Wednesday, 19 February 2014

A cold call from the future: Butler Brothers' 'The Terminal Node'

If J. G. Ballard, Stanley Kubrick and John Carpenter had ever decided to work together on animations, then they would have probably made something like the animations produced by the Butler Brothers.

The brothers John and Paul Butler have been creating speculative animated fictions for well over a decade. 
Paul is the co-producer, writer and conceptual consultant. John is writer, designer, animator, composer, co-producer, and director. Theirs is a dystopian vision of the present as superimposed on an ever encroaching future.

John Butler once told me:

“Speculative fiction is important because the future seems to be behind us, and nothing lies ahead. We’re just waiting for the next upgrade.
“That is the essence of contemporary culture.  It’s designed to disable the imagination.”
“As an artist, I suppose my philosophy is composed of what interests me.   I’m interested in what happens in the world and why.   
"I’m not really interested in making art from or about art.
“I’m interested in human utility in the drone age.  Human redundancy in the unmanned economy.  I’m interested in the war between Finance and Humans.
“I’m interested in the Universal Transaction Space we all now inhabit.”

The Butler Brothers' animations are critically acclaimed, award-winning and inspire devout following amongst their fans. Their latest film The Terminal Node is a "cold call from the future [that] warns of an alien loyalty card scheme." It's a timely reminder of how the privatization and deregulation of our present lives are creating our own "transaction space".

More of the Butler Brothers work can be seen here.

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