Still from Asymptote 2016 | Erinn E. Hagerty & Adam Savje
Clicking on this image will take you to my collaborative website: Unfolding of the Wave where my recent work can be found.
I have always had an interest in the hidden, the occult.
I used to ask myself as a child "Why is everything the way it is?"
This has led me on a lifelong quest to understand the Mysteries.
A primary influence on my film art is Stanley Kubrick's 2001:A Space Odyssey. When I first saw 2001, I was about 13 years old. I was only watching it on a 13” black and white television and the film still had a deep effect on me. I entered the film during the “Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite” abstract, chemical sequence and I was immediately mesmerized. I had no context of what was happening starting the film at this point and by the time the end sequence featuring the astronaut Dave Bowman and the appearance of the Monolith happened, I was terrified and fascinated by the Unknown that the Monolith represented.
(Still from 2001: A Space Odyssey Directed By Stanley Kubrick 1968.)
What was it? Was it Good? Was it Evil? Was it beyond both? Why did it transform the astronaut?
I did not understand it. At this young age asking these questions was important.
One of my first memories of the film was when I was very young (3?) before I had ever even seen it. I was sitting on my Grandfather’s lap with an afghan over our heads looking at the pictures on the cover of the soundtrack album to 2001 with a flashlight. We had many imaginary flights through space listening to the weird music. I remember looking at the pictures on the album and not understanding what they were or that they were even from a film. Years later I realized the deep connection I already had with the Kubrick's masterpiece. This was a major influence that lead me to recognize the power the filmic medium has for illuminating abstract concepts.
My own work reflects on the alchemical process of the transmutation of human consciousness and how our patterns of thought are transformed by the symbolic catalyst of the (apparently) external world. Film is a perfect medium for this exploration. The triad complex of our Mind, Body and Spirit is perfectly represented by the mechanism of film. The projector-machine is akin to our Body and enables the continuum of our lives to be experienced in a linear fashion as an eternal present moment. The material, photochemical nature of film, akin to our Mind, shapes and filters the light. The light is our Spirit - Pure Consciousness.
My films are constructed utilizing photographed live-action, 2D artwork and transparencies which are then rephotographed using analog film special effects techniques on equipment including an Oxberry animation camera system and an optical printer in both 16mm & 35mm film. Additional footage is generated by hand-painted direct-on-film techniques, ray-o-grams, and hand-processing. The resulting analog film is scanned at 5K resolution. Digital techniques involving 2D and 3D graphics are also utilized. The analog and digital footage is synthesized digitally to compose the final films.
Bio & Contact
Adam Savje is an artist, based in Boston, Massachusetts, who works primarily with light & colour using analog film techniques and machines. He is Assistant Director of Animation at the Massachusetts College of Art & Design. Besides directing the department, he mentors students in pre-digital methods of visual effects on analog machines, including the optical printer and the animation stand.
His personal work focuses on human consciousness, specifically the conflict between the spirit and the flesh and how symbols and fetishes are a catalyst in the transmutation of the awareness of oneself and the world.
He and his collaborator, Erinn E. Hagerty, recently formed the artist collective Unfolding of the Wave Ltd. Their installation, The Eighth Art, featuring a kinetic, light-modulating sculpture within a 24-foot geodesic dome, recently exhibited at Light City 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. Since 2014, they have developed films and installations, which implement abstract visuals to create a space for reflecting on the nature of relationships.
In addition to his collaborative work, Adam currently has several film projects in process including Spherical Melencolia and Fall Dead Behind a Hidden Door, both in post-production. As well as an adaption of Robert W. Chambers' short story The Yellow Sign, which is in pre-production.