I searched for that very essence that would somewhat explain human experience, the purpose of repetition and predictability as observed in myself and others. Our trajectories are known. We alternate between extremes: lets call them A and B. Today one sways to A. Tomorrow to B... A to B, B to A, and again. Yet walking in circles is an illusion. It is really a spiral. The extremes are repeating, yet floors are changing, like steps of Jacob’s ladder, or some sort of a giant genetic code that we are all climbing. This vision gives me strength to go on, to breathe, to try again and again.
Born in Klaipeda, Lithuania, while the country was a part of the USSR, early in life I went through a rigorous education in fine arts. When I was around the age of 10, I saw an installation in Klaipeda Exhibition Hall, called ‘The Water Well’. One hundred clay bells were hung from the ceiling on strings of different lengths. They reflected in a mirror placed underneath. I was familiar with figurative art, but this was different. At that moment I understood the existence of concept, that extra dimension, which expands consciousness beyond what eyes can see. This realization changed everything.
The gage of that pure perfection is somewhere in our system, a place we don’t have a word for. Sometimes I remember. Through glimpses of a soul. This intuitive recollection is a base for my work. The soul remembers something that consciousness doesn't know.
Photo Credit: Serafina Orlovas
In the nineties I emigrating to Western Europe, studying stage directing and touring with a theater company for a number of years. This was an invaluable experience for my future career as a filmmaker. Later studies included National FIlm School of Ireland in Dublin, Film and TV Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU) in Prague, and l'École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (ENSAD) in Paris. I received a BFA in Character Animation from CalArts in 2010 and an MFA in Experimental Animation from CalArts in 2012.
written. The manuscript was presented at &NOW Conference for Authors of Innovative Literature in San Diego, 2010.
In 2012 all the collected memory in me found an outlet through an animated film premiered under the title “Died 100 Times." In this work I was able to make sense of reality into which I was born. Exploring separate lives in one existence, the film makes a point that to evolve and renew, life needs to cease first. The film was shown around the world, including National M. K. Čiurlionis Museum of Fine Art, AMC Theaters Miami, galleries and multiple film festivals, receiving 1st Prize Experimental Animated Film Athens Animfest, Best Animated Short Film Lisbon International Film Festival, and Best Animation Award Golden Reel International Film Festival, among other awards.
In 2018 I have traveled in Tibet where I was confronted with questions answers to which I owed to myself. White is already an absolute. Why would I add anything to it? I wouldn’t of course. An empty canvas is perfect. And in film, a white screen accompanied by a sound of a musical note of A, as a general tuning standard, is perfect. It includes nothing and at the same time everything. I am already happy with this and ready to shed every urge to complicate matters. What happens is that very carefully something is being revealed, I begin to see into that space, help it come to life, giving it a physical shape.
Going into that zone is the happiness I know in life, a miracle I cannot explain. One day it can leave or reveal itself even more. I know for sure – It directs me more than I direct it.
In 2018-2020 I worked on a short animated film, Sulam Yaakov (Jacob’s Ladder). The ladder is the connection between earth and heaven that the biblical patriarch dreams about. A little person is torn and anxious in their many attempts of climbing. While we try again and again there is a rhythm, rhyme-like dynamic in the circumstances, periodic repetition, breathing of elements, glitches. We don’t know what all of that means. We don’t know for generations. Sometimes not directly, but the little man achieves the desired climb. Once the goal is reached, there is still no understanding of how it happened. I dedicated the film to all who try and keep on trying. This work is an example of shedding everything I found unnecessary, and exploring the point of interest only without expectations of beauty and correctness, or any standard of the base education in art established in me from early days. It is post-disciplinary.
I work from the studio, located in the mountains north from Los Angeles. In my late work I concentrate on patterns and look for anything that rhymes to make sense of this amazing matrix that we are all inhabiting. I hope to deconstruct complexity and translate it into simplicity. In the timeline of my life, this current period is most direct, honest, and playful. It is also the bravest, as intuition took over control and expectations.
In 2012 along with filmmaker Masha Vasilkovsky I founded a Los Angeles based film and animation studio LUMEN ANIMAE. For the following years a few art exhibitions and over 20 short films were made, screening at the National TV of China, the US Open Tennis Championship, and numerous film festivals around the world, including Sundance, Tribeca, receiving an Emmy Nomination in 2019.
From 2007 to 2010 I created a series of short animated episodes based on my stories about two characters Oah and Harlam through whose behavior and worldview I could talk about anything I wanted. One can express the hardest truths through the lips of a 'village idiot'. There are more than 50 short episodes