Director: Karl Erickson
Bio: Karl Erickson lives in Memphis, Tennessee. He received his MFA from California Institute of the Arts and his BFA from Wayne State University. He makes videos and audio/visual-performances about language, transformative experiences, self-betterment and environmentalism. His screen-based work takes place in galleries, museums, film festivals and music venues. He is particularly interested in how communication and kinship can be made across different entities, plants to humans, machines to animals.
Recent exhibitions include “Know No Now” at TSI/Harland Snodgrass Gallery, Alfred University, Alfred, NY,” “Language as Shapes” (with Andrew Falkowski), at The Suburban, Milwaukee, WI, “Learn Sing Plants Counting Monsters Colors Alphabets,” at Clough-Hanson Gallery, Rhodes College, Memphis, TN, “Another Dimension: Digital Art in Memphis,” Memphis Brooks Museum of Art,Memphis, TN, “Are You Connect?” at the Electronic Arts Gallery of Colorado State University, “Time For Something Else” with Laurie Nye at Day & Night Projects, Atlanta, “We Could Be Transcendent Apes” at Field Projects Gallery in New York City, “2020 Megalith” at The Wrong Biennial, and “Screen2019: Climates” at UMASS, Amherst, MA. Recent video screenings and performances were included in the Memphis Concrète Experimental Music Festival 2021, The Performing Media Festival at Indiana University South Bend, “Adjusting the Lens: Experimental Film and Video Festival,” at Unrequited Leisure, Nashville, TN, Indie Memphis Film Festival 2019 and 2020, and That One Film Festival in Muncie, IN. He has been an artist in residence at The Arctic Circle, Plyspace and Signal Culture. He is an Assistant Professor of Digital Art at Rhodes College, Memphis, TN.
Film: Know No Now is an animation of two puppets, Jelly Pop and Perky Jean, struggling to figure out how to live beyond the present moment of extraction-based capitalism and the resulting environmental destruction. Working through fear (of language, of the other, of time, and of the self), Jelly Pop and Perky Jean arrive at a mental space in which they imagine themselves outside of time, no longer ego driven, and having a long view of existence.
Know No Now was created in collaboration with Artificial Intelligence and is part of an ongoing project in which I am working with Artificial Intelligence to create absurd educational programming inspired by A.I.s’ (mis)understandings of children’s television shows, emphasizing how human-caused environmental collapse is communicated. For Know No Now I asked A.I. to create two ideal puppets for explaining climate change, one more free-spirited, the other more worried, resulting in Jelly Pop and Perky Jean. I then modeled and animated them with 3D software. For the script, I prompted another A.I. to help write the “songs” and situations, including two puppets being confused by the similar sounding and looking words “know,” “no,” and “now.” Finally, additional animations were created that transform between images in order to make the interstitial scenes, which move the puppets from positions of terror about the unknown future into an acceptance of the long now.