Above New Ground
Text: Natasha Stagg
Casey Jane Ellison fills many roles: artist, curator, video editor, comedian, and striking young woman. She founded Aboveground Animation, a series of shorts described as a "roving exhibition platform" back in 2008 and has seen its increasing success since. This is likely because although Ellison slows down for no one, the world is starting to catch up to her brand of art and humor.
This Thursday, she will present twenty short-form animations at the New Museum from the archive. The screening will act as a more inclusive followup to a selection premiered in October through First Look, the New Museum's Digital Project series. And a stronger focus on Ellison's work is absolutely due.
How did you get started with this project?
CASEY JANE ELLISON I began screening Aboveground is 2008 in Chicago. It has toured the US and shown in galleries, most often at Ramiken Crucible in the LES [in New York]. The program features a selection as diverse as the artists—ranging in style, media, and format. The artists are from around the globe and they practice animation independently.
What do you hope to accomplish in this most recent iteration?
CJE This series discusses the boundlessness of animation as a tool and the hopefulness of the viewer who wishes to enter the worlds created by the artists. Sharing this work is important to its sustainability. Online and live presentations are separate but equal in this process. Live, the presentation acts as a narrative to reveal the language of each piece and the conversation they have with each other. The live audience is necessary to the process.