The work of MICA Animation faculty members Stephanie Williams and Andrew Keiper ’16 (Photographic and Electronic Media MFA) was recently screened at the 2024 Slamdance Film Festival in Park City and Salt Lake City, Utah. Called The Expectation of the Observed, the experimental work was selected for the festival’s Animated Shorts category.
The animation was directed by Williams, with Keiper providing sound.
This experimental short considers the unrecognized labor in having and being a body. The puppets, disembodied meaty legs, flayed of skin, dance in repetition even as they start to disintegrate.
The Expectation of the Observed meditates on how much our bodies do not actually seem belong to us. The repeated stress on marginalized bodies as political symbols, perform for an expectant audience who is implicated in their watching. The dance, a performance on a bare wooden stage shows in satire, literal meat under duress trying to remain in rhythm only to be torn apart. Muscle and sinew break away and surface disintegrates.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve been most drawn to work that requires care; an accumulation of small intimate gestures. Working frame by frame, the gesture(s) of a puppets in pose create a collaborative ritual as I pace to and from the camera.