Block title

Work Samples

Individual Grains: micro-animation

When seen in a pile, sand presents itself as uniformity: black sand, red sand, fine sand, coarse sand. But upon close inspection, even the most homogeneous manufactured sand disperses into individuality. When animated at this level of magnification, a single grain finds its own autonomy.

Black Butterfly - detail

Black Butterfly is a video installation and sculpture that uses location mapping from Open Baltimore Police Department Part 1 Victim Based Crime Data. Each grain of sand represents one individual who was killed in Baltimore from 2007-2017.

The Klondike Letters Project

Postcard written on the Chilkoot Trail.
The Klondike Letters Project is an ongoing public art project in Klondike Goldrush International Historic Park. Hikers preserve a memory from the top of Chilkoot Pass by writing a postcard to their future self, which is then sent one year later. These are postcards from 2016 season on the Chilkoot Trail.

A Tangled Tale

A lone fish, hooked by an angler's line, encounters another in the same dire situation. As the two fish struggle against their fate, they develop an inevitable, entangling attraction. Is it love or merely a will to survive? This vibrant, watery underwater world showcases my revolutionary approach to sand animation, a seamless blend of traditionally handcrafted imagery and technological innovation.

Share:

About Corrie

Baltimore County

Corrie Francis Parks brings life to the inanimate through frame-by-frame manipulation of physical materials. With one hand under the camera and the other on the computer keyboard, her films and photography maintain an organic connection to traditional production methods while fully integrating digital technology. Corrie received her B.A. from Dartmouth College and her MFA from University of Southern California. Now an Assistant Professor of Visual Arts at University of Maryland, Baltimore... more

Individual Grains

When seen in a pile, sand presents itself as uniformity: black sand, red sand, fine sand, coarse sand. But upon close inspection, even the most homogeneous manufactured sand disperses into individuality. When animated at this level of magnification, a single grain finds its own autonomy. We like to categorize and quantify, which is easy enough with inanimate objects. Numbers make it easy to pass judgement and pass policies. But when a grain of sand is animated, it reveals its inner motivation and we catch a glimpse of its story. It transforms into an unquantifiable encasement of life.

Each work in this collection explores an angle of the social and political systems in which the individual can be lost in the abstractness of the group. The light sculptures offer a tangible presence which can be inspected in an intimate setting, while the accompanying video are a meditation on the life within each grain of sand.

  • Individual Grains at Spectrum

    Video and photo documentation of five video and sculpture installations at the Center for Art, Design, and Visual Culture at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, USA. Each work in this collection explores an aspect of the social and political systems in which the individual can be lost in the abstractness of the group.
  • Black Butterfly

    Black Butterfly is a video installation and sculpture that uses location mapping from Open Baltimore Police Department Part 1 Victim Based Crime Data. Each grain of sand represents one individual who was killed in Baltimore from 2007-2017.
  • Black Butterfly - detail

    Black Butterfly is a video installation and sculpture that uses location mapping from Open Baltimore Police Department Part 1 Victim Based Crime Data. Each grain of sand represents one individual who was killed in Baltimore from 2007-2017.
  • Desired to Move

    Desires to Move is a video installation and sculpture about systemic racism in housing policy and its generational repercussions in underserved communities. Shot at macro level, tiny grains of sand navigate through color-coded “neighborhoods”, sourced from the 1937 Residential Security Map of Baltimore
  • Desires to Move - detail

    Desires to Move is a video installation and sculpture about systemic racism in housing policy and its generational repercussions in underserved communities. Shot at macro level, tiny grains of sand navigate through color-coded “neighborhoods”, sourced from the 1937 Residential Security Map of Baltimore
  • Political Bands

    Political Bands is a video installation and sculpture about the dissolution of ideological and cultural groups in the current political climate. Shot at macro level on a $100 bill, tiny grains of sand group, dissolve, and regroup in an endless cycle.
  • Political Bands - detail

    Political Bands is a video installation and sculpture about the dissolution of ideological and cultural groups in the current political climate. Shot at macro level on a $100 bill, tiny grains of sand group, dissolve, and regroup in an endless cycle.
  • Messy Conversation

    A piece about difficult conversation between opposing sides.
  • Messy Conversation - detail

    A piece about difficult conversations between opposing sides.
  • Studio documentation

    Macro sand animation

The Klondike Letters Project

The Klondike Letters Project is an ongoing public art project in collaboration with Klondike Goldrush International Historic Park. From June 25 thru July 7, 2012, I hiked the historic Chilkoot Trail as an artist-in-residence. During that 2 week period, I asked my fellow travelers to write a postcard to themselves as they hiked over the historic Chilkoot Pass from Alaska to the Yukon. The 174 postcards, along with sound recordings and my drawings from the trail, formed a collective memory portrait of the Chilkoot Trail. One year later, when the words and images of that journey had lost their sharpness and faded in the mind, I mailed those postcards to the writers as a vibrant catalyst for our memories of the Chilkoot.

