Description of current concerns and interests:
I am working on a film animation loosely based around Melanesian cargo cults, how an adult film star and serial killer can loom larger in absence than in real life, among other things. I am trying to arrive at an autobiography through weaving marginal popular histories. My challenge and interest has been the tenuous relationship between accumulation and crystallization, intention and procedure----more specifically, finding the balance between a guiding structure for a narrative and what Roy Lichtenstein called "ground-directedness," the painterly repetition of placement and reaction.
Film acts as a recipient of the world. Animation is a graphic representation, an immanent construction, a world view, and a dissimilar process. This may be apparent in how a cartoon never exists as an interception and presentation of actual events, but only as a substitute or approximation. This substitution and approximation in my mind has less to do with cartoon iconography than a rootedness in a mechanism�the persistence of vision, what bridges the individual frame with movement�and abstraction, representation that is either non-photographic or irregular.
A hand-painted or processed film, although more than likely without line, contours, and caricatures, is also removed from unraveling, linear time because its only physical relationship to experience is its frames, their origin and materiality. Drawing, collage, and animation that often fall apart is an allusion to construction and requires associative reception. The animated image is separate from both continuos and divided temporality, as it intervenes their uniform direction with an opposite directionality, one that begins with a still----in my case drawing, and recently collages------its temporality is not built around framing a picture, but filling a picture.
In spite of this, I tend to think linearity becomes a necessary component to the production of experience, the encapsulation of the prosaic as well as symbolic. Linear time allows for representation of "profane existence," (to borrow a phrase from animator Chris Sullivan) the present, therefore duration as intrinsically tied to empathy. My concern and struggle is with the gaps within the dialectic that is the empathy of linearity, the condensation and discreteness of static pictures, and broken animation.
J. Tanner Cusick
Cathy de la Cruz
The Magnum PIs