The CalArts Pool Fisheye Snapshot

Kerstin L. Hovland (Film/Video 12)

Hovland and Emery C. Martin (Experimental Animation 06) aka Electronic Countermeasures just wrapped up designing video for Tears for Fears’ 2022 North American/UK tour. It was their first time working with the legendary act and despite a compressed timeline, created a show that seamlessly moved from animation, live-action, and practical visual effects. Hovland, having grown up listening to Tears for Fears in the back of her mom’s Plymouth Horizon, took a very instinctual approach to what imagery to pull from that included the sun, sunflowers, celestial imagery, and collage. Martin looked at the canvas their animated and live-action work would live within, a large tilted circular projection screen ringed with light fixtures to drive some of his aesthetic explorations while also delving into the archive of footage he’s shot of liminal zones within Los Angeles over the last six years for the iconic hit “Mad World.” Hovland had the vision to recreate the iconic Tears for Fears sun and asked Christy Heyob (Experimental Animation 12) to sculpt the sun, which Hovland would hand-gild with gold leaf, and hand off to Martin to light and shoot. They also brought in two guest animators, Hovland’s own mom Annette Hovland to create the stop-motion assets and collages for “Seeds of Love” that Kerstin and classmate Meejin Hong (Experimental Animation 12) animated into mesmerizing bouquets of flowers. In the end, Hovland and Martin melded together their unique visual interpretations of the music in record time to create a show that’s been described as “…enhancing the songs with urgency, poetry and psychedelic vibes…” and creating forms that “…suggest a secular sort of mysticism—a hidden knowledge rooted in cosmic symbolism.”