Award-winning speculative fiction animator John Butler, one half of the Butler Brothers, will be making a rare appearance at the Exchange Rates Expo in Brooklyn, New York from October 23rd to 26th. John will be exhibiting alongside artist and filmmaker Patrick Jameson and artist Ellis Luxemburg, as part of the Glasgow’s Queen’s Park Railway Club at the Fuchs Projects, 56 Bogart Street.
Exchange Rates is an international expo of art and art galleries in around the Bushwick area of Brooklyn presenting work by exchange artists from around the world:
Conceived and produced by arts organizations helmed by artists and curators in Bushwick, Brooklyn and London, England, Exchange Rates—known also in this inaugural iteration as The Bushwick Expo—is an international exposition of artworks and curatorial programs in which host spaces in one art community open their doors and share their walls with kindred spaces on visit from elsewhere.
Some exhibits will be integrated, some collaborative yet autonomous, some even spontaneous or virtual.
The rates of exchange, as such, will fluctuate, while the currencies of exchange—ideas and culture—remain fixed.
As regular readers to Dangerous MInds know, I am a big fan of John Butler’s work and have been banging the drum for his speculative animations for some considerable time. For those who don’t know his work, Butler, to give a snapshot, is a hybrid of J. G. Ballard, John Carpenter via Stanley Kubrick—an imaginative and intelligent dystopian, who has an exacting and precise style to his animated films.
Today, Butler will be premiering his recently completed speculative science fiction animation, the so-called Amazon cycle of four films (a reference to working practices of the company rather than the South American river) contained in Descention along with The Terminal Node. Butler’s recent work examines the processes by which capitalism uses technology to dehumanize a workforce.
As Butler explained via email:
Descention draws a straight line from military robotics to retail cybernetics, from DARPA to Amazon.
Through a series of mutations, the human candidate is gradually purged of all non-essential attributes in an attempt to meet the imperatives of growth.
This process of adaptive degradation eventually leads to the distillation of human demand into an intelligent algorithm, fully able to realise it’s own destiny.
It is similar to The Incredible Shrinking Man except that his mutation is driven by the market rather than radiation.