[ISEA2016] Artists Statement: SEAN CAPONE — A WORD HEAP

Artists Statement

Single-channel video, 2015, 10’30’

“A Word Heap” is a single channel experimental video animation produced using facial recognition and motion capture software, motion graphic effects, algorithmic 3D renderings, and collaged audio design. In this work, the artist adopts various avatar personas (rendered as floating, talking heads) to conduct performative readings of various texts, exploring the notion of ‘avatar poetics’ within the mutable, special-effects driven environments of the screen. “A Word Heap” compiles texts from various online sources, most notably anonymous ‘troll’ commenters and from auto-generated word streams inserted into the body of spam emails (presumably in an attempt to flummox the recipient’s spam filters). These ‘word heaps’ randomized fragments of content culled from news, literature, online media and other far-reaching sources, often scrambled and illegible are deliberate introductions of pseudo-authentic ‘noise’ into a communications medium… a kind of Turing Test that seeks to outwit the A.I. of the user’s inbox, rather than the user. I edit these texts with the intent of presenting them as succes- sors to the tradition of Surrealist automatic-writing poetry, or the free-association experiments of postmodern fiction. They are thus re-framed and performed with the added lyricism of an avant-garde poetry slam (or the most perplexing virtual reality karaoke ever). The performing characters themselves seem like simulated figures from a retro era cyberpunk floating heads statuesque, xeroxed and painted over older forms attempting to convince each other of their autonomy, their authenticity. cargocollective.com/seancapone/A-WORD-HEAP-2015

  • SEAN CAPONE is an artist working primarily in the field of digital animation. His work takes the form of immersive scale, phantasmagorical projection environments and abstract video ‘paintings’. More recently, however, his work has shifted dramatically to short-form, single-channel works that combine avatar motion capture, 3D scanning, motion graphic effects, original sound design, and performance-oriented readings of appropriated and original texts. In both bodies of work, however, he tends to forego traditional cinematic tropes and language in favor of the ruptures and atmospheres generated through (what he call) a ‘poetics of the screen’: audio/visual loops, special f/x, avatar personalities, virtual landscapes, computational/algorithmic design, and computer screensavers, all in whimsical but knowledgeable dialogue with the history of experimental film & video and the evolution of painting & sculpture into digital form.

Full text and photo (PDF) p. 56-57