This year I’ve mostly been busy making videos and stuff for the University of Exeter, arranging my wedding, (not) decorating my house and looking after furry child. However, I have had a chance to do a couple of bits and pieces of video. One is my first attempt at a hand drawn run cycle and the other is a Planet Mu video for Traxman’s amazing new album. It’s an absolute privilege to make visuals for his music, I don’t think there was anyway I could do it justice.
While discussing William Basiniski’s Disintegration Loops recently with friends, it was suggested that his music is art. I hadn’t yet made this distinction between music and art, but it reminded me of Lev Manovich’s essay, The Death of Computer Art. In which Manovich describes the distinction between Fine Art and Computer Art as a difference in the artist application of irony to the materials and or medium. This rang true for me when thinking about the Disintegration Loops because recently when listening to the final recording in the set, during the final two minutes of the fourth disc (approximately five hours into the recordings) my CD began to skip ever so slightly. My recent conversation made me think that if this were music, and not art, I would have been annoyed but instead the disruption seemed somewhat appropriate.
I always struggle to commit to an end of the year list, so instead I’ve complied this Youtube playlist of music that has been significant to me and was released in 2013.
I made this video of incomplete CGI to compliment Misty Conditions’ style of ‘severely damaged’ and ‘fractured’ trap. I wanted the keep the action and any synchronization with the music largely in the background while the foreground elements linger as I intentionally skip edits and hold shots for longer than is perhaps comfortable for an electronica music video. I was inspired by Godard’s rubbish dump aesthetic and feel that the video should perhaps begin with his disclaimer, “this film was found in a rubbish dump”, as I like to this of this piece as electronic post consumer waste found abandoned on the internet. It’s elements are assembled second hand and held together with nails to form a psychedelic collage rather than a sting of highly finessed montages.
“The video adds another dimension to the already psychedelic production, combining swirling backgrounds with animated, headless bodies that seem to be running through an endless landscape. It’s the kind of visual accompaniment that could offer little more than what’s plainly visible, or, with the right mindset, could seem to offer layers of cloudy meaning to explore.” Leo Maymind of XLR8R Magazine
Misty Conditions -‘D’Zzzz’ LP is released on 15/10/13 on Planet Mu Records
The Animation of Don Hertzfeldt 
The animation of Don Hertzfeldt was created with a mindset that exists outside the walls of the animation mainstream. Gone are Pixar’s quirky utopian princesses and Cigraph’s cutting edge algorithms that create photo-realistic fur. Hertzfeldt’s stories and animation style are simultaneously esoteric and full of mass appeal. His films scrutinise the mainstream animation industry as well as highlighting the banality of modern existence by using well-judged humour, a finely tuned animation skill set and a great sense of poetry.
“…like the opening theme to a schools programme from the future. ” – Dukla Prague Away Kit
I recently made this ultra compressed, post industrial music video to promote Walton’s new album, Beyond, out now on Hyperdub.
To compliment Walton’s grimy sound on this track, the video displays fetishistic machinery, broken computer generated fluid simulations and dislocated body parts revolving as if on display in some terrible VFX showreel. It feels much more akin to my older work as it is noisiest video I’ve made for a while, however, it does represent my current fascination with the medium that I began to explore in my first CGI video, Henry’s Girl is a Computer.
Tim Gentles wrote an excellent summary of the video and Walton’s track for XLR8 magazine, where he describes “…mechanical imagery, such as pistons monotonously working, with ominous visuals of human skeletons and oil droplets spilling, all rendered in gloriously cruddy CGI”.
I have updated my showreel to include some of favourite work from the end of 2012 and 2013. With the edit, I have decided treat the reel as a piece rather than a reference document and I’ve focused on my experience as a director rather than focusing on a specific animation or filmmaking technical skills. I produced, directed, modeled, animated and edited all of shots and assets therein.