From July 5 thru July 9, 2016, I hiked the trail again bringing a box of fresh postcards in the hopes of establishing an ongoing project. With the help of trail rangers and hut wardens from the National Parks Service and Parks Canada, we collected over 650 postcards in 2016 and over 1200 postcards in 2017! Learn more and read postcards on klondikeletters.com

On a deeper level, this project is about why we seek out places of wildness and what we experience there. Though the stampeders were seeking gold in the Klondike wilderness, the vast majority didn’t find their fortune. From their letters and diaries, we can see they did find other things: adventure, suffering, love, an insight into human nature at its best and worst. It’s a long journey to get to the Klondike. What do you find in this place that you can’t experience in your daily life, what moment is going to change your life in some small but hopefully significant way? Ultimately, this is what makes these places worth preserving.

  • The Klondike Letters Project

    Postcard written on the Chilkoot Trail.
    The Klondike Letters Project is an ongoing public art project in Klondike Goldrush International Historic Park. Hikers preserve a memory from the top of Chilkoot Pass by writing a postcard to their future self, which is then sent one year later. These are postcards from 2016 season on the Chilkoot Trail.
  • Chilkoot Pass

    Hikers arriving at the warming hut at the top of Chilkoot Pass.
  • Postcard

    A postcard written by a hiker
  • Postcard

    A postcard written by a hiker
  • Postcard

    A postcard written by a hiker
  • Postcard

    A postcard written by a hiker
  • Postcard

    Postcard written by a hiker at the top of Chilkoot Pass
  • Postcard

    Postcard drawn by a hiker at the top of Chilkoot Pass
  • Postcard

    Postcard written by a hiker at the top of Chilkoot Pass
  • Postcard

    Postcard written by a hiker at the top of Chilkoot Pass

Coyote

Video, 2017
Individual grains of sand take on new life as they dance to a joyful percussion interlude.
All animation was done by hand, frame by frame, under the camera. Shot on a Nikon D810 with a 200mm macro lens.

Animation by: Corrie Francis Parks (corriefrancis.com/)
Music by: Alexandra Gardner (alexandragardner.net/)
Performed by: Percussions de Barcelona

  • Coyote

    Coyote is a short sand animation based on an original musical composition called "Coyote" by Baltimore composer Alexandra Gardner. All animation was done by hand, frame by frame, under the camera with individual grains of sand, shot with a 200mm Nikon lens. This is a prototype piece for a longer forthcoming work that examines individuality in data and statistics. 1'10" 2017 Animation by: Corrie Francis Parks Music by: Alexandra Gardner Performed by: Percussions de Barcelona A full artist's statement is at the following link.
  • Coyote

    Film still
  • Coyote

    Film still
  • Coyote

    Film still

Projected Aquaculture

Projected Aquaculture is a large-scale projection created for and exhibited at the Light City Baltimore Festival in collaboration with artist Kelley Bell. The whimsical animated work draws parallels between the fragile ecosystem and recent regeneration of the Chesapeake Bay and its landmark city, Baltimore, Maryland.

Learn more about our City, our Bay, and the fish featured in Projected Aquaculture in our online Limerick Field Guide. As you watch the piece, play our online interactive bingo game, Bay Bingo. The first to find 4 fish in a row, wins!

Exhibitions

Light City Baltimore
28 March – 3 April, 2016
Columbus Center, Baltimore, MD

Animafest goes MSU
21 May – 9 June, 2016
Zagreb Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, Croatia

A Tangled Tale

Video, 2013
A lone fish, hooked by an angler's line, encounters another in the same dire situation. As the two fish struggle against their fate, they develop an inevitable, entangling attraction. Is it love or merely a will to survive?

This vibrant, underwater world showcases a revolutionary approach to sand animation. Animated in sand with watercolor backgrounds, the 3600 frames of the film are a seamless blend of traditionally handcrafted imagery and digital painting. The technique involves moving sand on a backlit plate of glass, creating silhouetted animation that is captured frame-by frame. Each drawing is destroyed in the process of creating the next, so at the end of the process there remains only a pile of sand. Through the art of compositing and motion design, it is the first film to expand the black and white aesthetic of traditional sand animation to include vibrant color and cinematic movement.

Love is a slippery business. Some will point to the heavens or chance as the source of our relationships, while others plow forward on the strength of self-determination. Either way, there is pain intertwined with a growing attraction, and the survival of a relationship depends on the perseverance of the lovers. In "A Tangled Tale", the fisherman’s line becomes an enigmatic metaphor for a fate and attraction, leading us to consider what is the source of our love and where it will ultimately take us.

  • A Tangled Tale

    A lone fish, hooked by an angler's line, encounters another in the same dire situation. As the two fish struggle against their fate, they develop an inevitable, entangling attraction. Is it love or merely a will to survive? This vibrant, watery underwater world showcases my revolutionary approach to sand animation, a seamless blend of traditionally handcrafted imagery and technological innovation.
  • A-Tangled-Tale---Poster.jpg

    A Tangled Tale - film poster
    A Tangled Tale - film poster
  • A Tangled Tale

    A Tangled Tale - film still
    A Tangled Tale - film still
  • A Tangled Tale

    A Tangled Tale - film still
    A Tangled Tale - film still
  • A Tangled Tale - production

    Production still
    Production still

Connect with Corrie

Corrie's Curated Collection

This artist has not yet created a curated collection.