Stupid Tricks has involved the building and film documentation of jimmy-rigged perpetual motion machines in action, seamlessly and eternally looping thanks to some digital sleight of hand. These pieces are inspired both by actual free-energy contraptions built during the Industrial Revolution (arguably perpetual motions golden age) and the looping animations of cinemas prehistory (around the same time). The work turns on notions of empty promises and broken dreams of technology, the implications of looping vs. linear media (why has history favoured one over the other?) and addresses the human obsession with eternity. Stupid Tricks is part of an ongoing project experimenting with loops as structuring devices.
Philippe Blanchard is a filmmaker and animator currently based in Toronto. His background includes cinematography, graphic design, screen-printing, animation and special effects, and encompasses experiences in Canada, Latin America and the Middle East. His most recent work addresses the loop as a structuring device and its narrative and aesthetic implications. He is also interested in charting the fleeting fashions of the video medium through a playful perversion of various animation, broadcast graphics, and post-production techniques. Philippe is currently working at Headgear Animation in Toronto and his personal and commercial work has been shown in Canada, Germany and the United States.