Re-Education of the Senses

"There’s nothing to see here; now, look directly at the screen."
An experimental vision of Bauhausian hypnotherapy orchestrated by sentient technology.

  • Erinn E. Hagerty & Adam Savje
  • Unfolding of the Wave Ltd
  • Erinn E. Hagerty & Adam Savje
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Experimental, Short, Other
  • Runtime:
    11 minutes 44 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 31, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    1,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Shooting Format:
    16mm; Digitized 5K
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Slamdance Film Festival
    Park City, UT
    United States
    January 27, 2020
    Official Selection
  • Oregon State International Film Festival (OSIFF)
    United States
    January 12, 2020
    Official Selection
    Cambridge, MA
    United States
    December 4, 2019
    Official Selection
  • Pori Film Festival
    November 27, 2019
    Finnish Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Sweaty Eyeballs Animation Festival
    Baltimore, MD
    United States
    October 6, 2019
    Official Selection
  • Sweaty Eyeballs Animation Festival
    Baltimore, MD
    United States
    October 5, 2019
    Official Selection
  • PIAFF, Paris International Animation Film Festival
    September 20, 2019
    International Premiere
    Official Selection - Pro Competition
  • Aggregate Animated International Short Film Festival - Special Screening (Central Stage)
    Richmond, CA
    United States
    August 17, 2019
    Official Selection
  • Aggregate Animated International Short Film Festival - Special Screening (The New Parkway Theater)
    Oakland, CA
    United States
    August 11, 2019
    Official Selection
  • Aggregate Animated International Short Film Festival
    Oakland, CA
    United States
    August 2, 2019
    World Premiere
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Erinn E. Hagerty & Adam Savje

Erinn E. Hagerty is an interdisciplinary artist employing animation, film & video, kinetic sculpture, microscopy, and installation. She is a professor of animation at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), focusing on 3-Dimensional topics, VR, and digital & analog integration.

Adam Savje is an artist who works primarily with light & colour using analog film techniques and devices. He is assistant director of animation at the Massachusetts College of Art & Design.

With their collective, Unfolding of the Wave Ltd, they develop films and installations that implement abstract visuals to create a space for reflecting on the nature of relationships. Their roving studio thrives between Boston, MA, Philadelphia, PA, and Baltimore, MD.
Instagram Handles: @unfoldingofthewave @eehagerty @adampsavje

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Director Statement

Our approach to filmmaking and animation is always a fusion between early analog techniques and contemporary digital tools. We tend to find inspiration within geometry and abstraction; archetypal geometric forms may have a multitude of meanings, dependent on your personal experiences and associations. We are struck by the potential for experimental abstract films to be used in the questioning and decoding of human interactions with each other and the world around us because they allow the viewer to wander and bring themselves into the space created.

We constructed this film by programming a motion-controlled Oxberry animation camera system to photograph transparencies of our geometric artwork that we animate through choreographed movement. Through this process, we are able to shape the light. The 16mm footage is hand-processed and scanned at 5K resolution. The resulting scans are then manipulated and composited digitally to synthesize the final film.

When beginning “Re-Education of the Senses” in the winter of 2019, our interest in all things geometric coincided with the 100th anniversary of Bauhaus. In 1919, the questions surrounding technology were uncannily similar to our own contemporary ones. Bauhausian visionaries believed that we as a society should develop and grow with technological advances, but that humanity should guide innovation through unified design across all fields, reestablishing the balance between the rational, the sensual, the emotional, the intellectual, and the intuitive (1)—“educating their senses” with form following function. Spurred by our own interactions with technology, we posed questions to ourselves: what is our relationship with technology and the screen? Are we in control of these interactions? If not us, then who?

Thinking about Bauhaus and the relationship between technology and humanity, our minds went directly to an electronic synth score. The music was composed, performed, and mixed by us using various analog and digital synthesizers. The use of both sequencers and human-performed elements, plays with the tension between human and machine. We question in our film how our lives are mediated by technology. There is a wonderful relationship with synthesizers, where human input is translated and modulated by the electronics and then transposed again by human interaction. There is a reciprocated loop between person and machine. Where do we begin and where does the machine end?

The sound, with the visuals, work in concert with one another to create both hypnotic lulls and aggressive cacophonies. The dialogue between image and sound is a journey, which sometimes is serene and sometimes confrontational—again raising the question, who is guiding us, and what are their intentions?

We have no desire to tell the audience how to approach or experience our film. However, we’d be delighted by the possible conversations we could share together about some of these ideas.

“Art is the most intimate of the senses.” - Lázló Moholy-Nagy, Bauhaus educator, artist, and innovator

(1) Agnieszka Rejniak-Majewska, “Education of the Senses in the Era of Technology: Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and György Kepes,” in Maszyna Do Komunikacji/A Machine for Communicating: around the Avant-Garde Idea of New Typography, ed. Paulina Kurc-Maj & Daniel Muzyczuk (LÓDŹ: MUZEUM SZTUKI, 2015), 182.