stop motion video // 2017


Dolls have been a part of the human experience since the beginning of time. Dolls serve as a tradition to reflect cultural values and how culture sees children or how culture wants to see children. Dolls also serve as part of rituals performed in the past during funerals. Their mixed function is something that confuses people and therefore has an inherent unsettling nature. The same can be said in their design. Dolls are ‘creepy’ because they typically portray a human figure so accurately yet they lack one thing - emotion. The lack of emotion makes dolls appear to be simply a shell of a human.

Technology has also been a part of the human experience in terms of survival and the ability to thrive. From hand tools to machinery, technology surrounds the world in everyday life. Digital work being a relatively new technology and has rapidly developed into high quality technology. Despite the advancements in technology with the capability to have high resolution, high quality things, humans have an innate craving towards the old. The old technology that has low resolution. The old technology that caused so many problems and so much frustration suddenly becomes nostalgic and charming.

As dolls and technology continue to be a part of the human experience, they are merging together. Dolls now have motors and wiring in order to produce complex movements, sounds, etc. Dolls used to have personal and cultural significance yet with technology consuming dolls, the tech inside the doll is now more important than the doll. With this theory, it can be assumed that physical dolls will eventually become extinct and be replaced with online avatars. Online avatars are essentially digital dolls and provide a much more open and free experience with dressing, playing, and interacting with the ‘doll.’ Online avatars also allow the player to identity roleplay as the doll rather than simply being a companion.

D0LLS is a stop motion piece that put dolls in motion as online avatars in a low res digital world. An environment was created for multiple dolls to move and interact with one another as they navigate the low res world that they exist within. In this world, there is always motion. The lack of good quality resolution creates distinct movement among the pixels between frames as the camera tries hard to capture the motion of the dolls. The camera (an avatar itself) is always in motion and moving around the environment. The dolls interact with the camera as well as each other as the camera observes. The film ends with a real human wearing a doll mask - pushing further the idea of becoming an online avatar and roleplaying as an identity other than your physical identity.