Posts tagged 'Abstract'


“The majority of the 3D models used in the video are based on real objects from Space; the Hubble Space Telescope, Progress and Voyager 1. The planets and moons in the video are generated using NASA imagery, and helped to create a formal aspect to an otherwise abstract piece.”

As anyone who frequents this site knows, I’m a big fan of ‘wormhole’ videos. That’s not a formal, industry term or whatever just a little tag I started attaching to any video with a significant portion dedicated to taking bringing the viewer on a journey directly towards (or away from) the center of the frame. The first one I can remember seeing is 2001’s infamous ‘Star Gate’ slitscan sequence and I disctinctly remember wishing it had been twice (or three times) as long.

Ever since the inception of this site over three years ago I’ve tried to collect the best examples of the form and my current favorites are Max Hattler’s Sync, the bizarre and whimsical Pelican by David Wilson Creative (for The Maccabees), Jesse Kanda’s psychedelic sea-punk music video for Arca’s Manners, Quantum Leap by Thomas de Rijk (for Slugabed), and Carl Burton’s supremely strange and intriguing short film, Shelter.

Attached above is a video – by Stuart Sinclair – that fits in nicely with the aforementioned watchables. The glitchy, looped-and-syncopated music by Suns is just-right for a dive through space and the wire-frame visuals heighten the futuristic, tech-drenched vibe.

Top-marks all the way ‘round. ENJOY!

Oh and be sure to check out our wormhole feed, it’s not-to-be missed.



Right out of the gate I was enamored with the aesthetic; it evokes movies like Tron and WarGames which – whether they hold up now or not – were seen in the brain-like-a-sponge days of my childhood and, as a result, a welcome flutter of warm nostalgia cascaded through my brain.

About a minute in though my interest started to wane; when were things going to pick up? I was a bit bored and having trouble understanding what this whole thing was about but, since Max made it, I stayed locked in (and am glad I did).

I build systems all day and, before construction actually starts, I first have to understand what I’m building and why it’s worth the effort. Usually there’s some kind of raw, chaotic element that, if thoughtfully reconfigured, can transform an unwelcome existing reality into a new, useful one.

I’m typically dealing with reams of unstructured data and have found that, more often than not, a wise first step in the process of turning chaos into order is forcing oneself to slow-down and observe. So that’s exactly what I did.

What are these shapes? Why do they move as they do? What causes the connecting lines to appear? Were they always there or do they spring from nothing when another form is close? What causes them to go away? Are they artifacts of communication or some abstract representation of relationship (or neither)?  Why do some shapes leave the frame while others combine or split or shrink down to nothing or…

...then it was over and I longed to see more. I wanted to live in that neon-and-artificial-yet-strangely-organic-and-alive world for a bit longer to see where things went. I couldn’t make sense of it at first but felt that if I kept watching some hidden, important meaning would eventually present itself.

As mentioned above, the talented Max Hattler directed the attached with some animation assistance from Matt Abbiss, Tony Comley, Valeria Fonseca, Siobhan Mcelhinney and Luiz Stockler.


P.S. If you haven’t seen (or seen-in-a-while) Max’s excellent Sync I suggest you do; it’s SUPER trippy.

[ X (by Max Hattler) - Festival Version ]


The vast majority of suggestions I receive are accompanied by rather lengthy and well-written messages explaining exactly why the suggestor thinks their submission is perfect for the site. The best ones tend come from the original creators themselves and, the better and more passionately they are written, the worse I feel when I decide not to share their work.

It’s strange to me that there are talented, creative people out there who want ME SPECIFICALLY to see their work. It never fails to validate my existence which, as you might expect, feels good man. My natural tendency in those moments is to post what they’ve shared, thereby increasing my good feels by way of returning their original kindness. But I have other feels to think about! As stated previously, I am rather obsessed with making all of you happy which means that, by extension, I am terrified of wasting your precious time.

As evolved social primates we are all tasked with balancing this ‘feels economy’ and my experience has taught me that any temporary twinges of pleasure I might derive from validating the time someone took to write in are vastly inferior to the satisfaction of knowing I consistently enhance your collective leisure hours.

Which brings me to the attached, a suggestion (via Facebook) from Tilio Canicola accompanied by a simple, two-character message: :)

It’s all he needed to say.

GENESIS is two-minutes of pleasingly-smooth, constantly-evolving abstract shapes (and a few wormhole dives) directed by Francisco Miranda and Guillermo Daldovo with animation/compositing/editing/sound design from MALEVO and set to a song by adapt.

