A Brash Beauty: Jennifer Steinkamp Animates the World

Jennifer Steinkamp projected animation

Working with the same software used by film companies such as Dreamworks and Pixar, Jennifer Steinkamp creates complex animations that are then projected onto an architectural space using multiple projectors run by a bank of computers.

According to Steinkamp’s bio “…she explores ideas about architectural space, motion, and phenomenological perception. Her digitally animated works make use of the interplay between actual space and illusionistic space, thus creating environments in which the roles of the viewing subjects and the art objects become blurred.”

This describes perfectly the experience I had the first time I encountered one of Steinkamp’s installations.

Jennifer Steinkamp projected animation

The piece I saw was very abstract – undulating shapes that twisted and turned into new moving shapes. I knew that the images covering the walls were virtual; they had no physical substance, and yet standing in this transformed space I became aware of my body, reacting to the color, sound, line and movement as if they were real things.

Can a virtual image also be physical? An odd question but one that I found myself asking.

You can view a full range of Jennifer Steinkamp’s work here…


Here is an article that discusses her work more fully and includes lots of great still images of the animations…


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