The last we heard from Beeple (aka, Mike Winkelmann), the Wisconsin-based animator and director who has worked with the likes of Flying Lotus, he was hopping mad about NSA surveillance. At the time, he'd just released We Are The Transparent Machines™, a work that mingled mechanized forms and sound with images of Edward Snowden.
In the year since, Beeple decided to give the NSA a break, and make a few tunnel-based dayglo animations. The latest, Warm Neon Birth, calls to mind the trippy animated sequences in Gaspar Noe's Enter the Void, and is almost as virtually invasive on a conceptually biological level as that mind-bender of a film.
Beeple, for his part, said that he doesn't put much conceptual thought into his VJ clips. They mostly materialize around stuff that he thinks might look cool or complement with a piece of music (as evinced by the pulsing Washed Out track). And typically the name comes after the piece is already finished. In the case of Warm Neon Birth, Beeple was indeed thinking of birth.
“In this case, it sort of looked like I might imagine being born might look like,” he mused, “assuming there were a bunch of like neon lights in yer mom's uterus.” [sic] As for Beeple's other recent tunnel-based clips, like tech.fux, aquahall, and pink vynil, amongst others, luminous neon is his visual theme, as are his usual mechanical forms. As he told me, he's mostly been using Cinema4D to create the visuals as of late, while rendering them in Octane. And it makes for highly hypnotic Internet viewing.
“A tunnel is something I look at as having more possibilities than just moving forward through some sort of 'tube',” he said. “Especially if you don't restrict yourself to just the basic concept of a simple 'tunnel,' but instead look at it more as just flying through an environment.”
See more of Beeple's work over at his website.