Max Cooper - Inanimate to Animate
Max Cooper: With nature’s scene set, we now venture into the strange boundary of living and dead. The dynamism, determinism and energy gradients of the environment harnessed for self-replication in organisms which appear as much inanimate natural process as animate life. But complexity grows, and we are on the trajectory towards sentience in the visual story. The musical starting point of this project was that of boundary conditions, and the musical escapism into a surreal boundary between wakefulness and dreaming. I continued to explore themes of boundary conditions with Jip Mus for the visual interpretation, where Jip delved into the mechanics of life, with self-made growth media, micro-organisms and micro-cinematographic experiments. The vocalist and musician Kotomi, who has a beautifully ethereal voice, brought the project to life perfectly. Not via lyrics and a loud human presence, but with the voice as an instrument, blending her feeling into the wider experience. For the spatial audio mix with Adam Smythe and Niels Orens, we created partially randomised and freely improvisated structures. Using smooth movements and a balance of order and disorder spatially to mirror the ideas of the chapter. The previous collaboration with Max on the ‘Reflect’ film was choreographed by the different shapes water would take when shifting in states of aggregation. This natural growth was one of the starting points for ‘Inanimate to Animate’ as well. Jip Mus: This is a story about the boundary between life and non-life. A film about the continuation of species, where we see different cells and organisms increase in an almost rhythmic and pulsating way. Getting the right amount of abstraction and dream-state in the visual approach was the challenge for this project. The organisms we see are super abstract, we recognise them as being from a natural world but also can’t quite place them within our frame of reference. This is also why working on a microscopic level is interesting to me, we usually can’t experience this complex dimension. Everything you see in the film is ‘living’. It is questioning our definition of intelligence and what we define as a living organism. It’s amazing how much I have learned about biology and our (micro) universe and I am incredibly thankful for the people that helped me during this project. I hope you can enjoy our work, and that it might bring back some fascination for the natural world around us.