Animal Charm
April 5, 2009 6:52 PM   Subscribe

Animal Charm "Comprised of Jim Fetterley and Rich Bott, Animal Charm's tapes are mind-bendingly inventive experiments in uncanny, surreal montage that defy logical analysis. [Their work] is a tour de force of incongruous juxtapositions, startling dislocations and ingenious visual rhymes assembled from the banal detritus of late night TV." Edge TV::Slow Gin Soul Stallion::Baby Preacher Death Metal::CHANGE! CHANGE! CHANGE!::Computers Smart::A Cat Named Sloopy::Bearobics::Getting ready to use your VCR::Pet Programming::Cat and mouse game::Stuffing::Lightfoot fever::Squidcharm Crashes::more
posted by vronsky (12 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Don't forget Hertzog's Jew's Harp D.U.I.!!!
posted by abc123xyzinfinity at 7:11 PM on April 5, 2009

Squidcharm Crashes made me think of a time when I was a teenager, and my toddler sister loved Rescue 911, which she called "people get hurt". Every night after dinner when the rest of the family would go sit down to watch TV and I would go to my room to read, I would hear my sister saying "I wanna watch people get hurt". I am sure she would have been overjoyed to see that video.

Some of the videos were extremely paratactic, and I had to watch a few before I figured out what was the author's range of interesting footage and what was selected specifically for a certain piece. Once I started to figure this out I found them engrossing.
posted by idiopath at 8:00 PM on April 5, 2009

"paratactic" - nice word!

Right now Stuffing is my favorite of the bunch, with Bearobics running a close second.
posted by vronsky at 8:14 PM on April 5, 2009

These remind me a bit of Wax: Or the Discovery of Television Among the Bees. Similar music style and a series of disjointed, but demanding images. Wax was a majorly pioneering bit of media on the early Internet (including a MOO and a early website with video) and I often wonder what became of it.
posted by Nelson at 8:26 PM on April 5, 2009 [1 favorite]

The Wax website is still online at

And Nelson, your comparison is spot-on. I'm getting a serious Wax vibe from some of these videos. If you're a fan of these, I definitely recommend checking out that film. It can be streamed online at the Waxweb site linked above.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 9:12 PM on April 5, 2009 [1 favorite]

Okay, I've watched half of them, and it's fairly obvious to me that I'm missing something. Are these supposed to be funny? Do they have some deeper meaning? Are they just vaguely animal-related clips strung together out of context and looped repetitively? Is this something I'd have to overcome my loathing of Postmodernism to enjoy?
posted by Scattercat at 1:25 AM on April 6, 2009

Thanks for the Wax-link. I haven't seen it yet and it's positively engrossing.
posted by monocultured at 4:11 AM on April 6, 2009

Also, Waxweb reminded me of the game Psychic detective. Loose connections, but the mood seems similar.
posted by monocultured at 4:54 AM on April 6, 2009

So, they do all of this with tape and no digital editing? Sometimes they do this live?

I think it would be cool to see it live.

Looks like they have a DVD...
posted by orme at 5:14 AM on April 6, 2009

it's fairly obvious to me that I'm missing something

Nah, I think they're just Arty. Damned if I can tell you what Wax is about, either. But it's kinda interesting anyway.
posted by Nelson at 7:24 AM on April 6, 2009


You are free to continue loathing postmodernism, I don't think anyone is all that interested in changing your mind. There are sequences of images, if you watch a few videos the various combinations of images work together in different ways. If you loathe it, feel free to look at something else.

Parataxis as a technique predates postmodernity, but it is a distinctive element of postmodern art. There is plenty to learn and appreciate from the postmodern approach and its artifacts, but if the question is whether you have to stop loathing it, feel free to continue feeling contempt from a distance, none of us need your help appreciating this stuff.
posted by idiopath at 7:52 AM on April 6, 2009

Don't forget Hertzog's Jew's Harp D.U.I. !!!
posted by abc123xyzinfinity at 7:11 PM on April 5 [+] [!]

Reminds me of some of the segments on Jam.
posted by basicchannel at 10:42 AM on April 6, 2009

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