Have you guys ever seen The Powers of Ten? It’s a 9 minute short Charles and Ray Eames created for IBM in 1977 that I first saw at the Boston Museum of Science with my dad sometime in the eighties. It depicts, “the relative scale of the Universe according to an order of magnitude (or logarithmic scale) based on a factor of ten, first expanding out from the Earth until the entire universe is surveyed, then reducing inward until a single atom and its quarks are observed.” (source: Wikipedia)
In the wake of that first initial viewing I was simultaneously struck with wonder by both the enormity of the universe it illustrated and the ingenuity of the filmmakers.
How do we know all this is true? And how did they DO that?
Up until that point I had never seen anything like it. The Powers of Ten was ‘educational’ but didn’t feel that way; it wasn’t stuffy or boring but exciting, the type of thing I could watch at school that wouldn’t feel like school. It turns out that learning stuff doesn’t have to be chore…in fact, it can and should be the exact opposite.
I can’t know for sure but my guess is that Takashi Ohashi has seen The Powers of Ten too and that it, in no small part, inspired the attached. It’s a music video from the same album as my previous post, Maison De Megu – so it’s no surprise that the two share a similar aesthetic – but they differ in setting, trading the former’s electrical schematic for a virtual world that ‘gels’ only when viewed from a particular viewing angle.
In fact, that point-of-view play is my favorite part. Beyond just the eye-candy thrill you get by seeing the visual plane wobble (during the wormhole-y zooms) and dramatically split (during the rotating sequences at 1:18-1:25, 1:47-2:20 and 2:52-3:11) it’s a reminder that our view of the world always ultimately depends on our perspective. In my mind that, not the zoom-in/zoom-out bits, is what provides the most significant parallel to The Powers of Ten. Is that looking into it too much? Am I extrapolating meaning where none was intended?
Maybe. Probably. But, whatever. That’s what I saw, maybe you did too?
Also: If you were diggin’ the wormhole dives through triangles you should definitely check out the super-rad music video for Slugabed’s Quantum Leap next, it’s 100% can’t-miss.
In college I was lucky enough to land a summer internship at a nuclear power plant; it paid almost double than my previous gig (at a movie theatre), gave me regular ‘office hours’ and included every-other-Friday off. I had originally been hired to do office grunt work but, after a chance conversation with someone in the simulator division, was asked to come upstairs and help them out.
All nuclear power plants are required (by the NRC) to have a simulator that is an exact replica of the control room. And I mean exact, even the color and type on the paper labels that hang from the panels must be in perfect parity with their on-site counterpart.
Our job in the simulator division was to create scenarios that would test the knowledge of each operator and team, ensuring they could handle the worst-case sequence-of-events that would, if left unchecked, result in a catastrophic total shut-down of the reactor. Safety was certainly priority one but that’s just because a meltdown would result in a non-functioning reactor and, considering a power plant’s profitability is in direct proportion to its up-time (even a one percent reduction in output could mean hundreds of thousands of dollars lost), it’s in everyone’s best interest to know their shit.
If left unchecked the reactor would safetly shut itself down so your typical Hollywood, everything-is-FUBAR storyline would be deftly dealt with. As a result, I learned it was far-more interesting to fail a minor, seemingly insignificant pump or circuit, watch its effect cascade rapidly through the system and observe how the operators would deal with it. How quickly could they define the source of the issue? Could they keep the plant operating at peak-capacity while enacting the fix?
One summer I was tasked with translating some on-paper schematics of an electrical sub-system into the codebase that had yet to be integrated into the simulator. For nearly two months I was left (mostly) undisturbed in my first-ever cubicle, discman strapped to my ears, bathed in light from a CRT monitor while I meticulously followed the diagrams, laying out and connecting each diode, capacitor and gate until a page of the circuit was faithfully reproduced.
Though what I was doing was exceedingly more interesting that any previous minimum wage job my fickle, easily distracted primate brain soon started to wander, embroidering elaborate scenarios to cope with the plodding tedium. I imagined electrons squealing with delight as they raced through the loops of an inductor or crowding together as they funneled into a diode.
Anything to pass the time.
So yeah, I get the attached. I’m there man; I’ve been there.
