Education Lessons: Blue, Digital Animation, 2021, 01:08 minutes

My new installation Learn Sing Plants Counting Monsters Colors Alphabets is on view February 11–March 11, 2022 at Clough-Hanson Gallery, Rhodes College. I’ll be giving a talk 6:00 pm on Thursday, March 3rd at Rhodes College. It will also be on Zoom at this link:

And, there will be a reception on Friday, March 4th from 5:00 to 7:00 pm in Clough-Hanson Gallery in Clough Hall, Rhodes College.

About the show:

Learn Sing Plants Counting Monsters Colors Alphabets is an exhibition of experimental cartoons depicting ritualistic interactions between plants, monsters, insects, aliens, and physical manifestations of language. The works offer an absurdist take on educational programming for children, from Sesame Street to algorithmically produced content on Youtube, mixed with a heavy dose of experimental cinema and alien encounter narratives. 

Erickson’s  offbeat animations present lessons designed to challenge traditional educational objectives. The end goal is to create and learn new languages, to forge trans-species kinships, and to find new ways of being right. A segment on the letter “R” highlights the letter in the formation of a variety of words (“are,” “green,” “three”), none of which, of course, start with “R.” A bee has a transcendent experience. Extraterrestrial plants put on a song and dance show in order to communicate with Earthlings, only they don’t know any of the same words we know. The aspects of education are present: language, demonstrations, repetition, engagement, but the learning outcome is obscure.  

To create these scenarios, Erickson uses video collage, mixing together 2D and 3D animation, still and moving images, and motion design. Motion capture technologies map his movements onto digital avatars. Bioelectricity from plants shapes the audio signals Erickson incorporates into some of his videos, creating sounds that feel like language, even if it is a language we don’t understand. Erickson can be thought of as a translator between the different agencies that he is collaborating with: animations, sounds, hardware, software, plants, and electricity. There are no predefined connections, so each video requires a new system of connections to be built. This creates an interdependent networked system that is analogous to how we can work together to find a common language.

Learn Sing Plants Counting Monsters Colors Alphabets | 2022 | Exhibitions, News | Tags: , ,