Proliferation, 3:18, digital animation with sound, 2004



The recursive motif developed in Proliferation began as a drawing on isometric graph paper. In 2003, during an artist’s residency at Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center in Buffalo, NY. I installed four large wall drawings derived from this motif, which, taken together, implied a sequence of growth or sprouting.  The residency gave me time to renew some experiments I’d been making in 3-D computer animation, and I succeeded in modeling and animating one of my isometric drawings as part of the installation, which was titled Descent (view installation).

installation photo, Descent, Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center, 2003
installation photo, Descent, Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center, 2003

I later completed the animation as a separate film with a new sound score. Descent had a soundtrack made from local field recordings, including freight trains; for Proliferation I made a sound collage from generic sound effects. The film’s four distinct episodes correspond to the four wall drawings of the Hallwalls installation. In the final episode, each nested generation begins to rotate on its axis. As there are seven generations, a seven-fold compound rotation eventually results.

The original animation was played on a CRT monitor alongside the wall drawings in a loop. Proliferation has also been exhibited as a looping installation, both on monitors and projected, and as a single viewing projection. In the latter form, it was included in En Perfecto Desorden at the Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid, in program curated by Perry Bard.