dread
2007 – Mixed Media Animation, 6:13 minutes, and five bronze sculptures.
Deeply thoughtful and metaphysical, dread is a philosophical exploration of the human necessity to confront and apprehend nature. In the film, an animated forest is the background against which two characters, modeled on French philosophers Jean Jacques Rousseau and Blaise Pascal, hold a conversation on the relationship between God-given natural order, free will, and the human and animal conditions.

Poetic in effect, Mosley’s labor-intensive practice combines computer animation, stop-motion animation, digital sound, sculpture, as well as his own music and dialogue. Like an infinite self-generating loop, dread is a computer animation that integrates the complex variables of the physical world into its digital visual structure. The forest landscape is created using stop motion animation from a series of still-photographs. This landscape is populated by 3-D computer-animated puppets made from scans of clay and resin sculptures. The five characters in the animation, which are also presented as part of this work as bronze sculptures cast from the original models, personify diverse evolutionary stages and historical philosophical discourses.

Mosley based this work on his reading of Pascal’s Pensées and Rousseau’s Emile. The script articulates the tendency of the mind to shut-down when it is overwhelmed with the instinct to analyze the complexity of nature. dread stages a postmodern morality play in which the worlds of thought and the subconscious are revealed, forestalling easy conclusions.

– text by Lucia Sanroman, Curator Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, 2009

Animation StillsSculptures
Video excerpts:  Cow to PascalRousseau and Dread
TranscriptionProductionPress Images