The Expectation of the Observed, 5:00min, puppet stop motion, 2022

score: Andrew Paul Keiper



I feel like a stranger in my own home when I’m asked “What are you?”; called “racially ambiguous”. They demand that I name my meat, clarify my race so that they know how to treat me. Hospes is a short experimental puppet stop motion that asks, how do you stay whole within a society that wants to deconstruct you? Performing a choreography of resistance, a scaffolded amalgam of body pieces tries to remain whole in an environment programmed to disassemble it.


Hospes is the Greek root of the word “hospitality”, “host”, “guest” and “stranger”. The duality of this word’s meaning echoes the subtexts associated with words we use to identify ourselves. In Hospes, a body is illustrated not through words, but as a collection of meaty performing pieces.


I am often told that I appear “racially ambiguous” and asked “what are you?”, a question that demands that I name my meat, the thing that is most visibly me. This clarification of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, etc. identifies who I am and the contexts that those identifier words are associated with. Black. Asian. Queer. Female. Ultimately, this tells them how to treat me.


Hospes is a 12 minute puppet stop motion that expands the definitions of being as intersectional, multi-layered, transitional and resistant against a social code based in categorization, for example “black women look or behave like …this or that”.


It features a patchwork of unnamable body pieces, “performers” that are stitched and tucked together with remnant material. Flayed from their containment of skin, protuberances bouncing, puppeted rigs fully visible, these autonomous meaty performers are individually scaffolded but can also move in way that affect each other, in congress, like a school of fish.


These performers first appear in a low-lit unconfined space that gradually reveals itself as a corridor of doors. The animation portrays a choreography of resistance by these scaffolded meaty bits, battling to remain wholly together against the seductive advances of the chorus of opening and closing doors intent on separating and sorting their pieces.

Hospes trailer

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