Title: “ANIMATED RECREATION OF…”, 2006, single-channel video installation, Visual Studies Workshop Gallery, Rochester, NY

I completed this installation as part of an artist residency and teaching contract with the VSW.

“Animated Recreation of…” was installed at the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester NY in 2006.

This installation questions the role of the media in war propaganda. War is privileged experience, media is streamed into our homes and now our pockets. This recreated animation is made with mundane materials: wax paper and aluminum foil.“Animated Recreation Of…” is a gallery installation that wears the tools, techniques, and materials on it’s sleeve.

Animated Recreation Of...
Installation view: hanging grid of animated frame series

As the animation plays against the wall in the gallery (small and easy to examine), the opposite wall displays the individual collage frames used to create the film. The transparency of the process and materials becomes an invitation for closer examination, just as war propaganda should be looked at with more scrutiny.

Animated Recreation Of...
Installation view: video projection in the gallery

What could possibly stand as a justification to kill and displace people? Media we consume on an everyday basis works to manufacture those exact justifications. Do we look close enough to know what they are? Are we aware of when the justification for war in our hearts and minds is being manufactured by what we watch?

Video projection in the gallery

The video itself is an animated recreation of a spectacular explosion sequence from a documentary made in 1918 called “The Sinking of the Lusitania” by Winsor McCay. The RMS Lusitania was an American passenger ship that was sunk by German torpedoes off the coast of Ireland in 1915. This (almost) one-hundred year old animated “documentary” was originally presented as newsreel propaganda to mobilize support for American involvement in the first World War.

Because there was no actual photographic documentation of the original disastrous event, Winsor McCay’s film itself is an animated recreation. McCay’s original film was painstakingly created over the course of three years in order to bring images of disaster to the eyes of the American people to manufacture justification for war in the hearts and minds of Americans of that time.

“Animated Recreation Of…” is an animated recreation of the first historical animated recreation of an un-photographed disaster.