“A lighthearted essay on contextualized characters.
Reconstruction follows deconstruction.”
*Dusts off keyboard*
Whoa. Hey, what’s going in? It’s been a while.
The short story: I’ve been busy.
The long story:
I’m a dad and my daughter is at the age where she notices (and gets upset) when I’ve got my face stuck in a phone or laptop whilst spending time with her. I was lucky enough to have parents who paid attention to me and know how important that shit is so, quite out of the blue, my not-at-work screen time is now at a premium.
I’ve started open sourcing some of the software I’ve been writing over the last year and that’s been sucking up a lot of my time. “Sucking up” in a good way, in a “get lost in what you’re doing and end up feeling accomplished” sort of way. It’s really fun to hone in on, refine and document things I’ve been building with the express purpose of helping other people solve challenges similar to ones I’ve had to tackle. I learned how to program by using (and studying) code that was written by others and if those folks hadn’t open-sourced what they wrote I honestly wouldn’t have the skills necessary to do what I do for a living. I am seizing an opportunity to be useful to others; a state of being and action that, for me at least, yields the maximum about of bliss. If you’re curious:
I’ve been working on a project that I can’t talk a lot about right now but let me put it this way: if it happens I would post in on this web zone (even if I didn’t have a hand in making it).
Watching rad videos and talking about why I love them is one of my favorite things to do but sometimes even THAT has to take a backseat to other pursuits. Everything interesting on this website I found freely available to watch online and as compelling as it is to continually consume what others create, I also want to contribute my own drops to the internet’s vast ocean of interesting things.
All the above can be summed up with one of Ms. Tripatorium’s favorite phrases: “You can do anything but you can’t do everything.”
Over the past month or so I started to receive messages from many of you inquiring about the status of the site. Most of them included a little note of appreciation and none of them were mean or rude which was super-cool. To know that so many of you were missing these little posts I like to write in my spare time late at night or on the train to-and-from the city was tremendously gratifying.
Speaking of posts: attached above is a bizarre little treat Carl Burton introduced me to on twitter. It’s essentially improvisational animation; a minute-and-a-half riff on what gives birds their birdness. The ‘worm sequence’ is just mental and easily my favorite. Anyone have like $50,000 so we can hire ZEITGUISED (or, at least, lead animator Matt Frodsham) to make a whole bunch more of these?
Thanks, as always, for reading. Cheers!
“14 teams of Austin based studios and freelancers participated in a 48 hour animation challenge in the spirit of an Exquisite Corpse presented by the Austin Motion Artists Group, Moontower VFX, Houndstooth Studio, and The Octopus Project.
On January 17th, 2014, each team received a specifically designed start frame, an end frame, an 11 second 4 bar phrase of the chosen Octopus Project song and a guiding theme “The Ecstatic Energy of Geometry.”
P.S. Didya see the one Cartoon Network commissioned last summer?
posted by respondcreate on Feb. 08, 2014 in Videos | tags: austin motion artists group, bizarre, colorful, exquisite corpse, geometry, hd, houndstooth studio, moontower vfx, music video, the octopus project, trippy
It’s pretty rare that I’ll post a video that isn’t HD. The attached is only 360p which is, like, 50% less than my typical minimum-p-quotient but the lack of resolution does little to diminish its charm.
It’s a music video is for a tune by Wagon Christ, an artist I first encountered during my post-college-single-and-searching-for-meaning-slash-purpose years. At the time I was living alone and working from home for a start-up which meant my long-simmering tendency to obsess was, for the first time, allowed to swell unfettered to a full, rolling boil. My mind has wrapped that entire era in a peculiar, wistful nostalgia; I have no desire to return to those days but will forever appreciate how they shaped me into who I am today.
My memories of that time have all bled together, lost in an impenetrable haze of code, photoshop, booze, solitary walks and music from SomaFM. The latter had a show, Groove Salad, that played ambient, downtempo instrumentals and I am forever in its debt for introducing me to artists like Leggo Beast, Bullitnuts, dZihan & Kamien, Tosca, Baby Mammoth and, of course, Wagon Christ.
The visuals – created by Celyn Brazier and Tom & Mark Perrett (of Nexus Productions) – are evocative of both Yellow Submarine and Castle in the Sky and tell a story about the transformative power of time, demonstrating how quickly the impressive giants of yesterday can become todays tourist curiosity.
