public space > We Walk Together

Stop motion Animation looping on a video wall permanently installed in the international arrival corridor of O’Hare Airport in Chicago
25’ x 6’
4K video
Selina Trepp 2023

Stop Motion is a process rooted in reality. The act of sequencing photos in time, combined with the persistence of vision, creates the magic. What we see is an extreme condensation of time and space, this is what makes animation possible. And that quality is also something it has in common with international air travel across time zones. When you get on a plane, and then get off in a different place, in a different time zone, what happens to you isn’t so different than what happens to an object that is animated in my stop motion, you have condensed time and space.

My stop motion process is similar to writing instrumental music, working in a space outside of language (or in my case obvious characters/representation) it creates affect and meaning by working with color, dynamics, tone and tempo; these qualities translate into feeling/meaning, rather than relying on language based narrative to create meaning/feeling.

For this piece I considered what the people passing through in this specific space might need. The people moving from the airplane to customs are tired, stressed, excited, achy, smelly, nervous, happy, sad. They need to be calm, awake, aware, easy going and relaxed to best make it through immigration, customs and luggage claim.

They need stress relief. They need to breathe and relax. They need some delight.

In behavioral therapy anxiety is treated by acknowledging (see it), addressing (understand source) and reframing (transform it) the issue.

The animation replicates this process : Moving from left to right the sculptures go from having to deal with obstacles, to seeing and addressing their issues, transforming in response, and then walk off screen, ready for what is next.

The animated sculptures are walking with the travelers, side by side, for a moment in the same world, accompanying them for this part of their journey.