It’s gorgeous stuff and, as far as I can tell, absolutely worth your time: so full screen, volume up and – most importantly – ENJOY!


Kou kou

I often implore y’all to watch the videos I post here ‘full screen with the lights down’. I think properly ‘setting the scene’ for any worthwhile experience is well, worth it, but in the case of the attached it’s an absolute necessity.

All the sounds in this film by Takashi Ohashi are syllables in the Japanese language but aren’t joined together with any formal syntax; there’s no meaning to discern whatsoever. The same goes for the animation, it’s just bright shape and form on a black field, a visual representation of how your eyes might interpret what your ears are experiencing.

I had a strange realization as I watched it. My initial reaction was “Yeah, that looks about right” but then, in the very next moment, I wondered why it looked right. What in my instinctual thought process is validating the authenticity of how these moving forms relate to the sounds my ears are hearing? Where is that process taking place in my grey matter?

Stranger still, I never had any doubts that you would have the same experience. The human mind is a deliciously strange and delightful thing to both observe and observe with. So yeah, maximize your wonder quotient by clearing out the distractions before clicking play, the extra effort is well worth it.

P.S. When you’re done here, be sure to give With My Umbrella – a music video by Takashi Ohashi we posted last August – a watch next.

[ こうこう | koukou ]


Yes, please. I’m a sucker for wormholes and Jesse Kanda‘s geometric, seapunk(ish), refracted-and-ray-traced slow-dive for Arca‘s Manners is an excellent example of the form.

Serving instructions:

  1. Get the attached loaded in HD on your largest available screen and position your head close enough to it so that the majority of your field of vision is filled.
  2. Put your headphones on.
  3. Stare directly into the center of the screen and keep your eyes fixed that way for the duration of the video.
  4. Enjoy the magic that happens in your peripherins.

Cheers to Peter Verner for passing this along on Twitter. Thanks!

[ Arca - Manners (HD) ]


Kyle Mowat‘s thesis film, Ballpit, is a haunted toymaker’s fever-dream with its psychedelic tangle of fluid, soft-edged gizmos, trinkets, and doo-dads that spontaneously erupt into morphing, frenzied movement. The ethereal, echoing Fisher Price-instrument soundtrack by Lido Pimienta is a just-right accompaniment to the madness. ENJOY!

A big thanks to Mr. Sam Lillard, fresh back from his three-month Alaskan sojourn, for the suggestion. Welcome home Sam, we’ve missed you! Cheers!


Evoking Spirits

it’s multi-versal; pages and journals.
My journey here is ended soon –
we blow eternal.

My mind expands
      with widening strands
      of indigo and purple.
This music’s not commericial,
just the-square-to-meet-that-circle.”

We’ve been watching Ori Toor make shit since first discovering the ‘unofficial’ music video he created for Animal Collective’s Lion in a Coma. Since then he’s made a few more and each exhibit his distinct ‘stream of consciousness’ style of staggered-and-repeating organic, undulating shapes. Ori’s approach has subtely shifted in each of them but they’ve all, for the most part, remained abstract studies in colorful form. The attached, his latest, veers into new territory and I’m absolutely loving how he’s mixed in some representational imagery to compliment the usual assortment of evolving, fluid structures.

It’s my favorite Ori-joint yet and easily an ‘instant classic’ of the site…it’d be a crime to watch this in anything but full-screen HD. Oh and a nice pair of bass-friendly headphones is a must, too; Kingdom Crumbs knows how to properly fatten-up the bottom end of their kicks and basslines and you’ll want to rattle-and-bathe in each one.

Speaking of which, I picked up their eponymous album this morning and have been listening to it while I cobble together this post. It’s thoughtful, positive, mellow, rambling-in-a-good-way hip-hop undergirded by some spacey, out-there synthesizers and easily worth the ten bucks in iTunes. If you’re strapped for cash, head over to Bandcamp and name-your-price; even the most frugal of budgets can accommdate a few cents, right?


[ Kingdom Crumbs - Evoking Spirits ]

With My Umbrella

Takashi Ohashi‘s animation in this music video for cokiyu reminds me of both bleeple’s 2D moving collages and Ori Toor’s layered undulations. They all share a foundation of smooth, psychedelic abstraction but Takashi’s shapes veer away from pure form to conjure an alien landscape of playful, swimming organisms. It’s smooth-as-fuck, too – clearly he sweats the details, something I always appreciate.

