Archive for the ‘animation’ Category

Realidad VE

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Realidad VE

Realidad VE is a virtual reality experiment in combining documentary material with a virtual space

Realidad VE is a small experiment that attempts to combine documentary material with virtual space for VR presentation.

Last fall I had an extended interview with José Bergher a retired professor and classically trained musician from Venezuela who was the director of the Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela. Throughout his professional career he worked between New York City and Caracas and the reason behind the interview was to learn about that dual citizenry – about living between cultures and floating from one part of the world to the other. However as the interview progressed, I asked José about the current state of Venezuela – politically, economically and the common problems that people face day to day. He replied with a 20 minute discussion of the rise of Chavez and the current power-grab by Maduro and the lasting influence of Fidel Castro.

I knew that this discussion would not be appropriate for the project that I was working on, but I appreciate his first-hand perspective and given the last several weeks in Venezuela, I wanted to present his voice in a unique format. Entirely based on my news consumption of current protests, clashes and seemingly general instability in Venezuela, I created a blank world with the exception of dead trees and abandoned drilling rigs. The world is populated by men and women running across the space. A boy sits against a tree taking in the world around him. At another spot a young couple argues and elsewhere two friends are in discussion. Along the entire perimeter paramilitary troops stand guard and watch the space. At a couple spots trios of soldiers have friendly discussions. In this world, the military is at ease, though watchful whereas the people appear frantic.

I’m interested in combining documentary material such as the interview with José Bergher with virtual space and employing virtual reality as a platform for documentary. Jose’s discussion of current Venezuelan politics presented an opportunity for experimentation. Pictured above is the project for installation that features an animated José Bergher above the virtual space, the project is online with out Bergher’s video, only his voice accompanies the virtual space as the inclusion of video made an already long load time much longer.

Kelly Sears’s Animations During Trump Administration

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Animator Kelly Sears creates eerie speculative narratives by superimposing a voice on to archival footage. The voice presents a state of surveillance and authoritarianism as the viewer watches post-war American footage that she manipulates through various forms of animation. Sears’s work has even greater resonance and seems increasingly foreboding given the Trumpian political climate.

Although “The Rancher” (2012) uses footage of Lyndon B. Johnson, upon listening to the narration, Trump immediately comes to mind.

The Rancher (excerpt) from Kelly Sears on Vimeo.

“Voice on the Line” (2009) stirs to mind the NSA’s wiretapping, but again with Trump’s assault on immigrants and initial legislative actions, the Trump administration and ICE come to mind as I watch excerpts from this film in which a secret police listen to conversations with phone operators. Unknowingly the operators have become complicit in the monitoring and spying of the U.S. population.

Voice on the Line (excerpt) from Kelly Sears on Vimeo.

Written by ricardo

February 15th, 2017 at 9:36 am

OMETEPE Video Game Featured at FLEFF

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OMETEPE the Video Game

Curators of Interface/Landscape 2016 New Media Exhibition, Claudia Costa and Dale Hudson have selected the online video game OMETEPE to be featured in the New Media portion of the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival at Ithaca College, NY. Check out the festival linked above or go directly to the game: for OMETEPE on Firefox/Mozilla or OMETEPE on Safari/Chrome. However, the best experience is to download and play locally. Download links are listed under the game.

Written by ricardo

December 12th, 2016 at 11:58 am

Woman In Subway

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This is the latest animated loop inspired by traversing the city. Whether walking or on public transit, observations of urban life trigger visual ideas that are rendered as brief animations. Audio accompanying the animations are recordings from urban walks as well as interviews with NYC residents. The audio accompanying this animation is from a brief excerpt from an extended interview with my 86 year old neighbor Louise.

Go to rmz.nyc to see the entire series, click on the central image to go from one to the next. Through the combination of animation, WebGL, web video and audio as well as various javascript libraries such as p5.js and three.js, the browser is employed as a canvas.

Pixar’s Luxo Jr.

