Thursday, 14 January 2016

A new direction

After the Versant critique I decided to explore different ways of both creating and animating the work. My first thought was to take a step back from the digital and pursue a hand drawn Lo-Fi approach.
I have always been inspired by artist Nicholas Hutcheson's antarctic animations. While I did not experiment with stop frame animation I took from his work the idea that the hand drawn offers a sense of primacy or immediacy which laboriously working in Aftereffects can destroy. To this end I explored ways of recording the physical act of mark making without seeing evidence of the artists hand.

Part of earlier feedback in my Concepts and contexts module was that the relatively short animation loops (3-5mins) meant that one was too soon aware of the artifice of the works construction. The work started to become repetitive and as a result a sense of connection or otherness was lost. This is why I'm not experimenting with stop frame animation directly, each one of Nicholas Hutcheson's animations are 12-15 seconds long. To build something of 10 minutes plus in the time frame of this module would be unachievable. It would also still loop! by using video clips I could keep an animation evolving almost indefinitely in such a way as Brian Eno's '77 Million Paintings'

Below are images of a primitive set up in which a long viewfinder type apparatus has a camera sat underneath and a glass plate on top. The plate is covered with tracing paper making the artists hand invisible to the camera. After many attempts and different arrangements this method was abandoned. While clips were made there were two main issues. Firstly the paper would lift from the plate causing marks to appear as they were made but often disappear as the brush moved around the image. Secondly I was limited by scale, if this technique was to be effective I would need to build a much bigger set up.

Below are examples of Nicholas Hutcheson's work.

Antarctic Time-Lapse Drawing: Nine from Nicholas Hutcheson on Vimeo.

Antarctic Time-Lapse Drawing: Seven from Nicholas Hutcheson on Vimeo.

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