Computer Animation/Film/VFX

Anerkennung - Honorary Mentions


Johan Rijpma (NL)


(2014, 1 min. 26 sec.)

Descent is an experimental film that focuses on the moment when a cup falls and breaks into pieces. By capturing this moment and by making new connections between reality and representation, destruction can simultaneously be the creation of something new. Something that through the force of gravity and the act of observing seems to shift into higher dimensions.

The film is structured in different steps. The first is simply the cup falling to the floor and breaking. Then all of the frames of the clip (of the cup breaking) are stacked onto each other. This happens in real life, all the pieces of the cup are traced frame by frame and are turned back into clay to make a sculpture of all the stacked frames. As this new form emerges, gravity starts to shift and the new sculpture (all of the frames of the clip of the cup falling and breaking) also breaks, and its pieces are re-used to build another sculpture in the same way as the previous one. And so the cycle of creation and destruction continues.

In each cycle of the process the camera translates the destruction of the sculpture into a series of two-dimensional pictures representing the destructive moment. This representation is then turned back into a real-life and into a higher-dimensional form, turning from a two-dimensional representation into a three-dimensional object. From this perspective it is possible to consider each cycle in the process to be a step to a higher dimension. Starting with a three-dimensional cup and after nine cycles arriving at a twelve-dimensional sculpture that visualizes, and reflects on its own creative/destructive history. According to M-theory (the current theory in physics that attempts to explain all of the particles and fundamental forces of nature in one theory) the universe has eleven dimensions, which proves that the sculpture is theoretically impossible.

All the nine sculptures in the film were made from the remains of their predecessors, and because each sculpture had to be destroyed in order to create the next one only the last sculpture still physically exists. Not only the film but also the last sculpture could therefore be considered to be the final work descending from its ancestors in other dimensions and containing all matter.


Johan Rijpma

Johan Rijpma (NL), born in 1984, obtained his MA at the Utrecht School of the Arts (Faculty of Art, Media & Technology). In his work he forms creative collaborations with often simple subjects from his daily surroundings in an experimental and playful way. Within his systematic and analytical procedures he reflects on the relationship between his own presumed control and the unpredictability of everyday life. Video, animation and photography are primarily the means by which he creates and captures unusual, seemingly simple but often meticulous processes.