I’m still wearing my winter coat, the heater is still on, and cats have cold toes (I can feel them when they jump on me!). Does it feel like Spring where you are? Not much here, but hopefully soon! We made this new film for V Magazine, hopefully we will seeing this soon in real life…….
This past weekend we didn’t get much sleep because we participating in the 2nd Art Hack Day here in Brooklyn. We were part of it last year and had lots of fun so we knew we wanted to do it again this year. The event took place at 319 Scholes where artists in technology get together and have 48 hours to create a piece of work. At the end of 48 hours there is a exhibition to show what you have created. It really is a amazing experience because it proves that great work can be done quickly if you have a plan and work towards it.
This year’s theme was “God Mode”. That meant one thing to us: it must involve cats. Cats are our gods, we love them dearly. They are furry little bosses that tell us what to do and how to do it and we do nothing but smile and agree. Cats, what amazing little people.
Over the 48 hours we modeled a giant cat head in 3D, built it with foamcore and then video projection mapped onto it. Guess my class I took one week prior paid off, although I didn’t think my skills were going to be tested so quickly! We are really happy with what we created for this and we hope to work with projection mapping more in the near future. Group high 5 to everyone involved!
You can see the whole photo album here of us making CATGOD here. You can also see a press piece that the Creators Project did on CATGOD which walks you through it.
This was how the final installation turned out:
And this is Matthew and I the next day getting our photo taken in front of it. I’m afraid of heights but Matthew made me do this.
Some other pictures from the 48 hours: Everyone gets super cool badges. This was our 3D cathead that Matthew modeled. This is Matthew a few hours in. We were pretty unsure many times if this was going to be done in time. Peanut butter and jelly got us through the long hours. This was 4AM one night. Xanadu had the right idea. We also made cat cards that people could take at the installation. As if we didn’t have enough to do , let’s cut out 100 cat heads. I love making things to give out though. Beginning to create visuals for the projection mapping.. So much hot glue was used.. Matthew has many blisters to prove it. Matthew posing with the cathead. We ended up giving this to the space, 319 Scholes. We want to rebuild it, possibly with metal! That’s me. Hey guys.
This weekend I took a projection mapping class at Harvestworks. Projection mapping is a technique for manipulating video and graphics to create illusions of deconstruction and redefinition of physical shapes by moving away from traditional flat projection surfaces. Basically you project your video/graphics onto a 3d space, but you have to shape your projected material to that surface. You might have seen projection mapping on buildings or on objects before. Here are somegreatexamples that will blow your mind. Amazing, right? I went into the class not really knowing much technically about it. Matthew has messed around with the program MadMapper slightly, but besides that I was a newbie. I wanted to take the class to learn more about it and see how we could possibly use projection mapping either in gallery installations or create sculptures to record projection mapping on and use in our work. This was Day 1. I’m using the program MadMapper. I was very confused in the beginning but felt my way around and figured it out to an extent. To the right are boxes set up in the classroom, this was a picture of them. And then I projected this onto the boxes. It changes quite a bit from designing on a picture of boxes, and then seeing it real in front of you – you have to do quite a bit of tweaking. If you had the exact measurements or were able to scan the sculpture, then it would line up pretty perfectly.
This is a video of what i made in the first day. On the 2nd day we learned Modul8 and how to use it hand and hand with MadMapper. Modul8 lets you create animated video elements and really lets have you great control. Here I’m back in MadMapper, with the assets to the left being Modul8 created and opened live in the program. I was looking forward to today because with learning how to use these 2 programs together I was able to put my own Pamela spin on things and make things visually look more my style.
Here is my final upon day 2. It was much more fun and cute – what I like! The class was really great and I’m going to explore it more. Both programs are pretty indepth so it will take some time to figure them all out, but I’m really excited to see the possibilities of what it can do for our work.
We love stuffed animals! We really love stuffed animals! We really really really love stuffed animals! Check out our new Creator’s Project project that features our very own “The Family”. It was hard to choose just 7 to feature, but we’re happy with how it all came together and being able to share these amazing people with the world! Be sure to read all their bios too!
