“√Čtreintes”

A remarkable bit of pinscreen animation from Justine Vuylsteker:

“A woman stands still at the window. In the clouds, a passionate embrace appears.”

According to Wikipedia (as of 03/07/2022):

Pinscreen animation makes use of a screen filled with movable pins, which can be moved in or out by pressing an object onto the screen. The screen is lit from the side so that the pins cast shadows. The technique has been used to create animated films with a range of textural effects difficult to achieve with any other animation technique, including traditional cel animation.

“Apocalypse Animated”

I’ve been watching a lot of short animation these past several years, and there are a lot of interesting animators out there. Nina Paley is one that I check on regularly and this is a trailer for one of her latest projects: a study, of sorts, of mandalas… based on “the Book of Revelation with animated GIF loops, in the tradition of Medieval and post-Medieval Apocalypses”:

“Railroad Workers Barred from Striking”

While I still keep a wary eye on politics (broadly defined, not just elections), most of it just doesn’t seem that interesting (outside of immediate hazards) these days.*

But in this case, the story below had popped up on one or more of the news lists I follow out of a lifelong interest in trainspotting. Those accounts were rather sparse on the details. The account below, from the More Perfect Union YouTube channel, provides rather more detail…

…with maybe the “draconian” dial turned up a notch or so. Not that I’m complaining. The More Perfect Union website is worth a visit.


*Oh, yes: it is most certainly me and not politics that has changed. But since I’ve “retired” from activism, the details have changed enough that they begin to obscure rather than to inform.

“Maximum Man: The God of Cigarettes and Beer”

Evan Hadfield’s Rare Earth channel was on a combined vacation / COVID break / existential reassessment but is now back and this 9 minute video is the second of the newest episodes. It examines one particular aspect of the fusion of Mayan and European cultures in Guatemala, about which I know absolutely nothing, so Hadfield could be handing us a load of hooey yet what would I know? But Hadfield’s presentation is interesting if not colorful and now I can pretend that I know something about Central America beyond anything B. Traven wrote. Furthermore, as Hadfield put it: “Maximon was a wild thing to stumble across. Who knew that God could be so unassuming?”

“Chado”

If I were to say the Child’s day began well enough but then everything just fell apart, further complicated by serious Mother — Daughter issues… Well! The video wouldn’t sound like much fun. But this short video from Dominica Harrison has some amazing, demented animation. The screen full of awards is absolutely no surprise. Judge for yourself:

“Fifty Lost Earths”

I visit Professor David Kipping’s Cool Worlds Lab YouTube channel regularly, despite the clouds of commercials that swarm like mosquitoes or maybe midges. The channel satisfies a slightly geeky fascination with exoplanet research.

This particular video is a retrospective on the data returned by the Kepler space telescope. It’s political in the sense that what Kepler has found, or hasn’t found, has implications for the design of any follow-on missions, one of which is already in the planning stages.

“Twelve years ago, NASA predicted around 50 Earth-like planets would be discovered by the Kepler telescope. And yet, we’re left essentially none. What happened? Why did those predictions not match reality? And what can we learn from these 50 lost dreams…”

Written & presented by Prof David Kipping

“Hand in Hand”

“Only a formal handshake separates two politicians from a sealed contract. But as both stubbornly try to gain the upper hand within the gesture, their grim intransigence takes on a monstrous life of its own.”

The above from the Swiss Das alte Lager Vimeo channel. It was written and directed by Ennio Ruschetti while at the Zurich University of Arts.

I’m especially fond of this brief video as it is a surreal and succinct and funny performance of what I call “pecking order politics”. It’s a label that tends to trivialize something that is present in all human society and every bit as powerful as more emergent characteristics like class, ethnicity, etc. Though we don’t everywhere deal with it the same way… There are situational “pecking orders” for example… But I won’t go on about it; boring! and my ideas about it probably only half baked. Check out the video instead; it’s a trip.