The internet’s streams of data, along with widely-available software—from lo-fi applications to more intricate and powerful workflows—have given all-comers the tools to make new and highly-kinetic media art. V5MT, aka Małgosia Woźnica, is one of many multi-media artists taking full advantage of everything modern technology has to offer. Her most recent 3D animation project, "S V R F Λ V X,” will be appearing at the The Wrong New Digital Art Biennale in a pavilion curated by Lorna Mills on November 1st. The video, like much of V5MT recent art, is heavily influenced by science fiction films and cartoons, robotics, mechanical objects, and a bevy of other technical stuff. She insists that the art isn’t meant to be taken too seriously; it’s more of a playful commentary on our futurist-heavy present. A smoothly flowing surreal journey, as V5MT says—one that she hopes is simply enjoyable to watch.
What's your background in video, 3D animation, art, etc?
I'd been studying painting and design, but eventually ended up in new media. I wasn't too confident about being an artist because I think I'm more of a designer. But, my interest in animation surfaced about four years ago, starting with a Tumblr blog. I just wanted to make animated GIFs, and maybe learn more about video editing, and Tumblr seemed like a great platform to express myself, get some inspiration, and keep up with the new things happening in new media and arts.
How did you settle on V5MT as a Tumblr title?
I was looking for some fancy title for the blog that would be connected with the moving image, and I found the V5/MT definition on Wikipedia. It sounds pretty funny now, but then it seemed pretty cool to me. V5/MT is a region in the brain that is responsible for the perception of motion. I was doing a lot of GIFs back then, and the blog got some attention and somehow the V5MT name stuck to me as well.
What do you like about animated GIFs?
It’s a great format for presenting concepts in a small size and sequence of frames. But, as I got more into experimenting with animated visuals, GIF wasn't enough for me to show everything I wanted to. About two years ago I got into 3D graphics, and from the very beginning all of its possibilities fascinated me. The deeper I went into it, the more I was awed. It feels like there are no limits to creation in a 3D environment, other than hardware.
How does science fiction inspire or inform your work?
Currently, you can see the influence of sci-fi all around, especially on the Internet: fiction, mechanics, robotics, and technical stuff. It all seems like a trend these days. I've also been watching sci-fi movies and cartoons. I was especially fascinated by the interior design and all of the futuristic architecture of that stuff, and I wanted to create my own futuristic space. It wasn't meant to be too serious, though; rather, it’s a poke at sci-fi aesthetics.
You've noted that robotics as a discipline is influential, and it's apparent in your animation. What is it about robotics that appeals to you, and how did it shape “S V R F Λ V X”?
Since I'm most focused on designing the motion graphics and animation stuff along with the audio, I thought mechanics and pseudo-robotic objects could be perfect for sound response, as they are easy to animate and mechanical parts always look nice bouncing to the music. I wanted to "build" some mech stuff myself. Of course, you can find plenty of ready-to-use free models on the Internet, but I wanted to make my own because I like making things from scratch and I enjoy modeling and 3D sculpting.
My pseudo-robot is obviously very minimalistic. I was rigging it manually, and I was trying hard to figure out the walking system of a “4-legged spider.” It’s walk isn't perfect, but the whole animation isn’t either. I wanted it to be raw with low polygons. Some of the objects are even "nude" with no material applied. I wanted to maintain a technical feel.
How long did you work on “S V R F Λ V X”?
For independent projects like this, it usually takes me about three weeks to produce an animation from scratch. So it was with “S V R F Λ V X”. I don't like to hurry with the creative process. I give myself time for experimentation.
What does “S V R F Λ V X” mean?
There are many smooth, plain reflective surfaces in the animation, and so my first idea for a title was actually "Surface". But, of course, I had to tweak it somehow, and I came up with this wordplay—SVR (a cool way to type "sur") + FAVX (a cool way to type “faux,” which stands for “false”). The effect is something like "fake surface” because everything in the video is an illusion. The perspective and the space are tricky, and things are artificial.
As you noted, some of your work is glitchy, but you probably don't consider yourself a glitch artist, right?
No, I wouldn't call myself a glitch artist, because I've been experimenting with different techniques, not exploring just one style. I used to do a lot of “glitching” back in 2010 and 2011. I was also doing a lot of “datamoshing,” as well as analog circuit-bending, corrupted scanning, pixel sorting, etc. My work "flo\/\/,” released in January 2011, was made with Processing and got some attention. It was archived in the Rhizome Art Base.
I was also experimenting a lot with different media trying to provoke glitches and get some interesting, fresh visual effects. When I started focusing on 3D graphics, I was also searching for ways to get the glitch effect in the 3D environment, like I did in "LAVA,” and with my animated GIFs series for ANI GIF Gallery, as well as with MON3Y.US.
How did you come across the music of CELESTIAL TRAX?
That collaboration was so spontaneous, but also really fortunate. I was basically very much inspired and wanted to make this sci-fi/technical lab style animation, and I was looking for some music that could go with it. So, I was browsing Soundcloud streams, where you can always find some talented people making fresh music. I found "When U" by London-based producer CELESTIAL TRAX, and I thought it fit perfectly with what I had in mind.
Is music important in your work?
Music is very important to me, and it's crucial in my video works. I usually have the visual concept first, but music influences the final product, as it's inspiring and provides the tempo and atmosphere. I make some of the 3D objects sound reactive with the coding, and some of them I animate manually along with the music, as I did in some of the rigging in "S V R F Λ V X." Often the music creates the narration in my animations, as it always did in my works with SOFIA RETA, especially their songs with vocals. A regular collaboration with SOFIA RETA is a big part of my animation "portfolio" and their music had a huge impact on my works.
Below, watch the just-made-available video release of "S V R F Λ V X":
For information, visit v5mt.net