One of my wishes for 2013 was to see more in NYC. That means not to give excuses for not seeing shows before they end. I listed pros and cons in my head while laying in bed early Sunday deciding if I should go or not. They went something like this:
Pro: I should see it, you know you will love it.
Con: But that means I have to get out of bed and the blankets are so warm!
Pro: It ends tomorrow, you will never see it again.
Con: But my pajamas are so cozy! And I wanted to wear them all day!
Pro: You will get in exercise and get Fuel points. You will be doing 2 great things!
Con: But I want to go the store and buy supplies to make chili.
Pro: You can go to the store on the way home and buy those.
Con: But I have work to do, editing needs to be done.
Pro: Just stay up later, stop being a baby, you don’t want to miss this show! Also MOMA has good chocolate croissants. And you get in free with your faculty cards!
Con: I want to stay in my pajamas.
Pro: MOMA always has their Christmas cards on sale in January. And I know how much you love those cards. I know how much you spent on them last year when they weren’t on sale.
Ok, I will go!
So I got myself out of bed, threw on a pretty skirt, and took the G to the E and went to the MOMA.
Turns out this was a great choice because the exhibition was pretty amazing. It was 3 floors worth of their video work, props, sets and drawings. I also learned that they grew up on the Schuylkill River in Pennsylvania, and I’m from Schuylkill County, so we’re basically friends. The Quay Brothers just don’t know this yet.
Background information that I’m summarizing from Wiki/myself: Stephen and Timothy Quay (born June 17, 1947) are American identical twin brothers better known as the Brothers Quay or Quay Brothers. The Quay Brothers reside and work in England, having moved there in 1969 to study at the Royal College of Art, London after studying illustration at the Philadelphia College of Art. They are influential stop-motion animators and set designers that are known for their dark, creepy style. Most of their animation films feature puppets made of doll parts and other organic and inorganic materials, often partially disassembled, in a moody atmosphere. The Quay Brothers’ works show a wide range of often esoteric influences, starting with the Polish animators Walerian Borowczyk and Jan Lenica and continuing with the writers Franz Kafka, Bruno Schulz, Robert Walser and Michel de Ghelderode, puppeteers Wladyslaw Starewicz and Richard Teschner.
Come on in with me…
Their exhibition at MoMA in 2012 featured work spanning their entire career tracing back as early as childhood (including photos of their ice skating mother), with much of the material shown for the first time.
Some of the highlights for me:
I love Kafka’s Metamorphosis so very much, so I was delighted to see that the Quay Brothers adapted the story and created their own stop motion film on it that incorporates stop-motion animation, puppetry, and live-action pantomime. On display was one of the actual sets which I just stood in front of for minutes with a giddy smile on my face while others walked by creeped out by the bug (or by the girl with the big smile). Unfortunately I wasn’t able to see the film, but hopefully I will be able to someday…
There’s really something special to get up and close with their dioramas.
I had no idea that the brothers did the stop motion animation for Peter Gabriel’s amazing video “Sledgehammer”. Word on the street is that brothers weren’t very pleased about the outcome but I love it.
Lastly, I found this interview that the brothers did and wanted to share some of my favorite parts as I can definitely feel a connection to what they’re saying.
How much do you think that your commercial work of the past ten years has fed into your film shorts and features? Timothy: It’s just the opposite. We’re hired to do commercials because of previous work. I don’t think there’s been any commercial [job] that’s informed us. The only thing that a couple of commercials did was allow us a bit of post-production work, digital post-production, which we got familiar [enough] with to know “Ah, we can do this.” Commercials have big budgets. Whereas usually, like on Street of Crocodiles or any of our animation films, there’s never any budget for post-production. None, ever. You try to do as much as you can inside the camera.
