Diagnosis - February 25th, 2011

My son was diagnosed with cancer in February of 2011. This video is a version of the narrative that has transpired since.

In the initial phase of this project, I sketched a few ideas for the ID:ENTITY animation. One involved cities, a big identity of mine, another involved my son’s cancer diagnosis. Thinking the cancer animation might be a bit too emotionally draining, I chose to work on the city timeline animation. After a few weeks of working on the city animation and sitting in a hospital room trying to move forward with it, I changed my direction to a representation of my current identity.

The concept of the video and almost all of the animation were created in a tiny hospital room on the fifth floor of the UNC Children's hospital throughout the months of October and November. During this time, my son has been in treatment with a new chemo regimen, which consists of three much stronger drugs. The treatment is tough and the journey has been long. The daily sights inside the hospital are exhausting and the sound of a chemo pump has been the constant soundtrack for this time period.

The audio, "The Rules" by Nieces and Nephews, was also created within a tiny hospital room at UNC Hospital by a friend of mine named Justin Flythe. Justin has been undergoing treatment for cancer (lymphoma) over the past year. He produced the Nieces and Nephews album during this time period in his room, with the door closed and sign on the door stating "Recording, Do Not Disturb".

His sampling of the hospital surroundings and chemo pump and the dark atmosphere created by the music parallels the overwhelming and dismal feeling that is created by the cancer treatment process. The animation is a reflection of these feelings.

The video was made for the CAM ID:ENTITY show which starts on November 18, 2011. See more about the show here: camraleigh.org/exhibitions/2011identity/

You can follow Oliver's treatment here: caringbridge.org/visit/olivergant

Check out Nieces and Nephews here: digguptapes.com/nieces-and-nephews

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