About this project
08-15 UPDATE - Kickstarter & Vimeo Staff picks!
08-23 UPDATE - Modern Ruin in the PRESS
08-27 UPDATE - What Happened!?
09-03 UPDATE - Don't Call It A Comeback!
09-09 UPDATE - The Final Stretch!!!
09-10 UPDATE - We Did It!!!!!!
My name is Jeff Frost. I scour the planet looking for abandoned structures. When I find a room in one that I like, I set up camp there (sometimes literally). I then proceed to paint large scale optical illusions on the interior walls, which I record with stop motion and time lapse photography.
In 2012 I released an art film & eBook constructed from 40,000 photographs called Flawed Symmetry of Prediction. It went viral and was featured on The Atlantic, io9, Colossal, NPR, Discover and many others. My subjects were the interiors of abandoned buildings, where I painted abstract optical illusions on the crumbling walls.
Immediately after this film was released I began working on a follow up film titled, Modern Ruin. Modern Ruin is a contemplation of the idea that creation and destruction is the same thing. The white hole from which our universe sprang, and the blackness into which it may disappear testify to as much, yet these bookends of existence are inadequate to address everything in between. For a better sense of what it is to exist we must speak to atoms, trees, whole collections of worlds, and of course, womankind*.
As with all my films, every event depicted in Modern Ruin happened in naked reality, from the riots, to the optical-illusion paintings. In the same way that you, life itself and even the laws of the universe are deeply paradoxical, so too are the realities pieced together to form this non-reality.
The first half of this film, Modern Ruin: Black Hole is being released in conjunction with this Kickstarter campaign. To date, nearly 150,000 photographs have been shot for this film with far more required to bring it to completion. Your support will accelerate and elevate the second half of this project. Your support will also grant you access to the creation and destruction process of the film itself. As a supporter you can expect frequent and exclusive dispatches from the field, and not just about the successes.
Donations will be used for the typical expenses involved in the making of a film such as equipment, travel and personnel costs. This film has no direct financial support, except for us. It is art for the sake of art, which is why your support is so sincerely appreciated. Thank you for your time, and I can’t wait to show you the second half of Modern Ruin!
- Jeff Frost
*Womankind - I have begun switching male pronouns for female pronouns in my everyday speech to point out how far we still have to go before equality is reached. I encourage you to try it, even if it's only for one day.
Risks and challenges
I am often asked, "Why are you doing this? Where will this art wind up? How will you make money doing this?" The answer to these all of these questions is, I don't know! I'm doing this because I can't not do it. I'm obsessed and I couldn't stop even if I tried.
A significant challenge in creating this work is to not die. The physical risks of being in a riot doing a moving shot on a tripod for four hours (see: Modern Ruin at 1:04) are fairly obvious, as are the risks in shooting wildfires, exploring storm drains on the LA River and potentially toxic abandoned structures. But I'm okay with all of that; it's part of the adventure.
The biggest challenge has come down to dollars and cents. With that in mind, I'd like to illustrate by accounting for the expenses I've incurred since I began about 18 months ago:
Equipment (both purchased and rented) - $8,200
Travel (gas, airfare, vehicle maintenance, vehicle rental, food, campsite fees, etc) $16,500
Personnel (assistants, camerawomen, etc) - $2,900
Art Supplies (paint, brushes, tools, raw materials, etc) - $1,700
Site Fees - $4,600
TOTAL COST TO DATE $33,900
Every spare cent I make winds up going into this art project. Your support will allow me to purchase the things I need to continue doing what I do. It will provide me with breathing room to overcome mistakes and develop new techniques.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
I do my own music and sound design for my films. In a former life I was a struggling musician in LA slogging it out in the clubs before I turned to a life of crime/art.
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