The Epic Proportions of “Aliens Glyph”

Somehow Reminiscent Matisse Perhaps © Catherine Rutgers 2014On Sunday evening, it began. Within 24 hours, I made more than three-hundred images, selected forty-seven of them, completed a new video-for-music, and uploaded it at Vimeo. Wait. Is that even possible? Check the files. Yup. It’s true. And I’m kind of stunned. Happy, but kind of stunned.

Blake Sandberg and Samm Cohen, incarnated as Aliens, the 21st-century punk-rocking band, are the inspiration for this marathon. You can sample their music—and their dynamic, highly visual aesthetic—at aliensmusic dot com.

Only one-sixth or so of the new images are used in “Aliens Glyph,” so there are probably three more vids to be made. Already thinking of schemes and titles. The process is fantastically liberating: experiment, experiment some more, reject, accept, experiment even more … oh, that’s good, accept! Nothing is off-limits, I stretch colors and shapes to their extremes, use filters and effects that I’ve never even looked at before. Ten samples appear below; the video link is http://vimeo.com/101351568.

Strangely, the opening lines of Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” have been playing in my head the entire time I’ve been working on this, including while writing this intro. Finally broke down and played it. Yup. Still gnarly after all these years.

Glyph Lightly © Catherine Rutgers 2014 Roiling Deep © Catherine Rutgers 2014 Nest Full of Bright © Catherine Rutgers 2014 Echo Splanch Echo © Catherine Rutgers 2014 Whispering Static © Catherine Rutgers 2014 Happy In Brooklyn © Catherine Rutgers 2014 Son of a Yellow Submarine © Catherine Rutgers 2014 Another Sign of the Vibrating Colors © Catherine Rutgers 2014 No Hesitation © Catherine Rutgers 2014 Freeborn Anemone © Catherine Rutgers 2014

Images by Catherine Rutgers © 2014

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2 Responses to The Epic Proportions of “Aliens Glyph”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Sorry Cathy, But I liked so very much the natural colors, shades, textures and forms of your flower photos (last post) and these just dont do it for me. I suppose it is hard to compete with nature.
    C.V.Johnston.

    • Very interesting comment, Chris! There’s a lot for me to think about here, and I’ll try to cover some of it. On the topic of “nature,” I had actually drafted (then rejected) a paragraph for “The Colors of June” about the huge contradiction: there’s nothing natural about the high-resolution scans (they’re not photos) of the flowers. It’s a high-technology interface, revealing facets that we could never see unaided. Further, gardening isn’t natural, either … at least not in this urban context of delineated beds and sidewalk-defined lawns. It’s a rather brutal intervention, albeit, yielding lovely results. And it often strikes me that to have an effective garden, you first have to be ready to kill what you don’t want so that other choices flourish.

      As an artist who is in touch with growing things, I am inspired by them, while at the same time, I manipulate them for my own purposes – whether building the gardens or “capturing” elements for art. This is a significant theme in a lot of my work. But as you look through the pages, it’s clearly only one trend. Which brings me to “different strokes for different purposes.”

      The videos are a new thing for me, and I’m really excited about making them! They are being created specifically to serve as visuals for live music performances … and I think you’re right: the stills taken from the videos may not be as entrancing as the images created specifically for print or onscreen. Consider them, perhaps, as a teaser, something to provide an entry into the other medium. For now, I can’t embed vids into CatRutgers4art. I’m considering the upgrade to make that possible, but meanwhile, I’d be very curious to find out how you like the pictures-in-motion. Let me know if you have a chance to visit my work at Vimeo!

      Keep in mind, there are no soundtracks because those are provided onstage. It’s a whole new adventure for me. BTW, I did get to see “New Mix for New Noise” in action … though, humorously, the “screen” was a raggedy sheet tacked up behind the drum set. Nonetheless, I found the potential rather thrilling.

      Ciao for now and hope to hear from you again! Catherine

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