Britta Johnson is a Seattle-based stop-motion animator. She makes video installations and short films, and has directed music videos for bands including Laura Veirs, Lusine, Andrew Bird, and Minus the Bear. Her projects and collaborations with musicians (Mirah and Spectratone Int’l, Robin Holcomb, etc.) have shown in venues including the Lawrimore Project, Bumbershoot, the Henry Art Gallery, and Giant Magnet; the RedCat festival, the PICA’s TBA festival, the Walker Art Center, MassMoCA, the Kennedy Center, and the Boston MFA. Recent activities include The Hover, a solo show of her large-scale animations filmed in Washington State’s regional landscapes and shown at Seattle’s Gallery4Culture, and her Homeostasis video installation, which was on display as part of the group show In the Absence of…, at Greg Kucera Gallery.
Featured image credit: Regan MacStravic
Streamlined Fadeout (2014)
Streamlined Fadeout is a sculptural animation project that unfolded over six months on the SEAT portion of Sound Transit’s Capitol Hill Wall Project in Seattle’s Cal Anderson Park. A grid of hubcap pairs (”pixels”), dark on one side, were flipped and photographed by animators in a series of patterns that suggested cars moving slowly in traffic; additional runs of the pattern were photographed as the light rail station grew closer to completion and the color weathered off.
Installation and animation began October 12, 2013; dark pixels were coated in aquarium-grade activated charcoal and corn syrup.
Qui – Awkaward Human Interest (Music Video) (2013)
Music video for Qui’s song Awkward Human Interest
finding nothing to do, doing something #1 and #2 (2012)
Looping 2-channel video installation.
Laura Veirs – King Kong Kitchie Kitchie Ki- Me- O (Music Video) (2012)
Music video for Laura Veirs’ song King Kong Kitchie Kitchie Ki- Me- O, featuring Bela Fleck on the Banjo.
Crashing Waves (2010)
Two shipwreck victims spend their days on a deserted shore doing remarkable tasks; are they gods, or have they been driven mad by their predicament? Filmed at Fort Worden in Port Townsend, WA, Crashing Waves was made with support from 4Culture, Artist Trust, and Centrum.
Qui – Heat Transfer (documentation) (2010)
A video installation made for ArtSparks 2010.
Last Gasp (2010)
Last Gasp was a Meet the Artist event for Artist Trust Fellowship recipient Britta Johnson. Visitors to the recycling and disposal station were asked for small pieces of trash as they waited in line to unload; Britta animated the pieces at a small mobile animation stand and then returned them to their owners in time to be thrown away.
Lusine – “Two Dots” (music video) (2009)
Music video for Lusine’s song Two Dots.
Britta Johnson (video director for Andrew Bird, among others) brings Lusines gorgeous new single Two Dots to life, illustrating the songs relationships-as-trigonometry analogy in an intricately animated video. In the clip, a pair of marbles—one blue, one yellow—engage in the timeless dance of seduction on a horizontal plain, mapping the ups and downs of a courtship through pencil-drawn geometric principles. Like Two Dots, Johnsons video lives in the middle ground between technology and humanity, emotional immediacy and obsessive detail.
This stop-motion animated film follows large drops of water as they travel through rocks, ferns, plant roots, microbes and other creatures that naturally clean them. Waterway was commissioned by the Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs using Seattle Public Utilities 1% for Art funds and made in partnership with Restore Our Waters, the City of Seattle’s commitment to protect and restore Seattle’s urban waterways.
Large-scale looping video installation.
Golden Shower (2008)
Made for the Northwest Film Forum’s Tubs challenge.
Andrew Bird – Imitosis (music video) (2007)
Music video for Andrew Bird’s song Imitosis.
Mirah and Spectratone Int’l – Supper (music video) (2007)
The glowworm eats snails by liquifying their insides and then drinking them.
This projection is one of 12 made for “Share This Place,” a live show with music performed by Mirah and Spectratone International (Lori Goldston, Kyle Hanson, Kane Mathis, and Jane Hall).
“Share This Place” is co-sponsored/ supported by the City of Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, and Seattle International Children’s Festival.
The Game of Life (2006)
Life can be difficult.
Croissant – Neuf (2006)
Pastries in love.
but soft (2005)
Birds build a dreamy nest. A Signature Short commissioned by the Northwest Film Forum.
Mylab – Master Korean Musicians of Canada (music video) (2004)
Music video for Mylab’s song Master Korean Musicians of Canada.
Laura Veirs – Lost at Seaflower Cove (music video) (2003)
Music video for Laura Veirs’ song Lost at Seaflower Cove
Post Nasal Drift (2001)
Someone’s come down with a bad case of inter-species resource competition.
The sidewalk is blooming!
A space-age luddite freak-out.
Savage Archaeology (2000)
Civilizing forces take control in this backyard excavation.