While Pixar and Dreamworks continue to push the latest and greatest in 3-D digital animation, rogue “filmmaker” Daniel Barrow chooses to embrace the old-school. Aided by what he refers to as “obsolete technologies,” this Winnipeg artist has made a career out of his eccentric form of performance art. Since 1993, Barrow has employed overhead projectors as his primary means of artistic expression, crafting live animations out of layered drawings and poignant storytelling techniques. On Thursday, September 3, Barrow brings his latest piece, Every Time I See Your Picture I Cry, to the Contemporary Arts Forum (653 Paseo Nuevo) for a free performance. The show starts at 7 p.m. Call 966-5373 or visit sbcaf.org for details. And for some reasons to catch Barrow’s show, read on below.
1) The Story: If you’re going to attempt a “manual animation” performance, your story better match your approach. In Every Time I See Your Picture I Cry, Barrow tells the tale of a despondent artist-turned-garbage-man who sets out to create a phonebook chronicling the lives of everyone in his city. By looking through his neighbors’ garbage, he collects trinkets and troves, then compiles his stories in the wee night hours. But while he works, a mysterious killer begins murdering each person he catalogues, thus rendering his phonebook obsolete.
2) The Artwork: While Barrow’s twisted tale may be enough to lure in cinephiles, it’s his exquisite artwork that earns respect from the masses. Much like his drawings, Barrow’s transparency animations are marked by their pastel color schemes and surrealist qualities. In Every Time, Barrow layers grays and blacks over pinks and purples as his story unfolds, adding depth, dimension, and some seriously ominous imagery.
3) The Soundtrack: If you’re still not intrigued, it might be worthwhile to note that the soundtrack to Barrow’s performance was created by none other than Amy Linton. For the unacquainted, Linton was once the frontwoman for New Mexico noise-pop outfit Henry’s Dress. Nowadays, Linton lends her dreamy voice and indie-minded orchestrations to the San Fran quintet the Aislers Set, along with, well, weird performance art pieces.