Machines For Thinking is a series of short animations by Claudia Hart expanding on early twentieth-century still-life painting from the School of Paris, but placed in the context of the post-digital moment.
Borrowing the compositional strategies of the paintings in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago where she teaches, Hart has created animated images-within-images, as simulated architectures open onto framed paintings that open onto simulated landscapes and rooms bestowed with animated paintings. With this series, the artist has constructed digital pictorial-clockworks in which wheels-within-wheels turn at different rates and temporal schemes to animate worlds that are uncanny and mesmerizing.
With her work Hart proposes a liminal space of contemplation and repose. Her goal is to use the possibilities engendered by computer imaging to ameliorate the cultural traumas they have also engendered. The Machines for Thinking series portrays environments in which time is fluid and elastic, and as a result, possesses all of the meditative properties these qualities permit.