Date of Submission
My obsession with animation was born from the combination of many interests. The medium allows me to create sculpture, compose a two dimensional image, explore a narrative over time, create a beginning and an end, be in control and most importantly create a relatable but neutral reality that implies a common experience for the viewer. After having dabbled in many media over the years, I came to realize that film is most appealing to me, as it is the most direct art form. Modern audiences are very receptive to it due to our constant exposure to television and film. Film is so close to life because of the implication of motion and time, which makes it particularly easy to relate to. Being able to manipulate time allows me to communicate more directly with my audience while still creating a nearly infinite space with plenty of room for interpretation.
I grew up in Germany, where "analog" stop-motion animation is still a prominent aspect of public television. The sterile and dark character of this film is a product of my familiarity with the germanic aesthetic. The problem I have with many stop-motion animation films is their lack of cinematography. Therefore when making LOT I paid special attention to the compositions of the frames and the lighting of the scenes. The production started about a year ago, and was shot completely chronologically. One scene led to the other; there was no story-board drawn or even imagined beforehand. I knew I wanted to create a film that portrays the binary of heavy and light, and comment on the importance of finding balance. The idea behind this process was to never plan ahead, interpreting one moment and letting it create the next. It was a meditation, not only in the process of creating the narrative, but also making each individual scene. It forced me into repetition, which is my preferred way of working. Making a stop-motion animation requires you to reinvent time, as what you see is not what was shot. Throughout the making of LOT I became very aware of how common movements are constructed, as I had to imagine them in parts and pretend to live in a slow-motion reality. The process of making this film was a challenge that I wanted to face. I struggle with planning ahead, and therefore find long-term projects to be difficult, but stretching time and dealing with it abstractly made me overcome my impatience when it comes to making art.
I chose to have a semi-improvised live-performance by Zombi Jazz to go along with the film because I want the audience to hear an immediate musical interpretation of the visuals by multiple people. I hoped it would evoke a sense of Ouiji-Board-unity.
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Knieper, Clemens M., "LOT" (2011). Senior Projects Spring 2011. 292.