Funnel Cloud (1997)

[youtube http://youtu.be/5_SondWXZYA]

Animation: Michael Daugherty
Music: Stephen David Beck

Funnel Cloud explores the relationship between artifice and reality through the metaphor of a tornado. After the tornado rumbles through a small village, a lone survivor wanders into an art gallery only to find the paintings coming to life with a dancing man, swirling jazz and aboriginal incantations. The last image in the gallery is surprisingly a painting of a tornado that comes to life, grabbing the survivor and drawing him into the artistic netherworld.

The music in Funnel Cloud plays an important role in representing the various states of the art vs. reality paradigm. The tornado sounds are all synthetic while the sounds within the gallery are transformations of familiar music. Inversions of “Dorothy’s arrival in Oz theme” from The Wizard of Oz carry the survivor through the various exhibits in the art gallery. Reversed jazz, vocal music from Bali and odd transformations of Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantstique bring the individual paintings to life. The question of what is real and what is synthetic is ironically presented through music, image and transformation.

Funnel Cloud received the Animation Award from the 11th Annual Louisiana Video Shorts Festival (1999) in New Orleans, LA.

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