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For nearly a year, October 8, 2015 through September 11, 2016, the Cooper Hewitt Museum had a couple rooms dedicated to a Pixar exhibition – “Pixar: The Design of Story”. The exhibition featured drawings depicting the conceptualization and development of various Pixar films, such as “Inside Out”. One small room was dedicated to Pixar’s initial animated short “Luxo Jr.” – the animation featuring the desk lamp that went on to be incorporated into Pixar’s production logo. In the gallery, the animated short is screened and the film is accompanied by documents that portray the development of the film from the animation’s script – merely a list of actions and three storyboards. The presentation effectively breaks down the evolution of the animated short and demonstrates how a simple idea may develop into noteworthy production.

Pixar's Luxo Jr. script

Luxo Jr. First Storyboard

Luxo Jr. Second Storyboard

Luxo Jr. Storyboard

Written by ricardo

September 24th, 2016 at 2:27 pm

Too Many Guppies

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I took a video of a clarinet and drum duo inside the Metro Tech Subway Station and created a rotoscope animation with the musicians in the foreground, a collection of subway advertisements that I’ve documented over the years in the background and recent gentrification interviews as audio… This is New York City!

Ometepe the Video Game

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Ometepe the video game

In June 2013, the Nicaraguan National Assembly approved a bill conceding the financing, planning, construction and management of a cross-oceanic canal to the Hong Kong Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Company (HKND Group) headed by Chinese billionaire Wang Jing. The agreement spans an initial 50 years with the possibility of a second 50 years. The initial phase of construction began in December 2014 and the target year of completion is 2020. The agreement to this 40-50 billion US dollar project was discussed by the Nicaraguan National Assembly for only one week before approval. The agreement was not made public prior to the decision. The construction of the Nicaraguan Canal would entail the largest movement of earth in the planet’s history and would have immense ecological impact. The planned route of the canal would require the forced relocation of campesino communities.

To help bring attention to the Nicaraguan Canal, the video game Ometepe is set on the island of the same name, located in Lake Nicaragua through which the canal will pass. The island is formed by two volcanoes rising from Lake Nicaragua that are linked by low wetlands; Ometepe was officially declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2010. Although the canal project appears to be stopped due to lack of funds, the Nicaraguan government remains secretive about the project.

Stalin to Putin

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Stalin/Putin, Smith/Mugabe, Somoza/Ortega, Hirohito/Kim Il-sung, Idris/Gaddafi, Batista/Castro, GOP/Dems are ongoing portrait pairings of autocratic leaders that reflect a corruption of power. These illustrations have been created with the intention of animating a transformation from one face to the other as video loops. “Stalin to Putin” is the second animation of the series. “Somoza to Ortega” was completed quickly following the Sandinista’s last constitutional amendment that got rid of term limits, facilitating Ortega’s permanency as Nicaraguan president. I created the illustrations and my assistant Thomas Medina is the animator behind “Stalin to Putin”.

Morning Tequila, Nachos and Tacos

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Denver-based artist Tony Ortega shared recent videos montages incorporating a sequence of rotoscope animation that he created in a workshop that I taught last summer. The montages are so much fun that I felt the urge to share. The sequences are well selected and the timing is excellent, nice way to kick off a Tuesday morning!

Chicano Western from Tony Ortega on Vimeo.

Puro Party from Tony Ortega on Vimeo.

Tony states:

I created the art video Puro Party to explore my interest in identity and hybridity. I am using a variety of I pad apps, rotoscoping animation, appropriated gifs and appropriated music. In creating these videos, I am using grids to organize the composition and I incorporate pattern and repetition. In my creative process I use distortion and exaggeration for emotional effect. My work interweaves, juxtaposes unlikely images from American, Mexican and Chicano cultures that include icons, symbols, history, humor and the contemporary world to foster opportunities for the bending of meaning.

Written by ricardo

January 26th, 2016 at 7:08 am

Even God Recycles

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This past fall, I entered in to a conversation with a man named Jerry who sat near me on a downtown Brooklyn bench. Jerry was very interested in what I do for a living and asked me to teach him any skills I may have. I told him that I’d be happy to, gave him my card, but told him that he’d have to show up sober. I haven’t heard back from Jerry yet. Some weeks later, I photographed people recycling in the Lower East Side during an afternoon walk about a week before Christmas 2015. There was no particular reason to take the photo other than I liked the composition. Here is the photograph as an animated illustration and a small portion of Jerry talking about the social contract in U.S. culture… According to Jerry, we all play a role in the project that is this country and he wants to play a larger role.

Written by ricardo

January 14th, 2016 at 9:51 am