In the weeks since sharing Masanobu Hiraoka‘s Land I’ve come back and re-watched it at least a dozen times. His ability to change composition with unbroken, constantly-evolving morphs – as opposed to the more traditionally-employed cut – consistently rewards an additional viewing; each one yields another subtle treasure I overlooked the first (or second or third or…) time.
In the attached, a music video for Yoshiharu Abe‘s ONE AND THREE FOUR, Mr. Hiraoka experiments with how his psychedelic liquid transitions appear when kaleidoscopically mirrored and/or confined to a nearly-omnipresent circular frame. It reminds me a lot of both Celyn Brazier‘s stellar animation for Chunkothy and Ori Toor’s work which is about the highest praise I can give.
Full-screen HD for sure, kiddos. ENJOY!
P.P.S. Our kaleidoscope feed is pretty rad, too.
Full-screen HD in a dark room with a nice pair of headphones is absolutely required. ENJOY!
P.S. A massive thanks is due to Brooks Ryba for the heads-up.
P.P.S. Our stop motion feed is filled with super-rad watchables.
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.
P.S. If you haven’t seen (or seen-in-a-while) Max’s excellent Sync I suggest you do; it’s SUPER trippy.
WOW. This gorgeous three and a half minute trip-fest of undulating, constantly-morphing animation by Masanobu Hiraoka (of Je Regarde) demands to be watched on the largest display currently at your disposal. Grab your headphones, too; Aimar Molero‘s music/sound design properly sets the atmosphere and breathes life into the sloshing, shifting abstract forms.
Oh and be sure to check out our Je Regarde feed, it’s full of other fantastic watchables.
Nineteen ninety-seven was a big year for me; Dig Your Own Hole, Fat of The Land, Homework and Vegas were all released within ten months and suddenly I was a fan of music. After purchasing the aforementioned albums I started to frequent the ‘Dance’ section of my local record stores, expecting to find more of the same only to discover that their paltry selection lacked the sounds I was after.
This was pre-Napster – hell, pre-Google – and, without a hive mind to consult, I started logging in to every electronic music-centric chat room I could find asking around for ‘stuff that sounds like The Chemical Brothers’. What came back were not album or artist suggestions but anonymous logins to FTP servers that contained gobs of music organized by genre from independent artists who were creating the types of sounds I wanted to hear.
I would stay up late and connect to some far-off file system with WS_FTP and download MP3s whose filenames caught my attention (since I had no way to preview the audio beforehand). After hours of labor my near-overheated 33600 baud modem would have retreived a scant 30 minutes worth of new music which I’d promptly load into WinAmp where I could create impromptu music videos with the help of the keyboard-controlled Geiss visualizer.
Those late-night music discovery sessions were formative for me and led, in no small part, to the creation of this website; every post I’ve made has been an attempt to pass along the same pure-and-peculiar magic that accompanies the unexpected discovery of something new.
Last Tuesday at midnight, when Ghost Stories was first released, I felt similar giddy pangs while watching it for the first time. Some of the eleven collected shorts are silly and charming, others bizarre and heartwrenching but all are an expression of their creator’s unique, creative vision undiluted by client feedback or the pressure to generate money.
It’s wonderful, wonderful stuff.
My favorite is Charles Huettner‘s Jump (4:46) which bursts with Miyazaki-esque supernatural intrigue and whimsy. Phantom Limb by Alex Grigg (18:47) runs a close-second with its exploration of the soul-crushing heartache and depression that accompanies unintentionally wounding someone you love.
Scott Benson deserves a special mention for both his fantastic, enigmatically haunting Last Lives (32:31) and the brief 1-2 second transitional bits he created that tie the entire release together.
All-in-all Ghost Stories is an absolute treat…ENJOY!
P.P.S. If you’re interested in learning more about Scott Benson and Late Night Work Club, be sure to check out the interview I posted last week.
posted by respondcreate on Sep. 10, 2013 in Videos | tags: alex grigg, bizarre, caleb wood, charles huettner, ciaran duffy, colorful, conor finnegan, dave prosser, eamonn o'neill, erin kilkenny, jake armstrong, late night work club, louise bagnall, scott benson, sean buckelew
“There was a period in my life where I only drew with a pencil and being able to erase paralyzed me. I could draw a hand and it would take me three days, you know, and it would be a 1/4” by 1/4”; just a tiny little thing. And then one day I just started drawing with pen and all of a sudden I could just draw endlessly. In fact, there was no undo and it kind of changed all of that. And then the computer oddly, the undo is what gives me the freedom to just explore any idea that comes to my mind and essentially I just follow any impulse or any idea because I can explore fairly freely.”
