Fleischer Studios’ setback camera for producing three-dimensional effects in animation, roughly similar to Disney’s multiplane camera. From the patent by Max Fleischer, “Art making Motion Picture Cartoons.” Source: Wikimedia Commons
Join us for the world premiere of Anna Craycroft’s stop-motion animation film, which the artist constructed by shooting new footage weekly in her exhibition “Motion into Being.” Craycroft is the artist-in-residence for the Department of Education and Public Engagement’s Spring 2018 R&D Season: ANIMATION.
Following the screening, a lively conversation with art historian Gloria Sutton unpacks Craycroft’s project and examines the ways that animation—the movement of images and bodies—articulates new questions about sense and meaning within contemporary digital culture. Using a historically specific twentieth-century apparatus (Max Fleischer’s Setback Camera and Walt Disney’s Multiplane camera) to not only capture images over the course of her residency at the New Museum, but also to interpolate the material culture of more contemporary imaging technologies, Craycroft builds an accretive, time-based examination of personhood and anthropomorphism. The resulting animation demonstrates how our understanding of personhood is comprised of complex and often contradictory attitudes, expectations, and definitions. Distinct from the ways that early twentieth-century European avant-garde film advanced narratives of “failed vision” and “enlightenment” within the transformation of modern life, this conversation reconsiders the aesthetics of abstraction and experimentation that are beholden to an ethics of contingency and fragmentation within contemporary culture.
Gloria Sutton is Associate Professor of Contemporary Art History and New Media at Northeastern University in Boston. She received her doctorate from the University of California Los Angeles and has been a fellow at the Whitney Independent Study Program and the Getty Research Institute. A research affiliate in the Art Culture Technology Program at MIT, Sutton is the author of The Experience Machine: Stan VanDerBeek’s Movie Drome and Expanded Cinema (2015), published by MIT Press.
Anna Craycroft was born in Oregon in 1975 and raised in New York. She has had solo shows at Ben Maltz Gallery, Los Angeles (2017); Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Portland, OR (2013); the Blanton Museum of Art, Austin (2010); Tracy Williams Ltd., New York (2008, 2009, 2011); and Le Case D’Arte, Milan (2005). She has had two-person exhibitions at Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona (2015); REDCAT, Los Angeles (2014); and Sandroni Rey, Los Angeles (2007). Craycroft recently debuted a major new work, The Earth Is a Magnet, commissioned for the ICA Boston exhibition “The Artist’s Museum” (2016). Other notable group exhibitions include “Champs Elysees” at Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2013), and MoMA P.S.1’s “Greater New York” (2005). She has received commissions for public sculpture from Socrates Sculpture Park (2004), the Lower Manhattan Cultural Center (2005), and Art in General (2006), New York, and from Den Haag Sculptuur, The Hague (2008).