Speaking of which, I’m a big fan of the ‘color-echo’ effect that makes it’s first appearance from 1:41-2:06, reappears at 2:47 and spools up to a crescendo from 3:17 to 3:47. It probably looks good on your phone, sure, but it’s one of those bits of subtle animation that’s magic on a big screen in a dark room so, if you’ve got access to a similar environment, I suggest you experience it there.


P.S. If you’re diggin’ this, definitely watch Chunkothy next.

[ cokiyu - With My Umbrella ]


About ten seconds in I started smiling, immediately caught off-guard – in the most pleasing of ways – by this Joshua Catalano-created journey through a hard-lined, cell-shaded, abstract geometric landscape. The slightly muted palette compliments the loopy, minimal tech-throbs of John Talabot rather well – so much so that I’ve re-watched it a dozen times already.

I typed out a couple of other paragraphs about the attached but they all felt forced, cheap even. I decided to call it quits and just post the damn thing after I remembered some wise words from the great John Peel: “At the heart of anything good there should be a kernel of something undefinable, and if you can define it, or claim to be able to define it, then, in a sense, you’ve missed the point.”

Cheers to that.

I can talk about other stuff in this space, right? OF COURSE I CAN. Here’s some stuff I recommend you check out at your soonest convenience:

1. The Ghostfaced Pixels by Safety Words. It’s a Wu-centric mix tape backed with NES sampled beats…for a taste, give Snikt (my favorite cut from the album) a listen. It’s a free download so don’t hesitate to get on that shit.

2. Veep. HBO consistently brings the heat and each episode of the Elaine-helmed, all-star cast is packed with hilarious, smartly-written dialogue. If you’re in the market for LULZ, this one delivers.

3. Do y’all watch Big Brother? Y’all should. My wife got me into it three summers ago after a prolonged campaign of brute-force pleading until I finally gave-in. I’m glad I did. At first glance it looks simple and trashy but if you crack open it’s seemingly cheap facade you’ll find a warm, tasty center that yields a bumper crop of entertainment. The latest season premieres this Thursday. Want to watch it together?


Nature Regulate

“All emotions are disease, worn down like rotted teeth;
I run a hundred miles an hour, to try and get free.
But to stained dollars we obey, ease the military away.
What happened to making the most of it?
What if one life – one roll of the dice – is all you get?”

The visuals in this music video for Birdpen (by Pooya Abbasian) are, at first glance a bit random and disconnected which, if I’m honest, initially put me off. I was like, what’s this all about bro? But the song itself – with its earnest description of the anxiety-riddled self doubt that chaperones our search for significance – speaks to the indeterminate, ultimate open-ended-ness that flows beneath us as we grow up. In that light, something connected and I watched it a few times in quick succession. Maybe you’ll like it too?

Thanks for taking the time to send this in Pooya, cheers!

[ BIRDPEN-Nature Regulate ]


About three weeks ago Scott Benson tweeted about an apparent segment of the population that thinks animation used to be better then. Wait, did I just link to a tweet? I think I can swing a copy/paste of 140 characters for proper context: “Those who claim that modern animation doesn’t match up to an earlier period aren’t on the internet. It’s the best era of the medium NOW.”

I get what he’s saying – and honestly, I agree – but these are just subjective opinions based on our personal preferences. I’m one of those annoying assholes who, when someone says something is ‘better’, quickly attaches an unsolicited ‘for you’ suffix to their statement. It’s a knee-jerk response conditioned by years of being told the stuff I liked was somehow inferior. Like, for instance, finding out that the particular genre of music I instinctually enjoyed was ‘gay’.

But I like it, isn’t that the whole idea?

I’ve noticed that when the creative efforts of the present are derided it’s because, in the eyes of the ‘haters’, modernization has somehow ruined a sacred process that didn’t need fixing in the first place. In terms of animation, I think there’s something magical about a huge team of people collaborating together to render each cell by hand, nary a computer in site. Certainly the barriers to entry with a process like this (an ability to draw well and a near unlimited supply of patience etc.) tends to keep out the casual riffraff. But this kind of leave-it-to-the-experts, country club, gated-community/ivory tower mentality to creativity is just the un-evolved primate, fear-of-death-and-the-future part of their brains talking. Just go out and make shit; pay their chest-beating no mind.

We’re living in an age when someone like beeple can, with the help of a microprocessor and a generous swath of free time, create his own distinct flavor of audio/visual experience (like the attached) without having to compromise with bean-counters, standards and practices or really anyone for that matter…all from the comfort of home. When else in the past would someone fund a bizarre little film like this? With it’s quirky soundtrack and abstract visual accompaniment where each-and-every blip and beat has its peculiar, candy-colored visual equivalent.

