Ruth Shaffer’s heady animated 3D aesthetic is the result of a methodical academic fusion.
As a student of UCLA’s school of Design Media Arts and UCLA’s School of Cognitive Psychology, Ruth Shaffer aims to merge ‘the complexities of the human mind with design in order to create innovative solutions in both the fields of computerized technology as well as interactive digital arts’. In the pursuit of a unified multidisciplinary experience, together with a number of producers, she has produced a series of audiovisual installations that meld experimental electronic music and a left-field, post-internet methodology. Likewise she engages with the Net Art-aware online community through glitched-out, technicolor animations that play on themes of human memory, decision making, and information processing.
Watching shaffer’s army of lifeless mannequins collapse in on each other, unfold, explode and overlap is endlessly captivating. They are spun and stretched to their absolute limit before the process is reversed, mid-way, and they return to their somewhat recognisable human forms. It’s an unrelenting ping pong between near complete destruction and total recovery. The extremity is bizarrely reminiscent of James Cameron’s T-1000 a.k.a Liquid Metal, the Terminator 2 nemesis composed entirely of a “mimetic poly-alloy”, capable of rapid, near-perfect mimicry and instantaneous recuperation.