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“Phototaxis” draws parallels between Mothman, a prophetic and demonized creature in West Virginia lore, and Narcotics Anonymous, the main treatment program in West Virginia’s addiction epidemic. Rooted in nonfiction, this film contemplates synchronicity and the role of belief systems in perception; the tendency to assign supernatural meaning to tragedy and the unknowable; anonymous and apocryphal oral histories; and the moth to the flame. To visualize these narratives, natural materials and pastel-on-paper palimpsest animation are woven together using a multiplane and analog overhead projection.

Director's Biography:

Melissa Ferrari is an experimental animation artist who seeks to acquaint mythologies of the past with contemporary ideas through the lens of philosophy. In exposing peripheral histories, she seeks to unveil the mystery and wonder that lies in the shadow of nonfiction, rather than fiction. Ultimately, her practice is compelled by a desire to critically traverse philosophical ideas in an art made by hand.

Originally from Virginia, Melissa is now based in Los Angeles where she is pursuing an Experimental Animation MFA at CalArts. Previously, she worked as an animation artist at Dusty Studio in New York City, where her work was featured in The New York Times Op-Docs, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Nautilus, TED Talks and PBS. Melissa received a BA in Philosophy from Tufts University and a BFA focusing in animation and printmaking from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Melissa Ferrari
Melissa Ferrari
Melissa Ferrari
8 Minutes
Watch the Trailer
1/27/19 11:00am at Acadiana Center for the Arts (AcA)
premiere v4
contributing 2019 2
international 2019 3