Your Quest for Excellence

2007

This hand drawn animation excerpt coincides with passages from a self-hypnosis cassette that I found in a Chicago thrift store called “Your Quest for Excellence”. I have no idea who made it and I can’t find any information about it anywhere.

It features two separate stories read simultaneously panned left and right in stereo. Positive subliminal messages occur as the text passages overlap. Over the course of several weeks, while listening to this recording on headphones, I freely drew flip book animated sequences and loops on note pads, an animated form of automatic drawing. These “doodles” illustrating my own subconsciously generated imagery where composited into this final piece along with the cassette soundtrack.

The use of “positive programming” in hypnosis seeks to provoke positive connections to the subjects self-image. We all cope with past trauma on some level that may inhibit our growth perhaps spending a lifetime in therapy recovering. As a programmer, I was amused by the idea of taking a shortcut and effectively rewriting the negative talk hardwired in my own brain. In the end of the experiment, I wasn’t sure if it worked but I definitely felt better. The psychedelic effect of the resulting animation brought up some questions for me. Could art function as a form of metaphysical therapy? Perhaps it continues in the tradition of Emma Kunst’s healing drawings, Joseph Boyes’ use of copper plates to generate positive energy, the scientist, Wilhelm Reich who developed The Cloud buster device to project positive energy into the atmosphere, or the psychoacoustic illusions from the music of Maryanne Amarcher. Scientific or not, if it has an effect, could it promote a pragmatic approach to inducing a helpful drug-free cathartic response in the spectator like an experimental form of meditation or religious practice?

Your Quest for Excellence Cassette

Warlocks

2006

An exploration into male witchcraft and alchemic experiments.

65CXV

1996

A maintenance robot and an electronic part fall in love but it doesn’t last. Named after the 65cxv microchip, a very small universe inside of an electronic circuit. The soundtrack was performed with circuit bent electronics.

Mow!

1996

Robots behaving badly. The soundtrack performed on circuit bent casio keyboards.

The Intagible Under-Umbre

2006

The human race may or may not be in great peril, at the hands of slug-mounted biomechanical creatures that could be artificial plants from the future, or a hoax created by underground organisms mutated by lawn chemicals. The plants in a suburban home communicate psychically as they face these invaders, see their human caretaker turned into a zombie, and hear the defiant speeches of a baby who has been mysteriously drawn to crawl into the microwave, then becoming traumatically fused with the appliance. A film by Bert Stabler and Matthew Steinke.

The Intangible Under-Umbre