Kathryn Mcanalley BFA Animated Arts Thesis Spring 2016
Anxiety, selfloathing, and compulsive behaviors haunt me and frequently disturb my ability to function in everyday life. My past attempts to run away from, or destroy these aspects of myself have proven fruitless, and fleeting. Instead of trying to deny or escape these aspects of self, I choose to visualize and personify them into a form separate from my “self”. This act of separation from these mental behaviors turns them into something that I can banish, bind, control and evoke at my will. I focused on three main issues, anxiety, self loathing, and obsessive compulsive behavior to personify. I drew influence for these characters from medieval and modern demonologies, “real” and fictional. Specifically, the Lesser Key of Solomon, and the Necronomicon.
While I am aesthetically attracted to the aforementioned demonologies, I ultimately constructed these entities through a personal system, designed to allow my subconscious, or the entities themselves to reveal their form. This system was heavily derived from a technique of automatic drawing from reading Visual Magick by Jan Fries. The demons were then given mass, and movement digitally through “3D” digital animation software Autodesk Maya.
After giving form to these demons I wanted to bring them into the material world and share them with an audience. In my attempt to connect my personal demons to an audience I built a “holographic chamber” that pulls a ghost like apparition of the demons into the material world when summoned by the viewer. The presence of the demons is dependent on the “energy” of the viewer, and whether or not they follow the instructions. This interaction drew influence from magical systems in the western esoteric traditions, and the phantasmagoria. I also drew influence in process and aesthetics from chaos magicians such as Phil Hine, Peter Carroll, and Grant Morrison.
For this work I took on the role of maker, designer, and facilitator, facilitating a simulacra of a ritual practice within the western esoteric tradition. I intended this simulacra to be where the work really is experienced, in the action of the viewer summoning one of three Demons into the holographic chamber. The chamber is situated in a dark empty ritual space. The participant is instructed by a scrolled Grimoire outside the temporary ritual space. The viewer is taken out of the white gallery context through double doors, creating an airlock between the modern school and the old forgotten ways in darkness and a low droning rumble. The only thing illuminated are copper medallions with the demons sigils etched within. Each video is about 30 seconds except for a 10 minute looping animated buildup of “Astral Nasties” Which the viewer must first banish before evoking the main entities.
I made this with the audience of my art school colleges without the context of the references I am pulling from, but I think my ideal audience would be initiates and selfinitiates, and fans of Lovecraft, horror, magic, magick, and mystery. However, due to the current large resurgence in occult thought and symbolism in modern pop culture and contemporary art, I see my work appealing to a much broader audience that might not understand the subtleties, but would appreciate the overall esoteric theme.