Chance Encounter is a short computer generated animation in which the central concept is the boundary between the inside and outside of the body. The piece symbolically explores what is allowed to cross that division and how it informs our notion of self and identity with a specific reference to how gay men and other minorities have that boundary violated by culture through mis-representation.
Looking at the relationship between the biological, corporeal body and the social, culturally produced imaginary body informs our physical and intellectual sense of self. The animation therefore develops ideas around what is allowed to be consumed—to be penetrated—by language, food, infections and ideology.
Throughout the animation the body is depicted as fictional landscapes — islands. This introduces two other concepts. One is the notion of the’natural/normal’ in relation to the body or land. Both have been culturally fetishized as being timeless, natural and basic. Photography is often used as evidence of what is natural and normal, reinforcing social norms of race, gender and health. The piece attempts to produce a photographic aesthetic similar to that of the Fine Art Black and White print.
Secondly, metaphors of space, location and geography are often used within cultural theory in relation to identity — history is defined as a space where minority groups have to define or map themselves a place for visibility. A pernicious use of this metaphor has been in the study of AIDS, locating the epidemic in ‘islands of illness,’ identifying the affected communities as other — across a boundary.
The islands in the animation are invaded, colonized by the fragments of data and information that travel though undefined internal spaces. I would be interested to hear from anyone who has similar concerns or would like to read the full 6000 word paper that accompanied the animation. I intend to develop the piece further during 1997 with a new soundtrack and additional sequences. Video: Chance Encounter
- Nigel Maudsley (UK) London Guildhall University, Sir John Cass Department of Art. Senior Lecturer in Fine Art teaching on the MA in Computer Imaging and Animation and BA Fine Art. Level 3 leader for the BA Fine Art Degree. My main areas of interest, research and practice are in Computer Animation, Digital Imaging and Photography addressing issues around the body in relation to sexuality, gender and representation. I have had numerous photographic work exhibited and published. Qualifications: BA Graphic Design, Wolverhampton Polytechnic, 1975;MA Computer Imaging and Animation, (Distinction), London Guildhall University 1996. Recent Exhibitions and Publications Include: Arnie Show, Charles Barker PLC, Dean Street, London Wl; South Bank Center, Group Show, Festival Hall, London; Same Difference, Camerawork Gallery, Bethnal Green, London; Gilbert and George Publicity Portrait (to be used in Tokyo, Summer 1997) Studio International Magazine.