Liquid Love

Brooklyn-based Experimental Animator Reaches Into Her Emotions For Inspired Music Video

Take a tear-drop and allow it to melt into the compositional fabric of a computer-animated video, where swirling pastel colours and psychedelic imagery create a seamless rumination upon love and the sensation of falling. We’re transported into a world where solid objects dissolve and fold into each other, where dizzying loops are captured in floating, impenetrable bubbles. “I think drowning is a great metaphor for when you’ve fallen in love with someone and you don’t know if you will get that person to love you back,” Brooklyn-based experimental animator Sara Gunnarsdottir explains.

The artist fell head-over-heels (an image she toys with in the video) with Mr. Silla’s new song Reach For Me, and decided to play with the visual elements. “I was just in between jobs and wanted to do a little personal project for myself,” she tells us. “I had already made a couple of loops and was looking for how to continue with it. The song, Reach For Me, was perfect for what I was thinking, so I simply asked her if I could use her song and she said yes.”

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Born in Reykjavik, where she received her BFA in fine arts, she then worked in the film industry for a few years as a crew member. Having discovered her passion for animation during those years, she took herself to CalArts to get her Masters in Experimental Animation.

Seeing her work reach such heights in Reach For Me, it’s clear that here is an artist who is not afraid to channel her emotions into a delicate and visceral, palpable palette. We were excited to find out more:

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The Plus: How long did it take to create the animation?
Sara Gunnarsdottir:
The animation is only 5 different loops so I think it was only like 4 days or so I spent actually animating, most of the time was playing with it in After Effects. I started out shortly before Christmas and knew then where I was going with it but left it as I was travelling over the holidays. Then starting early January I picked it up again and took about two weeks with it. It was never meant to be something big that I would spend a lot of time on.

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TP: There’s a bubble throughout the music video. What is behind this concept?
SG:
I guess I was thinking about Kaleidoscopes and View Masters as I was making it, toys that you peer into. Kaleidoscopes have this liquid in there and my background was made from liquid too. Also Alice in Wonderland has been on my mind and I always saw the crying girl as a version of her and liked the idea of her crying inside of a tear drop. Like the concept of an image where you can go into her tear drops and get the same image on and on forever, a bit like drowning and falling at once…

TP: Is making music videos your passion?
SG:
I really do like making visuals to music a lot, but I also just love making animations within a great concept or a great story.

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TP: What does experimental animation mean to you, compared to the other animation styles?
SG:
I do wonder what experimental animation really means. Perhaps it’s all about context, putting animation into new contexts and away from that resilient idea of it being mainly for children, although right from the start of it, animation has not been made for just children viewers at all… I think for me experimental animation entails something exciting and surprising, something new.

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TP: What’s your next project, if you don’t mind to share?
SG:
I’m most likely doing animated scenes for a live action art-house feature, but since we haven’t put the nail in the coffin on it I don’t feel comfortable offering the title. I’m also working with a co-director and a producer on developing a feature documentary titled The Pirate of Love, that will hopefully be 50% animated.

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