Jeff Scher and The Wrong Reasons of Culture

Jeff Scher is a New York based artist who runs The Animated Life blog at the New York Times. He creates animated films from his art work, for example, Tulps with both paintings (see right) and a movie.

His most recent Animated Life film is entitled ‘All the Wrong Reasons.’ As he describes this movie:

“Everyone makes experimental films when they dream. Dreams are picture-driven, non-linear quilts of movie-like moments sprinkled with cryptic epiphanies… “All the Wrong Reasons’ is an experiment in making a film that feels as if it has percolated up from the subconscious; a dream you can watch with your eyes open. It’s one of those big cathartic dreams, a labyrinth of fleeting moments full of metaphor and mischief. I wanted it to feel like a bumpy roller coaster ride in and out of the dark side of the brain where all the wrong reasons reside. And, as with all dreams, the meaning and significance are open to interpretation.”

Here’s the first minute or so on a YouTube piece, but I recommend going to his blog to watch the full three minute feature.

What most struck me with this film is how much closer Scher is to the quick of life and culture than most anthropologists, with our theories of symbols and meanings and post-modern discourses. All of that is almost too politically correct. Scher paints us something else, a labyrinth of metaphor and mischief, interpretations that get us at the wrong reasons behind meaning and significance, a place where a lot of us live everyday.