Working on 70mm at Yaddo 2016


My practice as an artist is divided between creating Kinetic Sculpture and making experimental animated films. The common thread between both mediums is time, movement and generative process. In my animation work, I explore issues of movement, abstraction and structure working directly, painting and drawing on 35 and 70mm movie film and creating films employing various stop motion and pixilation techniques.

In my paint-on-film shorts I work mainly on found footage from movie trailers. This allows me to experiment with surface and leave artifacts from the original films. The graphic quality of these elements adds rhythm and variation to the work and creates new meaning disconnected from the original subject matter of the found elements.

The field size of the film frame is very small so I limit myself to working with simple graphic elements. After preparing the surface I place the film directly over a small video screen and use live video footage as movement reference for inking, painting and gluing small shards of film on the surface. My goal is to preserve the quality of movement in the original video, limiting myself to simple shapes and lines in the small frame.

Creating structure in this medium presents an interesting challenge. I work intuitively and allow a film to emerge out of a long series of experiments. Sound is central to building the structure of a piece. I start this process, gathering found spoken elements and creating field recordings. In the editing stage, rather than matching sound and image, I incorporate inappropriate sound and move image and sound out of sync to create unexpected and ambiguous meaning.

Since 2019 I’ve been exploring stop motion in my films, often working in site specific locations outdoors and at artist residencies. This allows me to bring the limitations and possibilities of a specific site into my film work.


Kinetic Sculpture:

My sculpture work follows a process where I start with a frame configuration, size and mechanism. These choices determine:

  • A movement direction
  • Interaction
  • A possible gesture
  • Tempo, rhythm and duration

From this point I start dividing the frame into sections to support the mechanical elements. As I  develop the piece I continue to ask:

  • What subsequent movements and gestures can grow out of this?
  • What is the piece sounding like?
  • How does the next choice segment time?
  • How might this bring more interaction into the work?

As I continue making these decisions the piece takes form. The found materials create additional layers of meaning . Exploring this  relationship between movement, object and composition is central to the work.


The video below is a short documentary by Filmmaker Chris Engles where I talk about making my work.