendaal

Rafaël Rozendaal, Much Better Than This, Flash animation, 2006


Much Better Than This is a Flash programed[1] visual work produced by Rafaël Rozendaal in 2006. It continually represents the movement of close-up of a couple kissing on a deep-black background.


There is a beginning but no end in Rafaël Rozendaal's works of art in his websites including Much Better Than This. This work is composed of continuous and repeated scene that one of the couple approaches to kiss the other, and the kissed gives it back to the kisser, both approaching each other to kiss. The close-up silhouette from the jaw to the bridge of the nose is one coloured. And the colour changes when the lips are touched. The change is very quick but you can notice a colour that momentarily appears when one existing colour changes to another.

The followings are the condensed characteristics of Much Better Than This.[2]

  • The size of a browser is variable.
  • Colours are rendered differently depending on hardware, software and usage of device.
  • The physical experience of each device shows different pixelization.
  • The user is present in the some pictorial spaces, modifying an image with movement of cursor or finger but the case of Much Better Than This is excluded.

Exhibition Techniques

Rafaël Rozendaal's works of art might seem plain on the electric devices' screen but the visuospatial variability enables his career to enrich as a medium that is flexible in visualisation and sizing. So his works of art have been displayed in various ways, such as lenticular print[3], LED screen and interactive installation across the world.

On May 24th, 2012, Much Better Than This was shown on Seoul Square, the world’s largest LED screen which is 80 x 100 meters[1]. This work was played in a show, The world’s biggest kiss (HD video), with three other works: Falling Falling, Like This Forever, Towards and Beyond.

In November 2006, Much Better Than This was installed at Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Netherland. Rafaël Rozendaal produced Much Better Than This especially for the panoramic video screens of club restaurant 11.[4]

Emotional outcomes

Many of Rafaël Rozendaal's websites remind me of infinitely moving cubistic paintings but the case of Much Better Than This was somewhat different from others. Encountering his work,Much Better Than This, I was very startled at the simplification in the first place. As watching it for a while, another startlingness visited me when a certain sexual, amorous emotion rose with slightly gradual addiction rising. It was like, listening to the same music with unceasingly changing instruments, the longer I watched it.



Ewon Moon