One of the cool things about my extended vacation from posting is that I get to catch-up on what some of my favorite artists have been up to in my absence. I’m happy to report that Takashi Ohashi has been continuing to use simple line and color to create thrilling, intuitively evolving music videos. This one is for Megu & Patron’s “pari pari par-ri-” (メグとパトロン - パリパリパーリー) and Takashi’s playful visuals are a perfect backing to the optimistic, joyful chiptune vibe of the tune. In fact, I couldn’t decide whether or not I wanted to post this or his equally-rad video for Ryusei Girl so I decided to just do both.
“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.
“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.
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.
For more CRCR-created goodness just follow this hyperlink.
“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!
“The animation work was made in Adobe After Effects. Each frame was then printed and the print was subsequently scanned back into the computer. The scanned frames were then assembled back into the original animation, now with a new rugged look, created by the visit in the physical analogue world. No effects added after scanning.”
I’ve always been rather partial to the craggy, mechanical warmth of halftone patterns and this minimal-and-mysterious music video by Steffen Bygebjerg for Troels Abrahamsen puts them center stage. ENJOY!
“But there’s that sweet grass, it’s dancing in the high bluffs and the sea breeze;
It’s where the elk sleep, dreaming simple dreams of luscious green grass and peace.”
Loving this gorgeous, atmospheric-and-mellow music video Awesome and Modest directed/animated for Pete Van Leeuwen. The tune sounds like it could have been on Beck’s Sea Change – my go-to album for the drive home after a long, hot day at the beach – and the complimentary connected-with-nature visuals further amplify its already laid-back, lazy vibe.
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.
“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.
Secondly, considering that today is a bit of a special occasion for those who tend to frequent this little corner of the internet, I thought it’d be fun to celebrate by compiling a playlist of what are, in my opinion, the best ten videos posted to the site during this past year. Without further ado, I present…
9. LAMENTO by Joshua Catalano for John Talabot: “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.”
8. GOLEM by Patrick McCue and Tobias Wiesner: “My first thought after watching the attached was, ‘this could have easily been in The Animatrix,’ so prep yourself for some late-night, cerebral, sci-fi shit.”
7. Hide by Mathieu Bétard for Kris Menace: “A delicate mix of mirrored-and-repeating geometric ‘morphables’, rotoscoped figures and bizarre transitional touches where everything besides line, form and movement is swept aside. Just absolutely gorgeous stuff.”
4. I, pet goat II by Heliofant: “Oh shit. Do yourself a favor and prime your environment for an optimal viewing experience – lights down, full-screen and volume up – this gem deserves your undivided attention.”
3. Bye Bye Macadam by Dimitri Stankowicz for Rone: “The visuals in the attached sync up beautifully (both in timing and spirit) with Rone‘s deep, synth-driven, spaced-out sound. The net-effect is pure, distilled atmosphere…”
1. Evoking Spirits by Ori Toor for Kingdom Crumbs: ”[Ori’s] 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.”
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.
“I’ll start a fire with sticks,
I’ll put it out with my fists,
I’ll swim across the sound.
I’ll build a house in the trees,
We’ll live wherever we please,
And never settle down…”
When Tommy Wilson submitted the attached for our perusal he wrote the following in the ‘Why is this perfect for The Tripatorium™?’ field: “It is an awesome music video, trippy and weird in the best way possible. Animation goes perfect with music. This is your bread and butter.”
Jonathan Seligson, a Brooklyn-based independent animator, conjured up a slew of bizarre, psychedelic visuals that simultaneously leverage all the dreamy atmospherics of Black Light Dinner Party‘s synthpop sound while maintaining a narrative structure the pays homage to the song’s earnest, simple lyrics. It’s four-and-a-half minutes of fantastic, sufficiently out-there late-night watchables which is just how I likes ‘em.
The bits are available in 1080p, too so get it loaded full-screen, dim the lights and turn the volume way-up. Enjoy!
Thanks for sending this our way, Tommy!
“Now when we kiss, I feel like physics are true;
The world, it spins; my body, begins with you.”
File under: LOLWAT
Credit is due to Z and Zak for the suggestion…thanks for writing in, guys!