Merging the two disparate worlds of human and machine in a slightly gross but strangely hypnotic way is Finger Machines, a new animated film by Morgan Powell at Seed. Softness and tactility are “the direct opposite of what you’d expect from machines,” he explains of the animation’s conflicted visuals, which show dismembered digits on a mass scale, engaged in various mechanical processes. And it is the film’s materiality that makes it so unnerving – an apt application of Morgan’s plasticine-like, super-smooth and hyperreal animation style. You can see more of this on his hilariously naughty ident for MTV involving lewd balloons.
As the machines manoeuvre, the fingers slowly brush or tap or rub other skin-like surfaces, or prod multiple belly buttons, all to an atmospheric electronic soundtrack by Ana Roman that adds to the film’s cheeky feel.
The project began as a series of experiments, the animator explains, in response to a sensation of satisfaction from watching videos of industrial machinery. He began making animated clips and uploading them to Instagram, and “for some reason I couldn’t stop,” he says. He realised it was down to synaesthesia, “a perceptual phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway,” he says.
“It was this mysterious connection to the visuals that was driving my interest, and I really like the thought of being able to hijack someone’s senses.” Whether it’s awkward discomfort or bizarre pleasure, the film doesn’t fail to provoke a physical response.
- Photographer Ronan Mckenzie on the details that go into curating your own exhibition
- Illustrator José Ja Ja Ja is “fascinated with the possibilities of the medium”
- Berlin-based design studio Arc on contrasting typefaces and demanding fair pay
- Regular Practice's Bookshelf helps inform its microscopic attention to type and print
- Viviana Troya presents egg-based optical illusions in new work Hatchery
- Maximilian Virgili on photographing the romance and randomness of Mexico
- Mastercard reveals new nameless logo courtesy of Michael Bierut
- An egg beats Kylie Jenner to become the most liked Instagram photo... ever
- Sam Youkilis uses scale, form and colour to challenge the tropes of travel photography
- WeWork gets a new name, and a slightly new look too
- Hiroki Nishiyama draws on traditional graphic design techniques in his illustration practice
- Working Not Working reveals the top companies creatives want to work at