THE BEST Experimental

Black Ice

Black Ice

Photographer Christopher Dormoy created this hypnotic and indescribable montage of macro imagery using a combination of ice, oil, paint, soap, and flowers. Blow it up full screen, and you’ll feel like the temperature in your room dropped by 30 degrees by the time you’re done watching.

Nature Always Wins

Nature Always Wins

During the lockdown, the digital artists of Universal Everything imagined what the world might be like if society as we know it ended, and nature took back over the planet. The first of the two infinite-loop vignettes replaces highways with grass and flowers, while the second envisions an airport overgrown with greenery.

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Concatenation 2: Olympic Game

Concatenation 2: Olympic Game

Video artist Donato “Milkyeyes” Sansone combined footage of Olympic athletes performing a variety of movements, from gymnastics to diving to track and field events, seamlessly melding together their motions so they look like one extended routine. The technique is a refinement of his earlier clip, Concatenation.

Pressure: The Countless Faces of Chaos

Pressure: The Countless Faces of Chaos

Ernest Desumbila’s and Sauvage.TV’s short film packs in a whole lot of style, fantastic cinematography, and a cryptic but intriguing series of vignettes about a future civilization where people meet their doom as they face the inevitable in their monstrous and chaotic world.

Megalopolis: First Contact

Megalopolis: First Contact

Paris filmmaker Benjamin Bardou’s experimental short is just one of a series of dreamlike visuals which explore life in a fictitious city known as Megalopolis. In this episode, an unknown intelligence examines the passengers aboard a subway car. You can view more from the series on the artist’s website or Vimeo page.

Moving Parts

Moving Parts

Andrew B. Myers‘ experimental short film uses a combination of animation techniques to fill the frame with dozens of tiny objects constantly in motion. There’s so much going on that you’ll need to go back and watch it multiple times to catch all of the neat little details.

The Super Zoom

The Super Zoom

CG artist pedro3dbh’s short film sends us on an epic journey deep within the most mundane of objects, the tip of an ordinary ball-point pen. As the virtual camera zooms deeper and deeper into its structure, we eventually reach the subatomic level.

American Totem

American Totem

Video artist Theo Tagholm’s (aka “mustardcuffins”) experimental short film envisions an alternative version of the world, where the iconic rock structures of America’s Southwest stretch endlessly into the sky. It’s a strangely unsettling, but engrossing visual. We love how the clouds cast shadows onto the totems.

Skiing

Skiing

Experimental filmmaker Dirk Koy took a simple concept and executed it brilliantly to create a moving work of art. The clip takes images of skiers coming down a slope, and persists them to show the paths they each took down the mountainside.

Splendor

Splendor

Artist Joe Takayama’s short film juxtaposes modern animation technology with traditional Japanese art styles. He developed an algorithmic method for rendering Kiriko (cut glass) and Kumiko (wooden lattice work) using a system typically used for simulating plant growth in CGI.

Portals

Portals

Digital artist Tomin’s short film features one of the slickest and most mind-bending transition effects we’ve seen. Each location starts out looking quite ordinary, but then as the camera approaches, it fragments into blocks, revealing a new scene.

△▽

△▽

Audio-visual artist Conner Griffith presents a triptastic experimental short film which bends time and space much in the way that a Christopher Nolan film might. We kept expecting the little twins from The Shining to turn up in that long hallway.

Stanley Scanley

Stanley Scanley

Filmmaker and composer Stuart Hilton’s son Stanley had his brain scanned for science, and his dad decided to take footage of the sliced up imaging layers, animated them, and set them to a trippy ambient soundtrack. It’s weird to think that we all have this stuff inside our heads.

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H E L I O S

H E L I O S

Filmmaker Nicolas Arnold used in-camera visual effects to envision what the uncharted outer reaches of space might look like, using liquids and chemicals to approximate the gasses and other matter that make up the universe.

Waterballet

Waterballet

Waterballet creates incredible slow-motion macro videos using colored inks and water, along with ambient musical tracks to accompany the mesmerizing footage. The scenes look like weather fronts moving in on an alien landscape. More on Vimeo.

Elements

Elements

Maxim Zhestkov’s minimal experimental film is a visual wonder, in which a seemingly endless flood of black and white spheres ebb and flow through a stark white space. Over 2 billion individual particles were rendered under the influences of simulated natural forces.

On Departure

On Departure

There’s a lot of enveloping geometry to fall into in Eoin Duffy’s On Departure; the animated short is a very personal narrative centered around the loss of his younger brother, Emmet. Best watched full-screen with headphones on.

Raw Data

Raw Data

Boston-based artist Jake Fried has created a very entertaining, minute long animation with ink, gouache, white-out and coffee, drawn by hand. You might want to watch it more than once – the details are rich and fleeting.

Illusions (Part One)

Illusions (Part One)

Shot in Santiago and Pittsburgh, Samm Hodges Illusions is a graceful, multilayered short film that explores optical illusions, memory and the human experience. (Thanks Christine!)

Going to the Store

Going to the Store

(PG-13: clothing-challenged) Huh? David Lewandowski made this video for the final episode of Everything, Channel101’s anthology series, and we think the world needs to see this. (Thanks Jon!)

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Compressed 02

Compressed 02

Filmmaker Kim Pimmel’s short piece combines dish soap bubbles with exotic ferrofluid liquid, a macro lens and time lapse techniques to create something quite astounding. Can you believe it’s not digital?

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