Avoidance of other duties

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I don’t have time to do much web surfing. But every so often I do some web stumbling that isn’t procrastination after all and I’m happy. This morning I was at inliquid‘s site to sign up again for their newsletter. (For some reason, me and my mac have trouble with this. I’ve signed up repeatedly and still never get the thing.)

Anyway, while there I clicked on AVOID, Gerard Brown’s Big Nothing web project and stumbled upon four short, companionable animateds by Ellen Driscoll and Jane D. Marsching which kept me occupied for about fifteen minutes total. (image at the top is from one of the four shorts, the Boudoir segment. That’s Clementine sleeping in the bed.)

I hardly ever looked at my watch, and for a web project, that’s good.

The duo’s marionette heroine, Clementine, floats through four environments, from a mine shaft to the moon and beyond. The animation, done layers, is sophisticated and beautiful and includes everything from drawing to cinematic montages of imagery to cut paper silhouettes. The classy production values and the use of a puppet type hero reminded me of Josh Mosley‘s work, seen not too long ago at the PMA.

The scenario is something about dating and lost love. Clementine and her miner, forty-niner kept trying to hook up but missed each other other repeatedly and the story-telling words, a kind of rambling, poetic inner monologue of sorts, implied they’d never meet.

Before leaving AVOID, I browsed Susan Arthur’s photo show which was too slow for me. At around 5 seconds per not-great but not-bad image, I cut out after the first 10. Something about the small scale and the length of the slide show was wrong.

Jennifer McTague’s daily “Adventure drawings,” on the other hand, were just right. Little hand-drawn maps that come at you in animation in pretty colors (blue, green, purple) chart the artist’s footsteps around the house and other architectural space (one, (shown) includes a parking lot). They were short and sweet and reminded me of Stephen Cartwright‘s global positioning system drawings shown at Gallery Joe and elsewhere. Cartwright, a bicycler, charted his positions riding around town then printed out the routes.

I find the whole trace your steps phenomenon loaded with yearning for the meaning of life.

While the impulse reminds me slightly of Hanne Darboven‘s chronicling her days projects (seen at DIA a while back and now housed at DIA Beacon), the steps tracers seem to connect with the outer world more directly and I find the metaphorical links more reverberant.

Anyway, if you’re looking to surf, check out AVOID. There’s a big button to click on inliquid’s front page in the right side bar.

There’s a few more projects up at the moment and two more coming online in June.

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features & interviews, reviews

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