My objective for this project was to create a short animation featuring both cut-out and puppet stop-motion techniques. After creating a shot list and constructing my puppet–a strange robotic creature–I consulted with CREATE_space to acquire a camera and studio space to shoot. The idea for this project was inspired from an interest in the contrast between mechanical and natural aesthetics. The puppet is largely built from scrap metal and defunct electronic equipment: rusted nails, wires, and the guts of an obsolete computer. Even the set design comprises a balance of natural and manufactured, blending a stark clay landscape with burlap fabric and paint. The machine’s actions remain relatively minimal throughout the animation. It simply observes its surroundings and, quite literally, consumes the elements it finds. The first two of these represent systems that are simulated through a “man-made” understanding–language and time. While these structures are unquestionably real and functional, they are inherently inert through the lens of the unrefined world. It is the third moment of consumption that actively threatens the machine and its existence, validating the common understanding that natural and undomesticated realms are certain to overcome that which is manufactured and processed.  ...

An Egg, The Parrot, and Schwarzschild’s Island


An Egg, The Parrot, and Schwarzschild’s Island is a body of work a created for my MFA Thesis Exhibition. The initial idea was to create a series of 4 interactive animation booths that would each be focused on projecting a particular scene from a complete narrative. Upon entering the gallery the viewer is offered a selection of small Dinosaur Figurines before continuing to the space with the interactive booths. Each of the figurines contained a chip that was programmed to play either a scene of the complete narrative, or in some cases, a rare video relevant to that scene. As the viewer(s) approached a booth they would see a short animated loop playing. Each loop was also appropriate in that it was the background to the animated scene in that specific booth. The interactivity (How it works): The videos are playing off of Nexus 4 Phones provided by the @Lab. Each of the Dinosaur Figurines are mounted to an NFC chip (also provided by the @Lab) which when in contact with the back of the Nexus 4 will activate an assigned App. Kindly, Nathan Berger(@Lab Administrator) created an App that would loop a specific video (Video A) and then when activated by an NFC chip switch to playing a different video (Video B, Video C, etc.). Each chip could be assigned a different function. In this case, it was either to trigger Video B, or Video C. Once the video had played through the initial loop would begin again. The phone and the chips were concealed to allow for some curiosity. I was more interested in how much each viewer explored the process. The Narrative: The animation series revolves around a group of younger individuals who, in the first part of the series, turn into dinosaurs and are warped into Outer Space. The exact cause is not concluded, but for the other 3 animation parts, they are trying to discover a way back home. This search is also left unresolved as the method of research becomes more and more emphasized. The visual aspects include very saturated, bright colors (in some cases psychedelic) to exaggerate the 2-D projection as an object. There is almost no specific camera movement and very limited character movement to accentuate the relationship between the viewer and the characters. Each scene is constructed around the individuals, or dinosaurs entering a space and using a method of storytelling to attempt to discover an answer. As the story is being told certain occurrences begin in the animation that are not quite directly related to the character’s story but somehow help the character’s move into the next scene. You may view the animations for a limited time here: An Egg, The Parrot, and Schwarzschild’s Island Part 1- Nuts and Eggs An Egg, The Parrot, and Schwarzschild’s Island Part 2 – Desert and Sea An Egg, The Parrot, and Schwarzschild’s Island Part 3 – Light and Smoke An Egg, The Parrot, and Schwarzschild’s Island Part 4 – Dinosaur Sex Island None of this project would have been possible without: T-remendous assistance from Nathan Berger and the @Lab’s Equipment (Projectors, Phones, Adobe AfterEffects, etc.) As well as the character voices of: The Tickle Monster, Jena Seiler, Lydia MacDonald, Christmas Tree, J Como, and Kathleen Elyse.      ...

Everted Sanctuaries: Increments of Silence

By Ryan Lewis

Here are some images from my recent MFA Thesis exhibition, which would not have been possible without @Lab support. Thanks also to Nathan for his help. Here’s my abstract from the exhibition: Everted Sanctuaries: Increments of Silence Eversion is a biological term for the ability of an organism to turn itself inside out. For example, a sea cucumber can eject its internal organs to distract attacking predators. The sea cucumber sacrifices these vital functions for the possibility of escape. However, this incurs a cost of the time and energy required to regrow those vital functions. Eversion, though seemingly counterproductive, is deployed at critical moments to allow the sea cucumber to achieve its highest priority—survival. Many introverts have become adept at temporarily everting their personalities to function in extroverted contexts within U.S. culture. This masquerade often puts great stress on the individual. Cultural, educational, and professional environments do not often provide introverts the intervals of sanctuary necessary to revitalize themselves. But extroversion is not the worldwide status quo. The comparatively introverted cultures of East Asia contrast with the more extroverted cultures of many Western countries such as the U.S. These introverted cultures often emphasize careful thought and reflection before speech. This collection of visual essays promotes understanding of introversion to encourage further consideration of its personal, cultural, professional, and educational benefits.      ...


By Nathan Prouty

I was invited to submit work to an anthology of artist’s interpretations of the Sandwich, to be published in 2013 by StarGods Press, an independent publisher based out of Toronto, Canada. My medium of choice is ceramics, but I have also been working in digital printmaking and screenprinting. For this project, I wanted to use the aesthetics of traditional 2-D cell animation. After creating a sandwich form out of clay, I photographed it with a model. The final print will be two layers – the photograph of the model holding the sandwich that has been desaturated of all color, laying underneath an acetate layer of just the sandwich and cord. This acetate layer will be printed in color. I am exploring many ideas in the studio, but for this project I am interested in the idea of ‘overlaying’ vibrant, lively information over a base layer of blandness. This project will be printed large-scale, at least 35 inches wide. I plan on this being the first of a series of acetate-overlayed large scale photographs.  ...

Why Do Turkeys Eat Toes?


The narrative, the turkey, the toe. This project is an exploration in educating the public about the dangers of mixing the turkey with the toe in an easy-to-digest, digitally exportable, beautifully crafted, file.

in progress experiments

By Daniel King

Mechanical recordings combined with marks made by hand on top of a projected image and re-photographed. A way to obscure and confuse as well as frame the way we look at images. Mostly though I’m thinking of how to put this visual translation to use across a range of images dealing with time.

Motion Capture at the @Lab


For an Ultimate Frisbee(R) Video Game, Eric Converse got in the Motion Capture suit to record some animations. With the help of Rakesh, Nathan, and everyone at the @Lab, the Ultimate Team learned some new software, techniques, and made some new friends.  

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