Anthropomorphic Agents

dot avoiding a dot
See avoiding and more dots on Flickr.

I often project emotions onto inanimate forms, aspirations onto moving objects. What is the natural home for an interestingly spun wood shaving? Where are those blobs of goo headed, and what do they think of each other? Tonight, I’ve done it with a quick code sketch. The behaviors are purely overlaid on top of the still images after they’ve been taken. Some dots are rejected by others, sometimes they’re bustling to work, or a connection is made across the room. These are simple stories for simple images, and I don’t pretend that they are clearly evinced without narrator intervention.

Simple Creatures from David Wicks on Vimeo.

The majority of systems overlaid with human characteristics are cute analogs (as above). What level of complexity must a system reach in order to signify human emotions with more resonance and less creator intervention? How can end viewers reach their own anthropomorphic conclusions about the piece that is within the creators intended parameters? A potential solution is the appropriate integration of language.

I have been considering the incorporation of language into my work more seriously since I saw the Lawrence Weiner retrospective at the Whitney. His work consists of a statement, which can be carried out literally or simply written or spoken. I like the writing of the intent of the piece, and its incorporation into the visual piece. The words, as they are written, can carry a specific weight. They are allowed to change within the readers mind, to be given new realizations parallel to the literal interpretations that are given. “Two Minutes of Spray Paint Directly Upon the Floor From a Standard Aerosol Spray Can” Titling alone cannot give appropriate meaning to a work, the object/symbol obviously needs to relate the message on its own. I have a project in the pipeline that I hope will address some of these concerns and enable me to be more expressive with my future making.