Andy Gilmore‘s work is squarely up my alley and it’s wonderful to hear, in his own words, what inspires him to create. The always-excellent Ghostly International (who tapped Isabel Freeman , Will Calcutt and Brian Fichtner to create the attached) has some of Andy’s prints for sale in addition to some excellent hi-res, free-to-download wallpapers ready to adorn your glowing screen of choice.
I possess a near-superhuman ability to ignore everything that resides outside the scope of whatever infatuation currently occupies my mind grapes. This is an amazing trait to have if your day job is to dictate, in exhausting detail, exactly what a computer should do but becomes a burden when nearly everyone you care about wonders why your focus is eternally elsewhere. I, like the protagonist in the attached, would do just fine in a post-apocalyptic lonerverse as long as I had something to focus my obsessive attention on.
In my pre-dad anxiety I told a good friend, in near tears, that I was terrified of being a bad father. His response was, “As long as you want to be one, you will.” Essentially, if that voice is consistenly in your quivver of instincts all that’s needed is to listen (and act on) what it tells you.
In the past year and a half I’ve found myself in many similar moments – though certainly less extreme – to the one that takes place at 4:24: typing away, figuring shit out and riding high on the supremely satisfying buzz that accompanies the Sacred Act of Making Shit™ only to be unexpectedly interrupted. Writing an application is like building a house of cards; you know, before writing a single line of code, what the final functional outcome will be but the act of actually constructing it takes a long stretch of continuous concentration.
When a toddler wants your attention it is near-impossible to do anything else. Either you are present or you are not; as someone who has been both a child and an adult I’m all-too-aware that there’s no in-between. But attention can be deflected and, in the moments when I’d rather be absorbed in me, my natural tendency is to hand her my phone (or some other suitable distraction) instead of seizing the opportunity to revel in the peculiar magic that accompanies interacting with another human life.
Luckily, that’s typically when the ‘be a good dad’ voice rises up and – even though my preliminary, lazy and selfish instincts often wish it would shut up – I force myself to listen.
It’s graduation film season and Jérémi Boutelet, Thibaud Clergue, Tristan Ménard, Camille Perrin, Gaël Megherbi and Lucas Veber of Supinfocom Arles have set a high standard for any shorts to come. Special mentions are due to both Nathan Blais & Sylvain Livenais (of Spectral Approche) for the killer sound design; headphones are a must.
P.S. Our Supinfocom feed is pretty rad.
posted by respondcreate on Aug. 15, 2013 in Videos | tags: animation, camille perrin, colorful, gaël megherbi, hd, jérémi boutelet, lucas veber, nathan blais, ocean, supinfocom, sylvain livenais, thibaud clergue, tristan ménard
“I was still surprised,
When I caught your eye after all this time.
And it took me back to the times we had.
Even though that we’re far apart,
We’ve come so close and it feels so right;
Don’t give up…”
A big thanks is due to William Doran for sending this one our way. Cheers!
This marks the fifth time an Ori Toor creation has been shared on this webzone which I’m fairly certain makes him Our Most Featured Artist™. If you’re reading this in the far-distant future go ahead and check his feed, chances are I’ve posted more of his stellar animation since.
The attached is even more representational than Ori’s last outing for Kingdom Crumbs (my choice for best video of the past calendar year), a trend I’m über-thrilled he’s continuing to explore. His trademark undulations are even more intriguing when they’re evolving from pure abstract blobs into foxes or ghoulish faces (or fish or worms or elephants or…) and then back again.
As usual, Ori takes his cue to progress the visuals from compositional shifts in the backing music and Vial of Sound‘s ragged bass synth, square wave lead and mysterious, vocoded vocals are a natural fit for his style.
So yeah, top marks all the way ‘round so turn the lights turned down, the volume way up and get these bits loaded full screen in HD.
P.S. Ori’s style of animation is fundamentally satisfying to me so if you’re a band/artist that wants to get featured on the site, I’d suggest hiring him to direct your next video.
More than two years ago I posted a delightful, playful animated short – Spirit Quest Journey – by Ryan ‘Professor Soap’ Mauskopf. His latest is just as charming; the undulating hand-drawn line work, bright-and-simple color palette and lazy pacing remind me of what an uninhibited eight year old boy’s mind might conjure up while idly scribbling on a rainy day. The soundtrack is a treat, too…ENJOY!