We are in the age where anyone can make what they want and get it out there for virtually nothing. That’s the dream, right? Fuck yes; what a wonderful time to be alive.

Wired has a great write-up on IV.10 which is definitely worth checking out, as is the other beeple stuff we’ve posted; it’s all worth your time. Also, the aforementioned Scott Benson’s The Murf is fan-fucking-tastic; if you haven’t seen it yet don’t hesitate to click that last hyperlink.

Cheers to Sam Lillard and Santi Adams for sending this one our way. Thanks!

[ IV.10 ]


Yes please.

OK: headphones-on, lights-down, full-screen and volume way-the-fuck-up. Today’s heady dose of deep, dubby, synth-drenched, head-down tech-house goodness is generously provided by the always-right-on Simian Mobile Disco. It’s a tune from their upcoming album Unpatterns which, for me at least, will be an instant purchase when it’s released in a few weeks on April 15th. If you’d prefer a physical copy of your music – in spite of the fact that we’re firmly in the age of instantly-transmittable bits – you can pre-order it on vinyl or a CD right now via the Wichita Recordings website.

It’s not just the music that’s top-notch but the just-under seven minutes of tastefully restrained, simple, tight, geometric, sometimes-in-sync-and-sometimes-ambling visuals (as created by long-time Simian-collaborators Jack Featherstone and Will Samuel of London-based ISO), too.

We love shit like this, Jordan – thanks so much for sending it our way. Cheers!

[ Simian Mobile Disco - Cerulean ]

The Fox

“I’ve grown a handsome tall tree, mother,
And I want to bear a fruit for you.
And I have carried your fears and your hopes, father;
They’re so heavy on my back, oh you should know.”

The process of becoming a person is a strange one; it is messy, inexact and crude. Anyone who tries to convince you that their maturation was as smooth, confident and intentional as an expertly executed golf stroke is lying. We are all tumbling through space, constantly trying on new masks and costumes hoping one eventually feels right. Someone once told me that you don’t know who you are until your late-twenties and, in my case at least, that’s more-or-less true.

Up until then we try desperately to make sense of the instincts, fears and desires that were imprinted into our fragile minds at birth or injected sometime after as the result of some inexplicably electric first-hand experience. We want to make our parents happy and then we relish their disapproval. We reject the social caste system but secretly hope we’re cool, forever longing for the approval of our peers. We love and we hate; we brood and we let go; we’re anything but still.

It’s a hard thing to fully encapsulate in few paragraphs of internet but that’s why we have music videos, right? If you haven’t noticed already, there’s another stunner from Sub Pop attached to the top of this post. It’s for a tune by Niki & The Dove, a two-piece pop outfit from Sweden whose sound is described by their aforementioned label as, “full of magic and light but with an unsettling darkness hidden beneath the surface.”

Yup. Sounds about right.

The visuals are from Sub Pop’s neighbors at WINTR who, I think you’d agree, knocked it out of the park. The out-there/colorful/abstract/geometric elements soar when tethered to the sweeping, baroque landscapes. The net effect is thrilling, like watching a kite pulled taut by the wind. Full-screen HD, y’all. Grab your headphones, crank the volume and enjoy!

Click here for more Sub Pop goodness on The Tripatorium™.

[ Niki & The Dove - The Fox [OFFICIAL VIDEO] ]

In The Middle

I first watched this last night on my laptop and was instantly smitten. My initial assessment was that it was akin to looking through the windshield during a drive-thru car wash within What Dreams May Come. It’s an orgy of sloshing, intermingled color that’s constantly changing costume from a myriad wardrobe of morphing textures.  Anyways, after watching it on the laptop I was curious to see what it would be like on the big screen, so I hooked it up to my HDTV and took a seat on a comfy chair about fifteen feet away.

Whoa man.

I highly recommend you do the same and, if you don’t have a large screen available, just take a few giant steps back from whatever device your watching this on; it’s not so much about the size of the screen but your distance from it that’s important. When you do a whole host of imagery will present itself: people, landscapes, things; all fleeting but instantly recognizable. It functions similarly to Chuck Close‘s post-seizure paintings: up close they appear as a grid of imprecise, crudely rendered orbs and splotches while, at a distance, a psychedelic proportional face starts coming into view.

The attached was created by Morgan Beringer as part of a two-video set (the other one is equally hypnotizing and abstract so don’t hesitate to give it a watch) for Matthew Dear‘s recent release on Ghostly International, a label I whole-heartedly recommend you keep an eye on. Their track-record of top-quality releases (with videos to match) is a clear indicator that what they’re doing over there is special. Have you seen Brokendate? Also from Ghostly, also rad.

