Rose Bond knows what people think when she tells them she’s an animator.
“People think of LAIKA, Will Vinton, especially if you’re in Portland,” she said, referencing two of the top names in commercial, stop-action animation.
Bond’s aesthetic is very different. She calls herself an animator and media artist, and includes “a lot of social practice, a lot of public involvement” in every piece she creates.
Bond’s work isn’t viewed on a traditional screen. Instead, she combines animated elements with sound effects and projects them into windows or onto walls to create unique animation events. The projection becomes part of the environment where the piece is being shown and often incorporates elements of the architecture. Her work has shown in Portland, New York, Exeter Castle in the United Kingdom, Toronto and even Zagreb.
“There’s a lot of interest, I think, in where animation lives nowadays and what animation can say,” Bond said. “It’s not just entertainment.”
A few years ago, Bond began researching neighborhood history to create a piece for an antique building in Portland’s Old Town.
“I used to take the bus downtown, and the bus would go by that building. And it would stop for a second and you’d look out and, of course, you’re looking in windows. And you’d see a little something happen, and the bus would drive on,” she said.
Bond created an animated piece that was projected into the windows, and showed passers-by short scenes from the history of the building.
“I think that’s what my pieces are like,” she said. “They’re like these carefully chosen vignettes that, taken as a whole convey something. There’s an emotionality. There’s an intellectuality.”