My roommate from 2004-2007, Alex Tripp, just finished up his grad school thesis animation. I could not be prouder. He is one of the people I feel most artistically simpatico with, one of the folks that I feel like I can consider a peer without flattering myself. I have referred to him multiple times as being my best friend. Sometimes I use these phrases not to refer to the quality of the friendship, but the strength of them as people, and right now I feel like using such an accolade. This newly completed work is, to me, a clear triumph, and while I can nitpick (and have, in correspondence to Alex, where he responds saying he agrees with me), this is a great manifestation of a whole thing- this group of people that I feel like no one knows about, these people that I went to college with, that maybe don't view themselves as being a part of the same thing at all.
There are some things that I think are evident- one is artistic influences and progenitors, the other is a sort of technical or formalist bravado, the other is a masssive amount of anxiety about being alive in general and modern times in particular. The modern times thing comes through in the influences and the obviously being made digitally thing which is a part of the formal aspect.
I write this now in Baltimore Maryland, a place that has plenty of artists that probably share the same influences and anxieties as Alex and I but are not as successful as communicating those fears and fucked-up feelings as Alex is here- in a piece called Pratfall Origarch, which I kind of named despite the fact that I meant Pratfall Oligarch, because Oligarch is actually a word.
What's funny also about this group that exists only in my head is how the narratives at work were originally wildly ambitious, that that come out a little unclear and abstracted and just are able to communicate really weird feelings- Bryan Fordney's Get Got and Bee Bog, despite being more clear/traditional in their visual storytelling, are still freaking the fuck out in such a way that they require multiple rewatchings with the brain filling in gaps.