Thursday, 5 February 2009

Javan Ivey "My Paper Mind"

I understood strata-cut animation to be made out of slicing clay just as with a loaf of bread to reveal the complex inner structure beneath. It seems incredibly time-consuming to me and I really have no concept of how it might be achieved. It can look stunning however. That is for another post. Javan Ivey has developed a variation on this using paper, but by adding layers instead of taking them away. The result is the abstract My Paper Mind, a delightful peeling or, rather, accumulating of images to a ukelele soundtrack played by the animator himself. Javan uses white paper and I think this adds to the beauty of the piece. A time lapse video shows Javan wielding his scalpel like knife, carving the individual sheets of paper, the frames mounding up like some robotic origami masterpiece in the catch tray of a duplicating machine. Photographs reveal the frames held in wooden racks in front of a rostrum camera. His 2008 thesis blog, Taking the Sea, traces in video and shots the process of making a movie. It has a beauty of its own. Javan graduated from Brooklyn's Pratt Institute in May last year. A line from his comprehensive resume struck me: "Javan strives to present his viewers with something they haven't seen before, while still retaining a sense of story." I've never seen work like this before - somewhere between artist and engineer. Rather beautiful. His résumé also has a showreel and, yes, he draws, uses colour and there's more of that engineering skill I mentioned if you open the Magic Box. Fascinating and varied work.

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