Magic stoned - Page 2

Video artist Kelly Sears's animated shorts crystallize pop-cult preoccupations

"Kelly comes out of nowhere, but you are reminded of a specific 'somewhere' because her signifiers seem universal: appropriated pop and illustrations, a cult following-in-the-making," e-mails Darin Klein, who recently curated a show at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles that included a collaboration between Sears and choreographer Ryan Heffington. "Her sincerity, her technicality, and the thoroughness of her execution hint at a woman who tunes in and never turns off or drops out."

Sears's fascination with found images emerged from her distaste for the look of digital video and her sensory appreciation of the texture and beauty of old books, National Geographics, and encyclopedias from the '60s and '70s. Currently, working on narratives about orgone boxes and men who modify their bodies into machines, she describes her process as "completely time-consuming": it involves scanning hundreds of images, digitally cutting each out, breaking each still into planes that will eventually move, and then working on the images in After Effects and Final Cut. Still, the time and toil appear to be worth it. "It just seems like a really great way to open up some form of culture or history that's been produced," she says, "and get your two cents in by rearranging the signifiers in a different way." *

NOTES TO A TOON UNDERGROUND May 5, 8:30 p.m., Castro

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