“On the Landscape” 2021, Animated Short

“On the Landscape” 2021 is now available as a 1/1 edition NFT on my SuperRare profile set for a reserve auction. This is your chance to own a piece of digital art history and become a collector! Go Here.

“On the Landscape” is a new animation and video art short by Ryan Seslow. The video has been created in a retro style influenced by various media formats of the 1990s and early 2000s. The full length video was made in a series of six individual sequences and then applied into a timeline for editing. “On the Landscape” is a story. It is a story that we all know. It flows its visual narrative through a sequence of dream like memories through tender sentiments of longing and the fading transitions of time’s passing. The elements and characters in the video were first hand drawn, digitized and manipulated through various software applications to achieve the grainy saturated visual aesthetic. The animation is intended to loop over and over when it is displayed. Here on this website the video will loop automatically, but outside of this presentation the user (or the collector of the NFT) will have to set their video player to “loop”. This asks the user to interact with the narrative asking the question, “do you want to continue the loop”? The loop itself is a metaphor and a mirror into our past. The loop repeats the many behavioral patterns that we experience both consciously and unconsciously with in our lives, the ones that seem to play over and over on repeat inside of us. Particularly the way that we reflect on our past relationships, the feelings of longing and bouts of the nostalgic sentiments. 

The art work in the animation was first drawn by hand using a stylus. The body-suit armor worn by the characters were first individual forms broken up into several “parts” and then composed with. They are all subjective fragments that came together to make up the whole. The costumes of the characters suggest an other worldly vibe as to where this narrative is playing out. Is it in the future? Is it another reality all together? Or is it a dream taking place entirely inside of you? The style of the piece is a common technique that I use to create tension between highly processed digital works versus applied art techniques like drawing, painting and printmaking that take well to the digitizing process. Below is a series of elements and assets that show the process and allow for a peek into the building of things. 

The forms above make a up a large amount of the body-suit armor / costumes of the characters in the animation. The images below can also be viewed as illustrations of the works in progress as well as individual works of art. I did just that with the main character of the story as you read on below. I like to lay things out as if the graphics were decals that could be peeled away like old sticker packs from the 1980s and 1990s. I was always inspired by stickers and their ability to become mobile and communication tools based on their placement. I also play with the color palettes in this format format below. It helps me make contrasts and decisions. Scale also plays a role and in this format I can how things look next to other assets before they are placed into the “scene”. 

The next phase was isolating the main character as a portrait. I titled the portrait “The Queen of Self-Transformation” and minted the illustration on SuperRare where it is currently available set as a reserve auction. You can see that here. Isolating the Queen and depicting her as a portrait gives the character the spotlight it needs to help assert her importance, her gaze and the detail and intricacies of the body suit and armor. These details play a role as they too are metaphors. All that gets held inside and unexpressed eventually builds armor on the outside over time..

Below is the original “sketch” of the composition for the landscape setting. The background stays consistent and static for the entirety of the animation aside from the glitching and twitching effect seen below. The static aspect of the landscape setting is intentional, what is your interpretation as to why the video was left to play out in the same frame for its entirety?

Above we can see the clean vector edges and smooth lines that form the illustration. Do you prefer this image or the one below that has been through a series of old VHS like jitters and saturation tweaks? Im a big fan of the glitch aesthetic, old broken tv monitors, progressive scan filters, CRT and other screen like imperfections as an over style. I played with the clean vector version until it was just right. 

“On the Landscape” 2021 is now available as a 1/1 edition NFT on my SuperRare profile set for a reserve auction. This is your chance to own a piece of digital art history and become a collector! Go Here.