New York-based innovator Ted Wiggin makes software tools and then uses them to explore new forms of expression through animation. His films erect brilliant, ever-shifting landscapes containing subtle allegories and personal imaginings.
Lizard Ladder started as a custom software that Wiggin designed to generate “inbetweens,” the transitional frames in animation that create the illusion of fluid movement from one moment to the next. He was not as concerned with the visual aspects of the tool as he was in developing a technique that was quick and easy to use. Working within the limitations of his own software, Wiggin created a striking, morphing portal that provided the structure for his resulting film, also called Lizard Ladder.
“I think the software we use has some agency over what we make with it. I hoped that by making the software myself I’d have a better shot at making a more personal film.” TED WIGGIN
Pivoting around a lizard, a dog, and a snake that tumble through a constellation of pixels, Lizard Ladder continually dissolves and reforms into new scenarios, guided by Wiggin’s minimal and beguiling lo-fi style and enigmatic soundscape. The animals entangle across time and space as they compete to obtain a mysterious egg in sequences that twist, turn, and surprise with each algorithmical beat.
Ted Wiggin is an animator, compositor and software developer. In addition to the Lizard Ladder software, his other inventions include Tinker Yonder, inspired by the 1970 computer game Life; Rose Engine, which creates “organic sinusoidal patterns” inspired by the films of Jordan Belson; and Fluxus Vox, a custom granular synthesizer. All are freely available and can be downloaded from Wiggin’s website, where you can also find video tutorials for how to use them, in addition to a collection of Wiggin’s other innovative short films. Lizard Ladder was a Vimeo Staff Pick and premiered at Slamdance in 2021.