Inspired by the phosphorescent trail of tracer bullets in the night sky Tracer Fire explores the juxtaposition between the beauty and violence of ballistic weapons - their mesmerizing, burning trail belying their destructiveness upon impact, and the highly-wrought nature of their machinery at odds with the havoc they wreak.
An installation piece projected simultaneously onto the surfaces of a darkened room, the experience is one of being caught in a crossfire or at a fireworks display. The immersive work also exploits the concept of persistence of vision, as our eyes fill up with afterimages, adding another dimension to the piece.
Tracer Fire is the latest video work by artist Joel Newman, whose previous work has been shown at the ICA and Whitechapel Art Gallery, and who has taught Video at the Architectural Association School since 1998. The AA School was one of the first organisations to adopt video as a design as well as a recording tool and has had a specific Video department since 1968.
The video, which was a year in the making, uses motion graphics, with each frame of the animation hand-drawn on a tablet using a digital pen. Each minute of the 20-minute film equates to around 1,500 individual frames, with the whole requiring around 30,000 hand-drawn images.
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hi res images here: