Presentation on theme: "Animated Darkness | An inspiration Ben Chandler. Various factors contextualise my practice, but the ‘inspiration’ I am going to discuss, to me, is more."— Presentation transcript:
Animated Darkness | An inspiration Ben Chandler
Various factors contextualise my practice, but the ‘inspiration’ I am going to discuss, to me, is more of a feeling. It is a dark, gritty thread that is woven through all consumable platforms and even our own being. I call it an ‘animated darkness’, my own term for an intense sensory experience that happens in the presence of a medium that is considered ‘dark’ or ‘heavy’. It can happen instantly, or gradually build up.
I find it to be a highly subjective experience as everyone has their own personal taste, like viewing an artwork; everyone will have their own opinion regardless of the original intended message, their own ‘reception’ of it. It is a reciprocal process as the consumer and the medium are symbiotic with each other during exposure. When you establish a connection you receive a fusion of negativity and euphoria to which you mentally respond: Hormones fluctuate, your thought processes elevate, you become enticed and in some way emotionally involved. I connect with it in different media platforms such as Music, Video Games, and Art.
MUSIC I find it invigorating how the building blocks of a musical piece can inflict such an effect on the listener: Album concept, progression and structure of notes/chords, tempo, key, vocals, lyrics etc. Amongst a variety of music, my core genres are Rock, Blues, Metal and Alternative. These particular genres base themselves around dark concepts and subject matter (Sex, Drugs, Death, Slavery, Warfare) conveyed through the intertwined electric guitar and vocals where it grips the listener at best in the chorus and guitar solos. It comes to me in a different form depending on the band: a robotic, melancholy- melody from The Vaccines, electric doom and gloom blues from Black Sabbath, a soul- erupting, emotional overload from My Chemical Romance and hard-hitting, ‘on the edge’ grit from Slash Feat. Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators. Although music if not a natural desire such as food or sex, it is a daily requirement I struggle to live without. It forms the tone of the work I create, either in the aesthetic or the idea behind it.
VIDEO GAMES Video games is another form of escapism for, a much more interactive platform than music which satisfies completely different demands. Where this experience comes in is mostly within the genres of First Person Shooters and Sandbox (Open World) games based around the combination of stealth and all-out warfare. The audio/visual simulation of danger, being behind enemy lines and exploring a new world for yourself come with similar themes. The narrative, character design and gameplay all play a crucial part. After being immersed in gameplay, I find myself reflecting on the actions I have taken to progress within the game. I find it to be another stage of the process, being able to murder and destroy as an assassin, pirate, soldier, or a resistance fighter, despite it being only a game. Sometimes, the actions that one take are not forced by the story narrative but are of free will.
ART As my interests within art are constantly developing, in the last few years I have taken to art that is not purely reliant on the technical proficiency that is displayed, but more of the concept. Art that makes the viewer unsettling to me is the most powerful form of art. My instant connection comes from art that explore negative emotion or expressive styles, examples (below) such as: ‘Chiaroscuro’, Christopher McKenney, Simon Birch, KwangHo Shin and Glenn Brown. Recently this has shifted my style to mostly working in a monochromatic style, black and white. Recent experimental works that were made with a sense of ‘animated darkness’ in mind is my analogue photography oh the local park and a man in a pub: black and white, lone figures in a space that should be full to create a sense of abandon. To me, what is sad and daring is what everyone remembers…