Still from exhibited work
The Drift, 2019
© Uffe Isolotto
In his video work The Drift, Uffe Isolotto compares the encounter of these abstract digits with the experience of a psychedelic trip. Recorded with a motion capture suit and transmitted into a virtual universe, we follow a day-long mescaline trip from the ingestion of the juice through the various conditions of altered awareness it brings along. At first, we meet a naked écorché-like man, but as we sink deeper into the trip, characters with lesser skin and muscles appear until we are left with a meditating skeleton. The body plays the main character but is slowly losing itself into both the spiritual and virtual world. In motion capture technology lingo, the term drifting refers to when the limbs or the whole corpus is moving out of place, somewhat akin to the idea of tripping. Such glitches are included in the video as a playful working with and through the digital, hoping for possible worlds to slip through the cracks.
cand.mag in art history
The Drift was created through the use of motion capture technology and psychedelics, in an attempt to see if virtuality and spirituality would share a common ground. The film is an animated journey documenting, in motion capture, a day-long psychedelic trip. From the ingestion of juice made from the San Pedro mescaline cactus (Echinopsis pachanoi) to the ocean swim that ended the trip, it shows the various conditions of awareness through eight different, but connected, characters.
The film brings together two equally abstract subjects, the landscape of a psychedelic trip and the nature of virtual space. The experiment was to use the mescaline cactus to see if something would manifest itself within the realms of technology, but as the day unfolded it became apparent that the whole motion capture set-up got tangled up in the experience. The self-awareness that comes with keeping records and documenting every move caused a meta-existence to grow inside the circuits, a hybrid beast of virtual technology and spirituality.
The project is named after the term the motion capture industry uses to speak of what happens when your limbs or your whole being is not where it should be, because the motion sensors are daydreaming. The Drift is a project which embraces all the drifts, glitches and aliasing it can get. This way there’s still hope for something to slip through the cracks.
The animated film is full of references, like bits and pieces and scraps of paper, which you’d pick up in the hope that a fuller, more clearer picture would appear because of the density of material - more pixels, more information. There is some Iggy Pop, a man playing the obscure Japanese instrument snailhorn, another man blowing a hefty tune through a straw, lots of ambience from a desert in Chile and the sound of a room full of Mac computers.