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Tuesday, Oct 15, 2019

Recharge by Rachel Lopez: The rabbit hole of motion design videos

Oscar Petterson animates fantasy machines that defy all laws of physics

lifestyle Updated: Oct 11, 2019 19:11 IST
Rachel Lopez
Rachel Lopez
Hindustan Times
Oscar Petterson’s fancy machines.
Oscar Petterson’s fancy machines.
         

By all means, blame Reddit. Scroll through their /OddlySatisfying section and you’ll emerge hours later, calmed, dazed, wondering “Where did the time go?”. The term seems birthed by the internet, and reserved mostly for videos that execute some kind of ordered exactness. Millions of dominoes falling in sequence as designed? It’s oddly satisfying. A perfectly looped gif? That too. Wax blocks getting softly, evenly smushed in a hydraulic press? Someone rhythmically julienning cucumber into translucent slices. More please!

#OddlySatisfying feeds your inner obsessive-compulsive, fastidious, precision seeker. And in a world where nothing falls perfectly into place, it’s an addictive thrill to see things that do. It’s no surprise that artists are tapping into that feeling with conceptual artworks – videos, 3D loops and motion graphics designed to play infinitely and entrance you in the same way.

On Instagram, @0scarPettersson is perhaps the best known of the lot. The Swedish designer has a knack for creating the illusion of light, shadow, speed, synchrony, even bumps and recoil to animate his videos. Simple fantasy machines defy al the laws of physics to create a mild, calming spectacle.

Wheels roll infinitely uphill, pushed by smaller screws. Pendulums gently bounce against each other fitting perfectly into grooves when they land. Coins slide down a path, defying friction and gravity. It’s all maths, colour and optical illusion, he says. On the online course he conducts, he promises to “teach you how to make people watch your shots 20 times in a row”.

Another artist @PhilipLueck posts digitally created stills and videos with a sense of humour. Watch two table fans swivel this way and that, their breeze keeping a paper airplane in constant motion. Or see a bunch of blocks come together and break apart just before crashing, only to come together again.

Playing into another internet obsession – slime videos – is @LukasVojir. Bright, almost garish globs (all artificially rendered) plop on to surfaces, what looks artificially dyed like dim-sum casing fold upon itself satisfyingly over and over and over. My favourite is his recent video post, captioned 0% Salami, 100% Sausage – a roll of purple giving up its thin multicoloured slices in one smooth cascade. It was created in collaboration with the V&A Museum in London, for their food exhibition.

The art world is paying attention to the #OddlySatisfying phenomenon. Other artists such as @Bran_Cuzi, @Hajime_Nagatsuka @Faris.Hindi and @Zhestkov are already collaborating with big brands to execute videos designed to go viral on social media. You can blame Reddit, but not for long. It’s time to catch up.

First Published: Oct 11, 2019 19:11 IST

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