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Phil Hastings receives grant to complete video project
Friday, September 19, 2014

Phil Hastings receives grant to complete video project

Associate Professor Phil Hastings

Visual Arts and New Media professor Phil Hastings has received a $2,500 New York State Electronic Media and Film Finishing Funds grant from the New York Council for the Arts to assist in the completion of his “Morphology” series.

The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes administers this highly competitive grant, which provides support to New York State artists for the completion or post-production of film, video, sound, new media and Web-based art. Twelve different projects were awarded a total of $26,000 this year. Grants ranged from $500 to $2,500. Hastings was one of two Western New York artists to be funded, the remaining 10 recipients based in the greater New York City region.

"The 12 projects funded this year are excellent examples of the creativity, experimentation and collaboration at work in electronic media and film today. We are honored to award these grants,” said ARTS Council Executive Director Ginnie Lupi.

“Morphologies” creates new video-based life forms through the manipulation of raw video data and presents these life forms in a series that draws inspiration from turn-of-the-century scientific investigations, Hastings said. “The project also references the historical act of collecting the unknown to better understand our significance in the universe.”

The collection will be presented in a gallery setting with each video-based life form displayed in a small wooden display case reminiscent of specimen cases from the 19th century. Each specimen will be labeled with the pertinent scientific information associated with the created Linnaean classifications.

“The process by which this video series is created is similar to genetic modification. I enter into the material at the most basic level, in my case, the pixel, and through manipulation transform and alter the original data to create something new while retaining trace elements of the original. This transformation is a matter of organic exploration,” Hastings explained.

“The more I push these results, the more removed the final imagery is from the original source material. Through precise animation using key frames applied to custom designed software effects each specimen’s outcome is realized through countless evolutionary steps in the process.”

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