Sunday, August 15, 2004

Stop Motion Studies

Imagine sitting on a bus or train, entering a trance-like state. You slowly become aware of how the shadows cast by objects outside the vehicle move along the walls, how the people move in sympathetic motion with the train, and how everything moves through space. This is the feeling of watching Stop Motion Studies.

Now consider the people-watching possibilities of public places (or on public transport). Imagine taking slices of time, capturing peoples gestures, to be repeated so they can be studied and amplified, allowing the emotional content of those gestures to hit you repeatedly. There is one more facet to the work, the subjects can see you watching them, and you see their reactions.

David Crawford has distilled slightly disjointed slices of time, capturing people in moments from blissfully unselfconscious to moments full of discomfort, amusement, hostility or nothing. What he has distilled is compelling in its distillation, strangeness and voyeuristic view of other people.

The artist chose subways as the locale because many types of people converge there, resulting in interesting dynamics and interactions.

I won't bore you with a bunch of post modern babble about "probing socio-cultural boundaries within our emerging digital environment" or "the project...not [being] about the transparency of these actors, but about exploring them" or "a stage upon which social dynamics and individual behavior are increasingly mediated by digital technology" (whatever that means). Almost sounds like a grant application, doesn't it?

Let's just say this is all way cool and worth spending some time exploring. My only disappointment is that there's no sound to go with the images.

One of Crawford's studies is like the movie Koyaaniskatsi, presented as series of vignettes focused on micro and macro levels of human activity.

Here is a good one, another one here and here.

To view this project, you’ll need the following free software: Netscape or Explorer 5.0+ & Flash 6.0+

If anyone knows where I can buy a disc with some of these on them, let me know via the comments below.

[via Turbulence]


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