Art from code - Generator.x
Generator.x is a conference and exhibition examining the current role of software and generative strategies in art and design. [Read more...]

Brandon Morse: Procedural animation

The stark videos of Brandon Morse present the viewer with excercises in tension, set tableaux in which structures morph and twist under physical constraints. Stripped-down architectural forms that ought to exhibit the rigidity of highrise buildings instead engage in a tug-of-war, the result of a string simulation distributing kinetic force through a network of nodes.

Morse seems to delight in setting up scenarios where seemingly ordered constructs rapidly degenerate under the influence of virtual force, which can only be observed through the dramatic effects it exerts. The end result is a state of irrecoverable chaos, brought about by causal simulated chain of action and reaction.

Unlike software-based generative artworks that exhibit endless timelines, Morse’s videos (created in the high-end animation package Houdini) display a clear dramaturgy. But rather than being a side effect of their status as “canned” video, the presence of an explicit beginning and end is here part and parcel of the work’s logic, reinforcing the movement towards the inevitable.

Favorite setups include explosions and collapses, dryly observed through an impartial camera that merely records the inevitable. Work titles like Cumulus_1 and Big Bang refer to physical simulations. Others, like Preparing for the inevitable (a particle system tornado bearing down on a wireframe house), are more explicitly apocalyptic. But while the implication of doom is clear, the image is deliberately kept abstract and artificial. Lacking a focus for projected empathy, the viewer is left with the sense of observing a scientific experiment, a computer-generated Armageddon minus the carnage.

Brandon Morse is represented by Conner Contemporary. For more examples of his work, visit his site

The video shown above was posted on Morse’s Flickr stream as a test of the new Video on Flickr feature. Hopefully more videos will start appearing on the Generator.x Flickr pool as a result, although the Generator.x channel on Vimeo is still our official choice for posting animated work.

92 Responses to “Moving towards the inevitable: Brandon Morse”
1. Friday at the Rhizome. « t e a r a p a r t, July 11th, 2008 at 20:07

[...] Friday at the Rhizome. I have been visiting Rhizome, an archive of the ephemeral pieces of art that appear on the web since 1999.  I mean how many things on the internet are to a casual observer could be deemed a nothing?  For instance, This is Sand. Or Moving Toward the Inevitable.  However the intricacy and thought that went into making a seemingly simple visual is astounding.  When Sound Freezes Over. [...]

2. Moving towards the inevitable: Brandon Morse | aboutCREATION, August 11th, 2008 at 17:08

[...] >> Read more [...]

3. Panic {RE}_Programming » Blog Archive » Links 8.12.08, August 12th, 2008 at 18:08

[...] Moving towards the inevitable: Brandon Morse From Generator.x: “The stark videos of Brandon Morse present the viewer with exercises in tension, set tableaux in which structures morph and twist under physical constraints. Stripped-down architectural forms that ought to exhibit the rigidity of highrise buildings instead engage in a tug-of-war, the result of a string simulation distributing kinetic force through a network of nodes.” [...]

4. Moving towards the inevitable: Brandon Morse : THEDOFL’s BLOG, September 9th, 2008 at 02:09

[...] Link [...]

5. Brandon Morse: A Confidence of Vertices « benediktweiss/blog, August 14th, 2009 at 16:08

[...] video is so beautiful. Seen on generator.x. You can find more of Brandon Morses art on his website [...]

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