Brian Edgerton’s program Endless Spiral inaugurates High Line Channel 30, a rotating program of silent videos projected daily on the High Line at West 30th Street and 10th Avenue. For his program, Edgerton presents a selection of three recent animated videos, Endless Spiral (2014), Chillworld (2014), and Multiplane 1 (2014). Edgerton’s hypnotic animations are created by flying a virtual camera through an arrangement of colorful abstract shapes realized as individual layers in Photoshop. Even though these shapes and scribbles bear little reference to an outside world, the videos’ shifting geometric world is seductively immersive. Described by Edgerton as drawings smeared out over time, his compositions feel like floating through a psychedelic cartoonish dream sequence or a sea of Matisse’s paper cut-out collages. While the videos present a seemingly infinite space, the eye of the viewer moves on a fixed track through a finite landscape, as if the viewer’s body is trapped inside a digital painting.
Edgerton’s compositions are realized in what is known as 2.5D – a dimension where two-dimensional images are arranged in three-dimensional space – a realm that describes most of our digital experience. Stopping just shy of science fiction visions of a world populated wholly by holograms, most of our screen experiences are of two-dimensional images and pages arranged in a shallow third dimension – exactly the spatial experience that Edgerton channels in his video works.