HEY APATHY! Monster Comics Surreal Animations Creepy creatures are pestered by flies, an anonymous person tortured by metropolitan vices and an endless cycle of chaotic corruption envelops a war torn psyche! This video edit includes almost all of the original HEY APATHY! test cartoons with an entirely new experimental score. Created specifically for looped projection on the exterior walls of Toronto’s 401 Richmond St. and featured during the 2010 Nuit Blanche festivities. Animation: Mike Parsons, Videography: Slavek Smeigel, Score/folley: Narsen Osutei, Mark vanZyl, and Mike Parsons.
My early monster comics surreal animations were all made using the most crude hand drawn/stop motion techniques. Each individual frame is a fully rendered drawing and absolutely no cell, computer, or after effects were involved. In fact the first films,(which I haven't uploaded yet), were drawn directly on white 16mm filmstock with a fine point pen and magnifying glass. I decided to experiment with these the most simplistic, yet ultimately gruelling, approaches to animation for two primary reasons. First of all I was intent on exercising my fundamental skills before moving on to more practical technologies, and secondly I found the extreme contradiction between creating an entirely organic artwork (hundreds of ink drawings) that could only be displayed with the aid of a technological apparatus (the projector) conceptually intriguing and consistent with the thematic investigations of the HEY APATHY! project.
Initially there was no audio developed for these cartoons as they were always presented with live accompaniment during HEY APATHY! gallery exhibitions 2001-03. The tracks used are outtakes I recorded during various experimental jam sessions. I've been working with a number of artists to create the weird scores and foley for the surreal cartoons. The musicians have included Julii McMillan, Hunter Vaughan, Mark vanZyl, Narsen Osutei, Mike Decrook, Danny the drunk, and an assortment of other random characters. More recently the players have stopped revolving ( and drinking) so things are getting a bit more regular as well as more interesting. The group has performed live accompaniment at several HEY APATHY! presentations including on the runway of Gallery 1313's fantasy fashion show and at Nuit Blanche.
Between the years of 2001-2003 I shot all of my animations ( and two surreal splatter films) on 16 mm using a wind up Bolex camera. At the time I was generally developing large scale drawing installations which included painted gallery walls,oversized murals, ink drawings and projections. Using the original prints, I would tape the ends of the film strips together and present them with a 30 year old projector I’d purchased from a retired teacher. These loops were featured at my first four solo drawing exhibitions as well as at several group shows and parties. It was during the run of the "HARD RAIN" exhibition that my old school projector finally broke out into flames taking with it the original film stock of that animation. I melted another original print after attempting to resurrect the projector before finally giving up and switching to video. Oddly enough , seeing as how my recordings no longer melt or catch fire, I really miss using film and will probably shoot the new animation the old way.