With the use of highly orchestrated audio-visual compositions, Lock presents an immersive sensory experience that takes inspiration from Octavia E. Butler’s 1987 science-fiction novel Lilith’s Brood and audio accompaniment provided in collaboration with Rudi Schmidt (composer) and Manuela Barczewski (vocals). With the use of animation, Lock’s work illustrates the narrative of a hybrid organic world in an alternative future in which humans have the potential to coexist with extra-terrestrial beings.
A panoply of visual forms and likenesses inspired artist Tom Lock to make Underwater Empire. These include nineteenth century scientific drawings of sea creatures by Ernst Haeckle, the repetitive visual rhythms of Islamic geometry and the tessellated patterns of ceramic tiles often seen decorating the streets and houses around Southern Europe. Starting out by painting each individual frame of the spinning mandala by hand, Lock developed the animation alongside the composition of an original soundtrack by musician Rudi Schmidt. The relationship of sound and image is inseparable as the evolving forms of the mandala playfully interact with the different phases and tones of the musical score. This short film surges with movement and energy emoting the same spirit of discovery of Haeckle’s drawings and the immersive effect of walking through Moorish streets and architecture animated with colourful shapes and patterns.
Underwater Empire - Extract
The Source Has Spoken
The Source Has Spoken is a symbolic tale set in a simplified graphic landscape of psychedelic colours and dull TV static. The work was developed through subjective reflection on the aesthetics of children's TV from the 80's to 90's and contemporary HD animation and video glitching. Ambiguous characters enact fragments of meaning in a child like story book fashion.
The Source Has Spoken - Extract
Memory Theatre takes as it's starting point a personal reflection on my memory of cartoons, films, online videos and music. The material used in the work ranges from reflections on my childhood in the 80's through to the present day. Collage and cut up techniques run throughout the editing creating confusing and psychedelic relationships within the visual and sonic content. Video is broken down through pixelation whilst layers of imagery, sound and live action are merged together.
Memory Theatre - Extract
Mighty Diamond Light Source
Mighty Diamond Light Source
Breaking Points (2010) is a time-based video collage of sound and images recorded on the northern coast of France where bunkers built during the second world war dominate the landscape. The grand melancholic photographs of the weather-beaten bunkers have been coded in such a way so that they are randomly selected from a bank of hundreds and so that new combinations of images are continuously generated. The result is a work, which, just like the topography surrounding the bunkers, endlessly destructs and constructs itself. Breaking Points was produced by Le Fresnoy (FR) and is a collaboration between Thomas Lock, Hellicar & Lewis and Robin Rimbaud (Scanner).
Breaking Points - Extract
BODY DYSFUNCTIONAL is an audio-visual architectural motion study. All the visual and sonic elements of the film were recorded in an abandoned children’s hospital in east London. The camera – guided by the architecture of the children’s hospital – moves through many rooms, slowly revealing the remnants of a building that once was a fully functioning institution. Looking and listening in their purest phenomenological sense become the main vehicles for experiencing BODY DYSFUNCTIONAL. The viewer is presented with a journey that discreetly pulls them in and out of the filmic experience. This is accompanied by an underlying investigation into the impermanence and fragility of man made structures. The validity of the architectural journey that the film reveals and the identity of the probing camera are left ambiguous and open for interpretation by the viewer. This work was produced by Le Fresnoy Studio National Des Arts Contemporains and in close collaboration with sound artist Adam Asnan. Producer: Amélie Dubois, Director of Photograpy: Nick Gordon Smith, Focus Puller: Joe Maples, Steady Cam Operator: Benedict Spence, Clapper Loader: Dan Tubby, Lighting: Louis Henderson.