An old-fashioned turn table, a dozen old records, a pile of plastic toys, miscelleanous adhesives, and a bright strobe light. These are the elements that Olexander Gnilitsky and Lesja Zajac, members of the artist collective the Institution of Unstable Thoughts, transform into fantastic displays of stroboscopic animation that they perform live in front of an audience. Thankfully you can also see them
As the record spins, the strobe light flashes rhtymically, creating a series of bright movie frames that reveal the plastic objects coming to life as they progrssively bend, fold, and march like soliders across the record. As this happens, the artists take turns playing DJ on another turn table, creating a cinematic score for the stop motion animation that is unfolding before the audience’s eyes.
What is most startling about this work, is that Gnilitsky and Zajac create ephemeral 3d digital effects without using any digital equipment. Their work is a reverse engineering of sophisticated 3d digital effects into a every day mechanical components which they reveal to their audience during their performances. By deconstructing the phenomenon of animation, the artists pay homage to the zoetrope and other early cinematic devices, but then give it a modern spin. Pun intended.
Gnilitsky and Zajac treat their unique animation process like open source software. Last year the artists gave a workshop entitled, “Visual Vinyl”, as part of a six-week residency hosted by the Outpost for Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, in which they taught other artists how to make their own stop motion records using a stroboscope. The Institution of Unstable Thoughts have since taken thier show on their road, currently traveling through Europe. It just might be worth a trip to see them, but if not their work can be seen on YouTube or right here.