Brazilian animator Diego Akel uses stop animation to praise one of the inherent properties of raw clay: its flowing, malleable nature. Unfired clay is one of the most potent creative materials known to culture, anything can rise from within it, take shape, and be smoothed back into nonbeing.
Akel, with his short sermon Fluxos/Flows, captures clay in this transitory state. It never rests, never stops moving. The only constant in its nature is the continual generative energy that assumes shape and then immediately recedes. The longer you watch, the more you see behind the clay to the chaotic creative force that guides it; its cycles are like the tides. The shape of the Mobius strip shows Akel’s hand, but only so you can see the Mobius strip guiding every iteration of the clay in front of you.
From the animator’s biography: Born in 1983, Diego Akel works with illustration, fine arts, photography and animated film. His works are the result of mixing all these approaches. Since his first short film in 1998 he has produced dozens of films, screening all over Brazil and around the world, and won several prizes. His personal blog register his production processes, references, inspirations and upcoming work: cineakel.blogspot.com.br.
Bill Rodgers is the General Editor of CFile.
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2 thoughts on "Video | Diego Akel’s Poem on the Plasticine Nature of Clay"
It only gets better after your eyes start to repeatedly lose focus about a third of the way through. I can admire the dedication in the thousands of still images making up a stop-motion animation that actually looks fluid.
Nice! You can see him discovering how the clay behaves and what it can do as the video progresses. Lots of little moment where he accidentally, briefly stumbles across a bit of Ruth Duckworth here, a little Mary Barringer there, a little pinch of Voulkos here, etc. This would be great to show to recalcitrant students who are starting out that think there are only just so many things to do with a clay surface.