| Featured Project |
Adobe Design Achievement Awards — Semifinalist
Business Card for Self Promotion in 2011-2012 For Print Only Awards
The Great Wall of Oakland 2012 "About Oakland, By Oakland"
CutOut Fest 2012 Official Selection
The animation in this video is made up of individually laser-etched business cards, all of which are hand-stamped and numbered.
Vavohu is a hebrew word — the latter part of the phrase, “tohu-vavohu” — which appears in the second verse, first chapter of Genesis. Its meaning is a bit obscure, but roughly speaking it means: void. This piece, therefore, is a meditation on the notion of cosmogenesis, my aim being to reflect on the matter as it pertains to science, philosophy, and (specifically) motion design — and not to proselytize any religious views or conceptions.
The full intention of this piece is to elicit conversation: about the name, Vavohu, and its meaning, as well as the written portion's significance; both stemming from an introspective and philosophical aspect of myself and my work. Similarly, the unique process and approach to this project is meant to evoke a discussion about my professional work ethic and my interests as a designer. The most exciting thing about this project is the physical exchange that occurs when I hand out the business cards, and while I strongly value the importance of digital interactions, this "off-line" networking tool reflects a changed world in a very unique way. Therefore, the project's overall goal is to create a personal branding experience that will leave a lasting impression.
This was no meager experiment, and planning was the only thing that kept it all afloat. I’ve seen a few other artists uses a laser cutter to create images for video, namely of course is Nando Costa. Though heavily influenced by these artists, I wanted to create something unique, something worth holding on to. The result of any stop-motion piece is a number of “left-overs”, frames that have been captured and are thus no longer needed. That was the inception of using business cards for each frame — something to hand-out that represents the project, but also myself and my work.
I knew that illustrating this poem would be too difficult, so instead I opted for a generally abstract animation to match. I used a combination of Cinema 4D and After Effects to achieve the motion of the work:
Shown above is an early preview render out of cinema 4D
The laser cutters will “print” from either Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw — I think that’s what it’s called, and obviously I chose to use the former. Cinema 4D will export frames to Illustrator, which I assumed was the way to go at first.
For some reason I couldn’t do a batch export, because no matter what I tried some frames got f*ed up — so I went through, frame by frame, and began exporting them one by one. That was terrible. By frame 119 — not very far, considering I still had 600 to go — it got too difficult to manage. Each and every line exported as a separate vector path and these files were crashing every machine I was on. The system was to align everything onto a grid of 6 x 8 cards (4 seconds at 12 FPS):
Having 48 frames of these AI files was too much to handle. I evidently got a lot of reading done on those nights, since each tiny movement of any frame on my layout took about 5 minutes to process.
The nightmare was then etching these with the laser. Since the 12-core bulky machines I was using to layout the files were crashing, there was no way the puny PC computers at TechShop could handle them. Sure enough, that failed too.
TechShop is a community workshop for people to use a wide array of tools for their own projects. They have 4 CNC laser etchers, of which I created my project. They work just fine, but after thousands of hours of public use they can be really really finicky. Also, members are only allotted 2 hours per day on the laser, and 3 days per week (6 hours per week!).
There were a number of days in which I could only manage to get 6 to 12 frames etched and cut. This is when the project seemed too much to handle. Think about it: 720 frames to etch, and cut, taking about 1 1/2 hours for 4 seconds of video. Thats almost 25 hours of laser time — about 4 weeks of painfully slow work. I had only 3 weeks to work, and one of those weeks was spent troubleshooting and testing. So, two weeks to get the frames prepared.
I don’t know what miracle was bestowed upon me, but I somehow managed to sneak in extra laser time — if some one decided not to show up for their appointment, then I wasn’t going to complain.
And somehow, 720 frames were etched and cut. Holy cow, this thing was actually going to happen!
Finally it came time to photograph. That was another comical situation of failure. I hadn’t booked the studio for stop-motion, since it’s almost never used. Sure enough, however, that day that I had to prepare my frames was the one day all month that someone had booked. Sh*t again!
Vavohuby Adam Glucksmanfeaturing:Sound Design by Carina Hampton
Read By Harrison Whittle
The totality of motion lay in stillness —
absorbed in the purity of nonexistence,
Hovering tranquil above a sea of thought,
dust and shadow;
aught and naught;
divided germ —
existingly in notion, and
havn’ting existed —
before timefullness in fashion, and
infinity, heavy with weight and
of quarks —
the invention of light,
The gestation of wind,
The idea that has yet to be con-cock’t —
haven’ting seed and sperm,
and the Wasn’t
from which the One slice’t
to be inventing by thumping
and cycle’ed bellies ever ending
whimsic eyes always closing
broken pairs never molding– Written by Adam Glucksman, 2012
The animation in this video is is made up of 720 individually laser-etched business cards, all of which are hand-stamped and numbered. Each card, therefore, is not only a networking tool to find work after I leave school, but is also a comprehensive representation of what I aim for both professionally and artistically.
Animation, Branding, Creative Direction