Aboveground Animation: 3D-Form
September 19 2012
“3-D Form” is a presentation of four experimental animations selected from the archive Aboveground Animation for the New Museum’s monthly series First Look: New Art Online.
Founded by the artist Casey Jane Ellison, Aboveground Animation is a video collection, an artist community, and a roving exhibition platform all in one. Since 2008, Ellison has collected animations and shared them at venues, most regularly at Ramiken Crucible gallery in New York, inspired, in part, by a desire to promote art with a shared aesthetic and also to make sense of her own emerging body of work.
“3D-Form” features pieces by Barry Doupé, Kathleen Daniel, Ryan Whittier Hale, and Jacolby Satterwhite. Their works explore the possibilities for 3D human forms beyond Pixar, Adult Swim, or the default avatars of video games. In “3D-Form,” casts of improbable people are hatched out of personal history or emotion—through a longing for intimacy or an uncertainty for the future. Experimental and short-form, all the selected works were made to be viewed across various screening contexts, from the cinema to the gallery to the browser, and yet their structure reflects a sophistication with a range of digital media and programs, from Maya to 3D Studio Max.
The works in “3D-Form” are distinguished by their integration of diverse forms, such as drawing, dance, and video, with 3D animation. From Satterwhite’s glowing wombs and voguing dancers, Daniel’s erotic avatars that writhe, couple, and break apart, Hale’s cluster of identical artificial beings that recall sci-fi fantasies, and Doupé’s flat characters that operate like open text fields—the works reveal fresh terrain for debates around the post-human body. While each work possesses a distinct formal vocabulary, all are equally brazen. They work through our highly sexualized and objectified pop culture to produce new forms of humanity that are both strange and familiar.1
The online exhibition was on view from September 19–October 17, 2012. An expanded video screening program organized by Casey Jane Ellison took place on November 1, 2012 in the New Museum Theater.2
Established in 2012 and co-organized by the New Museum and Rhizome, First Look is a digital art commissioning and exhibition program representing the breadth of art online—from interactive documentary, to custom-built participatory applications, to moving image-based works, and art for mobile VR. Encompassing a substantial array of work that continues to expand, First Look explores the formal, social, and aesthetic possibilities of emerging technologies on the web.