Saltwater draws from my childhood near the ocean in California, where my family would walk along concrete boat harbors, wading and exploring. On these outings I found bits of furniture and rocks that appeared to be ripped from the foundations of homes, making me wonder about the histories that lived in these physical objects. These artifacts became beacons of connection to lives lost, as well as a grounding point for my own ideas on non-traditional forms of memory. This film focuses on these ideas of permanence, applying this intense need to manifest physical memories to my first love.

I used artificial intelligence to create many scenes in Saltwater, where a program attempted to recreate archived photos, much like a person struggling to recall a memory. Addressing the instability one feels during changes in relationships, I opened myself to the vulnerability of letting a  program make controlling decisions for this film. I was heavily inspired by the tactile forms of concrete that went along with these physical memories, and made tactile forms an essential component of the production of the film. Every frame was printed out on paper and scanned in, creating a texture that mimicks the pocked feel of concrete.

With Saltwater, I tried to create material, permanent forms of love and self, an impossible task in a transitional life. 


Saltwater is currently being submitted to festivals. Please check back for updates or contact declanmckenna5@gmail.com with any questions.

Screenings:
Student Experimental Film Festival Binghamton, The Bundy Museum of History and Art and Binghamton University, New York (12.03.22)
Tatsuno International Film Festival: Experimental & Animation Without Dialogue, Tatsuno, Japan (11.13.22)
MOV International Student Film Festival of Pernambuco, Pernambuco, Brazil (11.04.22)
Global University Film Awards,
Hong Kong, China (11.01.22)
NEOSFest Encuentro Internacional de Experimentación Audiovisual, Monterrey, Mexico (10.26.22)
Sweaty Eyeballs Animation Festival, Baltimore, MD (10.22.22)
University of Winnipeg Film Festival, Winnipeg, Canada (10.21.22)
Opavský páv – Mezinárodní studentský filmový festival, Opava, Czech Republic (10.11.22)
Equinoxio - 24 Festival Universitario de Cine y Audiovisuales, Bogotá, Colombia (09.23.22)
Animation Commencement Screening, Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD (06.15.22)
LUCID, a Night of Experimental Animation, Baltimore, MD (12.17.21)

Exhibitions:
THE SHOW - Artwalk at the Decker Gallery, Baltimore, MD (May 13 - 16, 2022)
December Senior Exhibition at the Rosenburg Gallery Baltimore, MD (Dec. 13 - 17, 2021)
Saltwater - Solo Exhibition at the Pinkard Gallery, Baltimore, MD (Nov. 9 - Dec. 3, 2021)