If you’re diggin’ this then be sure to check out Amalgamation, too.

[ Matthew Dear - "In The Middle (I Met You There) [ft. Jonny Pierce of The Drums]" ]


“Natural and man-made objects on a spin cycle accumulate, disintegrate, and multiply. Created by stop motion animating clay on glass, the film is a meditation on motion and the life cycle of matter.”

Some very nice abstract, morphing stop-motion animation and sound design from the talented Andy Kennedy. If you’re interested in seeing how he put everything together then be sure to check out the making-of page on his website. It’s populated with lots of broken images but the process videos and text still load properly though so it’s definitely worth checking out.

[ Accumulonimbus ]

The Sun

“Here it comes: the unavoidable sun of what’s just happened,
And what’s been done, and you know I don’t remember a thing;
I don’t remember a thing.

Let’s just get this out of the way now: NSFW Warning! Boobs ahoy! i.e. You probably shouldn’t watch this at your place of employment.

Joel Kefali and Campbell Hooper of Special Problems leveraged the mounting intensity of this tune by The Naked And Famous to create visuals that would mirror its steady, urgent crescendo. It’s crisply shot, abstract, colorful and expertly edited; a treat for the eyes and ears. Enjoy!

A big thanks is due to Mimi Langlois for passing it along. Cheers!

P.S. One of my favorite music videos of all time (of all time!) –  MmmHmm by Flying Lotus – was also directed by Joel and Campbell. If you haven’t seen it yet, do so immediately.

[ The Naked And Famous - The Sun ]

Prototype #1

How should I categorize this collaboration between AEAEAEAE and Hans-Henning Korb? It’s not eye candy per-say but there’s no discernable narrative either. So an eye-snack maybe? A morsel?

I dunno.

I rather liked it, though. A strange, uneasy comfort descended as I watched those little flocking pixies as they zipped to-and-fro, attracting and repelling one other, grabbing and reforming their bedsheet-one-moment-and-mountains-the-next hovering landscape as a Vangelis-esque tune (that could easily be mistaken as part of the Blade Runner Soundtrack) provides the ambiance. It’s some interesting and intriguing stuff and, judging from its title, there’s more to come. I certainly hope so, at least.

[ Prototype #1 ]


It took two years for Celine Desrumaux to complete this short film – the care and patience invested shines through – and she cites Chris Ware, Hans Richter, Len Lye, Stanley Kubrick, Godfrey Reggio and this iconic speech by John F. Kennedy as her primary sources of inspiration. The visuals are amplified considerably by the haunting, urgent sounds of Apparat, a musician whose tunes I highly recommend you start acquiring. Especially his entry in the DJKicks series and Orchestra of Bubbles, a timeless and transporting collaboration with Ellen Allien.

Celine’s visuals do an excellent job of teasing out the inherent warmth of Granulard Bastard, highlighting the seemingly contradictory tension of how technology, often times cold and distant, can be a tool for achieving something as natural/instinctual like the humanity’s need to explore. It’s fantastic.

If you’re diggin’ the Apparat then don’t miss Warm Signal which we posted back in January.

[ Countdown - HD ]


“The film is based on the idea that there is an underlying unchanging synchronisation at the centre of everything; a sync that was decided at the very beginning of time. Everything follows from it, everything is ruled by it: all time, all physics, all life. And all animation.”Max Hattler

WARNING: There’s some serious flickering up ons so if you’re prone to seizures or don’t like flashing stuff I’d recommend not clicking play.

Come, let’s all join hands and get lost in the wormhole together: prepare yourself for nine minutes of some truly zone-out psychedelia courtesy of the talented Max Hattler. Full screen, headphones and a dark, quiet room are essential for a proper viewing; I don’t think the aforementioned will be enough to truly replicate seeing Sync as an installation, but you should try your best to emulate the ambiance.

Click here to read more about Sync and be sure to send some positive cosmic vibes towards Sam Lillard who submitted this to our electron harvesting array less than 24 hours after Max originally posted it to his Vimeo account.

Moar Max Hattler on The Tripatorium™: 1923 (Heaven)

[ Sync (by Max Hattler) ]

Wave Reflection

Aramaki Koji used the glitched-out synth-heavy breakbeats of Kamome Sano as a template to stitch these fantastic abstract, tightly animated visuals to. They sync up beautifully; it’s a treat to take in. Headphones are necessary for this one, friends…enjoy!