“Cartoon Network recently put together a crew of animators from around the world to create their new summer ident in the form of an animated exquisite corpse. Each team/animator was given 10 seconds of music, 4 colours and tons of Cartoon Network characters to work with. At the end of the project, in true exquisite corpse fashion, each piece was stiched together. This is the result!”
Absolutely loving this Voltron of rad animation Cartoon Network commissioned for their Summer 2013 ident. The talent (in order of appearance): Alex Grigg & Eamonn O’Neill (of Late Night Work Club fame), Impactist (who also provided the soundtrack to the attached), CRCR, Rubber House and Awesome Incorporated.
posted by respondcreate on Jun. 09, 2013 in Videos | tags: adventure time, alex grigg, animation, awesome incorporated, cartoon network, colorful, crcr, eamonn o'neill, exquisite corpse, hd, impactist, rubber house, trippy
“Is it easy to relax when you’re told you’ll never fail?”
A whimsical-yet-dark and bizarre music video – created by Persistent Peril for The Leisure Society – where an all-powerful hand lovingly creates a planet teeming with life before having second thoughts…
Garth Jones, Ginny Jones, Mark Billington and Emma Wakely – who handled the animation in the attached – deserve a special mention. Their ability to consistently pull off such descriptive motion in few-seconds-long vignettes using a cast of minimally constructed figures shows their proficiency for the medium.
P.S. When you’re done here I recommend giving Noise Trade, another fantastic Persistent Peril-created music video, a watch next.
Teppei Maki‘s technicolor, lo-fi-VHS-psychedelia visuals pair perfectly with Kool Keith‘s (a.k.a. Dr. Dooom/Dr. Octagon/Black Elvis/Poppa Large) trademark far-out, surrealistic flow. If you’re a fan of the site you’ll be all over the attached…ENJOY!
Thanks for sending this one in, Kenny Love!
The tune in the attached is a cover (by Vessels) for a remix (by James Holden) of the rambling ambient techno classic, `The Sky Was Pink` by Nathan Fake. My first introduction to any of its many incarnations was via a Tiefschwarz DJ set at the 2007 WMC; I was there specifically to hear (and dance to) their remix of Phonique’s `The Red Dress` and the ‘Holden Tool’ followed it.
I was instantly smitten.
To some, dub techno‘s hallmark layering of super-straight-forward-and-stripped-down 1-to-2-bar loops can be relentlessly irritating and abrasive but, to me, that kind of ultra-repetition is just right. When I’m locked into the pocket of an agreeable groove the present moment enlogates, freeing me to appreciate it. I’m not a ‘live in the moment’ kind of person but I want to be and, as a result, tend to get attached to whatever helps me get over my instinctual aversion to now.
Hearing the same thing over-and-over again, especially if it’s imperceptibly evolving either by a shift in composition or the slight tweak of a filter knob, gives me the space to unpack and understand exactly what about it is motivating my body to move.
The visuals on display above, by Morgan Beringer, inspire that same inquisitive spirit. The colorful psychedelic sloshes keep hinting at images but we never get to know exactly what they are. Was that a bee? A white pine branch? A set of fluffly clouds? Right as your mind catches on some known object it’s already been washed away and replaced by another.
Over a year ago I posted a similar video Morgan made for Matthew Dear (go watch it!) and it’s great to see he’s still exploring this layered datamoshed style.
Tetsuka Niiyama dropped a note in the suggestion bin with a link to some animation he created, “that depicts saltation and growth of life in the sea using jewelry as the motif for illustrating the theme ‘Jewels of Sea’”. It’s expertly done and über-chill...ENJOY!
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!
File under: LOLWAT
The attached morsel of bizarre animation was created by The Line over a two year period of unpaid night-and-weekends work. It was directed by Sam Taylor and Bjørn-Erik Aschim but, like most passion projects of this calibur, couldn’t have come together without a supporting cast of creatives who generously donated their time and skills.
You can see a full list of who contributed here but I wanted to call out one in particular, Box of Toys Audio, who supplied the excellent sound design. It’s easy to underestimate how much credible foley work can add to a film but, from my point of view, having audio that ‘sells it’ is one of the key contributors to its immersive potential. The first two minutes and fifty seconds are awash in pedestrian, familiar noises – the bark of a dog, the rattle of a chain link fence or the ‘bop’ of a fully inflated ball – that, when the soundscape shifts as the cube descends, you have no doubt that something alien has just entered the scene.