Erik Ruin's Blog

Animation(s) Debut & Discussion!

By Erik Ruin
October 20th, 2020

Hello! Hope you all are doing alright…
Just a quick line as promised about brand-new animations! I’m so excited to share these video collaborations that I’ve been working away at for the past 6 months. Since they all ended up being done around the same time, and since I miss seeing your faces and talking about art, we’ve decided to do an online debut Thurs OCT 29 at 830 PM. Please make sure to sign up via the eventbrite link to get the final link to the event (it’s a zoom-bombing thing)…

  Visual artist and performer Erik Ruin will be debuting 3 brand-new short animations on Zoom, followed by a q&a/discussion with the artist and his musical collaborators. Videos include- Threadsuns – with  Jupiter Blue (Tara and David Middleton of the Sun Ra Arkestra) an interpretation of an otherworldly text from German poet & Holocaust survivor Paul Celan that associatively combines imagery of strange landscapes and mysterious orbs We Are Endless- with Maine’s Big Blood, is inspired by Diane DiPrima’s Revolutionary Letter #2, a timely text on endurance and political struggle, with richly layered vocals, instrumentation and watercolor drawings. Until the Sea Shall Free Them– with guitarist  Nick Millevoi is a very personal meditation on despair told in stark scratchboard imagery and washes of color. As his customary live collaboration with musicians is largely impossible these days, Erik Ruin has been funneling that energy into a growing animation practice, tapping into his network of talented musician friends to create a whole new body of work. These pieces are thoroughly collaborative from conception to execution, neither music videos nor short films with original soundtracks, but rather something beyond and between. Lori Waxman writes in the Quarantine Times “Ruin’s videos.. will make you feel.” Erik Ruin is a Michigan-raised, Philadelphia-based printmaker, shadow puppeteer, paper-cut artist, etc., who has been lauded by the New York Times for his “spell-binding cut-paper animations.” His work oscillates between the poles of apocalyptic anxieties and utopian yearnings, with an emphasis on empathy, transcendence and obsessive detail. He frequently works collaboratively with musicians, theater performers, other artists and activist campaigns. He is a founding member of the international Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative, and co-author of the book Paths Toward Utopia: Graphic Explorations of Everyday Anarchism (w/ Cindy Milstein, PM Press, 2012). Current projects include the Ominous Cloud Ensemble, an ever-evolving, collectively-improvising large ensemble for projections and music which at times has included/includes members of the Sun Ra Arkestra, Bardo Pond and Espers. Big Blood is Caleb Mulkerin, Colleen Kinsella, and daughter Quinnisa. Since 2006 they have been writing and playing music in Maine. Whether collaborating with friends or digging deep into family dynamics, they weave mesmerizing, esoteric psychedelia, tearing open new channels in the New England folk vernacular. Using varied instrumentation and ascending vocals their music springs from a deep need to connect creatively. Big Blood’s music intertwines art and performance ranging from elaborate theater to punk shows. All music is recorded in their own home and posted online for free. Jupiter Blue- From the Arkestra’s engine room, Jupiter Blue’s tone scientists D.Hotep and Jupiter Girl emerge to reveal elements and precepts of another kind of language, another tomorrow, learned through years of discipline to be given freely in the present. Expect the never-expected as electronics, electric guitar, celestial vocals, percussion, and violin call forth shadows of unseen worlds. Nick Millevoi is a guitarist and composer whose music is inspired by the history of guitar music and the sonic cracks between jazz, rock and roll, noise, and modern composition. He leads the band, Desertion Trio, which has been described as “supremely weird desert noir” (Noisey) and “the sweet spot between Neil Young’s exploratory Crazy Horse jams and a spaghetti western soundtrack” (NPR Music). Their latest LP, Twilight Time, is a reinterpretation of music from the middle of the 20th century featuring guests from the Sun Ra Arkestra and the Meat Puppets, which Rolling Stone describedas “warmly nostalgic and potently surreal.” Nick’s most recent release is Streets of Philadelphia, a book of 25 compositions named after streets in Philadelphia. Please register in advance for this event via eventbrite. We will send the link out via email prior to the screening.
If you’d like to support my work, I have things for sale via Justseeds and Booklyn, and am always happy to discuss commissions. I dearly miss all the wonderful people (old friends and new) my work typically brings me into contact with, so feel free to reach out for any other reason as well!
Thank you for reading and take care, ER

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