Dane Watkins is an artist and digital animator. Using his
characteristic stark and precise black line drawings set on white
background, his work abstracts the human experience of modern,
technological life. His beautifully crafted images construct human
bodies from mechanical elements. Personal relationships, the drudgery of daily office work and the strategies by which we construct our self images are suggested by the movements of a surreal and darkly humorous array of objects: human body parts, beer pumps, megaphones and meat grinders. His work always explores structures other than the linear narrative and suggests an attitude to the passage of time in which neat conclusions are never reached. Actions occur in random patterns or loop endlessly. Dane also produces animations in which the view
takes an active role, clicking to make choices between absurd
alternatives, or constructing bizarre images of themselves by
responding to their likes and dislikes. Much of Dane work hints at the construction of the social self and the relation of this self to
underlying and more complex realities.

This interest in public and private realms has led the artist in
recent years to explore the potential of animation in public spaces
whether this is installations in the foyers of arts institutions,
screens outside fire stations or creating animations for toilet doors,
indicating male or female / vacant or occupied. Dane was
working on a project supported by Hewlett Packard and Watershed, exploring ways of creating animation that responds to weather conditions. In the context of Animations for Public Places, this project would serve as a case study, demonstrating possible techniques, an approach to animation as moving public sculpture and one potential way in which animation can make itself intrinsically linked to the conditions of its surroundings.