Five Artists Creating New Visions of What Animation Can Be
Ben Ridgway, who recently joined SF State’s cinema department, presented a program at the school in September that focused on the works of artists who are using stop-motion, computers and other techniques to create new kinds of wonderful images. While looking at their art, thinking about how it was made seemed secondary to enjoying the new aesthetic experiences that were unfolding on the screen. I was absorbed with the pleasure of the moment. If you visit the websites mentioned in the article, you may also be amazed by what you discover in the art of PES, Zeitguised, Max Hattler, Andrew Jones and Ben Ridgway.
Ben Ridgway’s recent works breathe life into inorganic matter. He showed Triboluminescence (2010), a remarkable looking work where shapes glow, pulsate and seemingly dance about to form complex, intricate mandala patterns. Seeing the film was a meditative experience in which I was transfixed on the beautiful forms as they subtly changed.
At a faculty exhibit a few weeks later he showed Cellular Circuitry (2011), in which his organic forms seem more cellular/plant-like. They form logical looking patterns found in nature that rotate in circular patterns.
Ben has been creating experimental animated films since 1992 and it appears his art has constantly been evolving in form, content and technique. In Tic Toc Continuum (2005) dozens of clock faces exist in a black and white landscape that might have been inspired by Salvador Dali. In Xenomycology (1998) alien plants and creatures live in an extraterrestrial world. In Olive Shower (1997) olives rain down in a hand-drawn world.
Ben’s films have been showcased in film festivals around the world including Annecy. Besides being a fine artist he has over a decade of experience working both as a 3D artist in the video game industry and as a professor.
Ben Ridgway’s Website: www.benridgway.wordpress.com/
Ben Ridgway's video catalog on Vimeo: www.vimeo.com/user3877495
Zeitguised is German sculptor Jamie Raap and architect Henrik Mauler who have teamed up to create digital works that are breaking new ground in the realm of digital surrealism. They have created their own universe of abstract geometrical forms that defy the laws of physics. Their scenarios with objects rather than characters are the focal point of their unfolding abstract narratives. Riding the line between fine art and industry, they continue to push the boundaries in both arenas.Peripetics or the installation of an irreversible axis on a dynamic timeline is a bizarre series of moving surreal sculptures that were constructed for an opening of a gallery exhibition. “It entails six imaginations of disoriented systems that take a catastrophic turn, including the evolution of educational plant-body-machine models and liquid building materials.” The pieces are very strange looking forms and neither their appearance nor movements makes much sense; however, they are curious looking and fascinating to watch.