SMS
 Stop Motion Studies 

David Crawford | Japanese
 
“Crawford’s pieces combine the strange homogeneity of public spaces pictured by Andreas Gursky, the complex cinematic ambiguity of Jeff Wall’s photos, and even the lovely light and titillating urban voyeurism of the Impressionists.”
—Bert Stabler, Chicago Reader
  Stop Motion Studies - Tokyo  
Stop Motion Studies - Tokyo, 2004   
Installments

Stop Motion Studies - Series 13
In this remix of footage originally shot for previous installments in London, Paris, Boston, New York, and Tokyo, each installment’s modular structure has provided a library of building blocks that have been edited into a linear animation approximately 7 minutes long. The speed of the transitions is based on network connection speed.


Stop Motion Studies - Series 8   Stop Motion Studies - Tokyo
All imagery was shot in Tokyo, Japan between October 27 and October 29, 2003.
  Stop Motion Studies - Series 4   Stop Motion Studies - Series 4
All imagery was shot in Boston, USA between December 21 and December 22, 2002.
 
 
Stop Motion Studies - Series 7   Stop Motion Studies - Series 7
In this remix, I’ve taken previous material and added a meta-structure.
  Stop Motion Studies - Series 3   Stop Motion Studies - Series 3
All imagery was shot in Paris, France between November 8 and November 11, 2002.
 
 
Stop Motion Studies - Series 6   Stop Motion Studies - Series 6
All imagery was shot in New York City, USA on January 4, 2003.
  Stop Motion Studies - Series 2   Stop Motion Studies - Series 2
All imagery was shot in London, England between October 12 and October 15, 2002.
 
 
Stop Motion Studies - Series 5   Stop Motion Studies - Series 5
All imagery was shot in New York City, USA on January 3, 2003.
  Stop Motion Studies - Series 1   Stop Motion Studies - Series 1
All imagery was shot in Göteborg, Sweden between September 18 and October 7, 2002.
 

Artist’s Statement

It is said that 90% of human communication is non-verbal. In these photographs, the body language of the subjects becomes the basic syntax for a series of animations exploring movement, gesture, and algorithmic montage. Many sequences document a person’s reaction to being photographed by a stranger. Some smile, others snarl, still others perform. Some pretend not to notice. Underneath all of this are assumptions and unknowns unique to each situation.

The Stop Motion Studies extend my long-standing interest in narrative and, in particular, look at the subway as a stage upon which social dynamics and individual behavior are increasingly mediated by digital technology. As one of the most vibrant and egalitarian networks in our cities, subways bring people from a wide range of social and cultural backgrounds into close contact with each other. This process plays a significant role in shaping both the character of a city as well as our individual identities.

Related Works

38 Messages from Space
Wilbert Smith directed Project Magnet, the Canadian government’s official investigation into UFOs. Researcher Grant Cameron studied Smith for two decades. In 2003, Cameron released The Wilbert Smith Archives on CD-ROM (http://presidentialUFO.com). The archives include nearly 1000 pages of scanned documents. 38 Messages from Space is a remix of selected documents from Cameron’s archives. The documents are supplemented with my own illustrations.

These People from Elsewhere
Wilbert Smith directed Project Magnet, the Canadian government’s official investigation into flying saucers. The project ran from 1950-1954 and included the establishment of a flying saucer observatory near Ottawa that housed equipment for detecting magnetic fluctuations in the atmosphere. There on 8 August 1954, Smith’s instruments displayed signals that led him to believe that he had detected a flying saucer.

Dance to the Radio
This project consists of a series of three Web-based music videos for music written by the legendary 80s post-punk band, Joy Division. The imagery was selected by keyword. Each video is then generated out of 50 images that are algorithmically sequenced every time a video is played. This produces over 100, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000 potential sequences and suggests that every possible montage will never be seen.

Related Articles

The Implication of Movement: From Bergson to Bohm
In Creative Evolution (1907), Henri Bergson’s concept of the cinematographical mechanism of thought serves as a model allowing him to deconstruct an epistemology originating in ancient Greece. Within this epistemology, the ‘becoming’ that Bergson writes of is seen primarily as the degradation of a form rather than that which breathes life into forms.

Realism vs. Reality TV in the War on Terror: Artworks as Models of Interpretation
Much of what is associated with the so-called “War on Terror” bears a relation to images. While society is increasingly media savvy, these images tend to be produced and consumed in such a manner that spectators are left little room and even less encouragement to engage in critical thinking as an intermediary act.

E-mail

info@stopmotionstudies.net

Biography

David Crawford studied film, video, and new media at the Massachusetts College of Art and received a BFA in 1997. In 2000, his Light of Speed project was a finalist for the SFMOMA Webby Prize for Excellence in Online Art. In 2003, Crawford’s Stop Motion Studies project received an Artport Gate Page Commission from the Whitney Museum of American Art, an Award of Distinction in the Net Vision category at the Prix Ars Electronica, and became part of the public collection of the Moderna Museet in Stockholm (SMS - Series 6). In 2004, he received an MSc from Chalmers University of Technology and taught at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Crawford is currently a PhD candidate studying Digital Representation at the Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts at Göteborg University in Sweden. His artwork has been featured by the Guardian and Leonardo. His writing has been published by Princeton Architectural Press and SpringerWienNewYork.
   Last Updated: 07.05.09 Top of Page    

38 Messages from Space