The animated film, 'Cruising 1980,' plus related paintings and sculptures —'Cruising 1980,' was first shown at the ABC fair in Berlin. Curator Marc Gloede.
Video Projection by Matthew Weinstein, 2010
Created using Maya, View, Motion Builder and After Effects
Two crystal and silver ships pass each other in a mercury colored and reflective sea. One ship has sails made out of diamonds. The other ship has a magic lantern in front with an illuminated core of rotating tropical fish. Each Ship has a clock in its core. The hands of the clocks race into infinity as the ships pass each other, over and over. Cruising is a word popularized by gay culture, and sent out to culture at large, with the movie of 1980 starring Al Pacino. Besides the fact that the movie was seen as a homophobic Hollywood spectacle when it first came out, it remains a gay cultural and sexual reference point.
AIDS halted the popularization of gay culture. Gay culture returned to the mainstream media with placid and likeable shows like 'Will And Grace,' and never again explored the extremes of desire through gay erotic life. What was labeled homophobic in 1980 now looks progressive (in a naive way), almost heroic, in comparison to a mainstream cinema that now only explores extremes through violence and not through sex.
The two ships in CRUISING 1980 simply cruise by each other. Slowly. They show off their parts, they sparkle and glow for each other, and then they pass. The innocence of the piece symbolizes the fact that sex is innocent, as is desire. Desire is full of hope: for pleasure, love or connection. Desire is also beyond sexuality and gender. We cruise each other all day long. It is one of our many forms of silent contact and exchange.
This piece, like all of my computer animations, was created primarily in MAYA, which is a 3D animation and rendering software package. The ships are based on actual objects that I bought in Chinatown. I then took them apart, and recreated each piece in MAYA, and then reassembled the virtual pieces into virtual facsimiles of the originals. These ships first appeared in my Animated Cabaret, 'SIAM.'