What is your scheme, then, for pushing yourselves ahead, creatively speaking? Stephen: Ideally, what we’d like to do is Bruno Schulz’s novel Sanatorium.We don’t have grand schemes. It’s better that we be pushed into a corner. Our idea is to be pushed further and further into a corner where another kind of infinity opens up. I mean, to do In Absentia II would be great. We wanted to do it from the husband’s point of view, but nobody’s bitten. Every time we’ve had a project, like Benjamenta, it’s closed doors for us. Absentia closed doors for us. On Crocodiles, we got Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer out” of it. Otherwise, basically, we don’t get any work.
Do you — either of you — ever have a desire to work alone, apart from the other? Stephen: No, you’re sort of joined both psychologically and metaphorically at the hip or at the heart. I think the kind of work that we do is very demanding. Most animators tell us how they envy our duality. We’ve grown up together our whole life. We went to art school, and we each did our own art, but when it comes to film, we have to come together — they’re not going to give you two budgets to make two films. And it’s forced us to work things out. And who better than identical twins could feel at home with the other? If Timothy has an idea, immediately you sort of build on it, and it goes quickly. It’s really just focusing it, where you’ve got lots of bottles of wine on the table and notepaper and the film evolves. Timothy: There’s a lot of intuition. And when we start to actually make the puppets and build the décor — it’s a stage where you really open up. That’s where the journey really starts to take place. So it’s very important, that expiration, that sigh, it’s very important for us. And if it was somebody else you were working with, they’d [say] “Well, what are you doing?” and you’d say, “I’m exploring.” They’ve usually got storyboards, and it’s all blocked out. But we don’t have storyboards, we have it here [points to his head], between us. On a commercial, they ask for storyboards and we do it, reluctantly.
I’m so happy I ended up going and getting able to see all their work. I would definitely recommend checking out their work if you like what you see above.
I often forget about posting our work, or anything related to our work here at this blog. I just start talking hot chocolate, cats and Christmas lights and can’t stop myself. Here are some behind the scenes pictures from the last 2 months of some projects we have worked on. We are super thankful that people allow us to be creative and let us create worlds, we want to make it a magical journey that lets you disappear from the real world for a bit. We are looking forward to many projects in the new year.
We shot this Christmas story for Flair Germany back in October. Christmas should be a all year round holiday, or at least just decorated like it is. Here’s how it turned out. Here’s also a story they wrote about us.
We’ve worked with Victoria’s Secret on 2 projects in the last few months. They are fun to work with. I got transformed into a Angel with the VS wings while standing next to some of the most beautiful women in the world.
Our story for W Magazine also ran in W Korea.
We went to London where we had our first UK solo show. The show was titled “Cretaceous Returns” and it was a prehistoric dinosaur adventure. We got lots of positivepress on it.
We also did a talk there alongside Google art project, onedotzero and V&A Museum.
We were lucky enough then to have a show in NYC and bring Cretaceous Returns there. So we spent a few days making a white wall gallery space into a loved dinosaur home.
It was lots of fun, and I danced when we finished putting it up.
Most recently we just finished up this year with a fun gif shoot which will feature some of our most loved souls in the world. I can’t say much more, but it might make you smile.
Here are some recent profile videos that were made on us:
This is really a blog about gardening, cooking and our cats. Sometimes I get asked to write more about our work, but writing about soybeans is much more fun! But I will show this video because it’s about kitties… This is a new video we just completed and are very excited to share, it’s called “I Hate Kitties”. It was for Vice Magazine.
Have you seen our story we did for V Magazine? Its called Jock Jams and is inspired by our love for Michael Jordan. True story: My first website ever as a teenage girl was about Michael Jordan. I love him!
We’re giving a lecture tomorrow at SVA. We’re told there will be a introduction, us talking about our work, and then Q&A at the end. It will run from 7-9PM. If you’re in NYC, please stop by, we’d love to see you there!
I have a vision of transforming the corner of our loft where I spend many hours each day. For one I’d like to put up some funky fun wallpaper but I’m having a hard time finding one. Until I found this. Until I saw the price tag on it. And then I cried. The search continues…
Aimee Wilder who designed this wallpaper has some other things on her website that I wanted to share.