Totem Pill

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Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.

You can download the Flash 8 File. It contains all of the elements used to create the animation.

Totem Pill is inspired by Robert Anton Wilson’s description of Timothy Leary’s Eight Circuit Model of Human Consciousness. 

The model addresses the question of how and why the mind evolved into an organ of consciousness. Beginning with a single celled organism, each system of consciousness is created as an emergent phenomenon of the previous system in an ever more complex networking process, leading towards a godlike state existing in all time-space with the possibility of engaging with other time spaces. The model is a creation myth, a cosmic blueprint, and fertile territory for the imagination.

The Eight Circuit Model seems to be a persistently useful tool for interpreting reality and understanding the origins of certain behavioral patterns. To design a totem pole based on this model was an opportunity to creatively explore the fascinating realm of ideas described by the model.  The result, Totem Pill is an encapsulation of that exploration.

I began with research into the various interpretations of the Eight System Model. Then from my notes I distilled these ideas into symbols.  These images were rendered as painted sketches (check them out here) with acrylic and ink on paper before being developed into a Flash animation.

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Of Sequential Desire


This animation was created for the Of Sequential Desire (Evolution of the Animation Cell) show at W.K.P Kennedy Gallery in North Bay Ontario.

The exhibit, guest curated by Mark LaLiberte will bring together young and emerging artists who are expanding the notion of cartooning and “sequential art”. The exhibit will include concrete poetry, flash animations, paintings, graphic novels and video.

This show includes works by Dan Kennedy, Gus Morin, Mark Laliberte, Marc Ngui, Chantelle Rousseau, Robbie Adamson, Cameron Armstrong, and Ian Patrick McAllister.

The show also includes a small selection of works from the Art Gallery of Algoma’s collection of vintage cells.

The exhibit runs from 19 July to 20 August 2008.


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Last Modified 15 August, 2008 7:38 PM