Marcie LaCerte

b. 1994 in Vancouver, Canada

Raised in Minnesota

Currently resides in New York, NY

ARTIST'S STATEMENT

I am a filmmaker who uses animation to process my emotions and contextualize personal experiences within a surreal, humorous setting. I'm most inspired by artwork that feels intimate, psychological, and mythic, like The Waves by Virginia Woolf, Kentucky Route Zero by Cardboard Computer, and the work of Leonora Carrington. But, on the surface, my artwork seems lighthearted and fun, and I populate my worlds with irreverent characters, saturated colors, and chaotic energy. By employing a comedic tone and a childlike aesthetic, I undercut the darker themes that I am, at heart, most interested in exploring. I do this because I process my own life experiences through a humorous, ironic lens, and I want to do the same within my artistic practice. Through this balance of levity and emotional sincerity, I aim to create work that feels, in some way, spiritually significant.

This underlying search for meaning is best expressed in film—I’m drawn to the multimedia aspect of filmmaking and the way that words, images, sounds, and music can combine to make a story and express a feeling. I'm also interested in the way that interactive fiction can produce a greater sense of intimacy by actively engaging an audience. And when it comes to independent filmmaking, there is no easier way to self-produce a work in its entirety than through animation.

In my work as an editorial animator, I have to approach each video topic with a new aesthetic. This is a challenge I relish—I am medium-agnostic and am more interested in experimentation than in repeating something I’ve done before. I often employ a multimedia approach, combining hand-drawn 2D animation with paper cutout, found footage, or stop motion elements. I’m inspired by films like Fantastic Planet, Yellow Submarine, and Asparagus that do the same. I do this in part because I want to be economical with my time, but I also find it produces a result that feels funnier, more chaotic, and more mystical.

My projects all stem from personal experiences. But I am uninterested in realism—rather, I process my feelings by creating surrealist environments and mythic narratives. My characters echo different parts of my own personality and the personalities of people I love (or love to hate). I’m interested in characters that hold untenable hypocrisies, who are not self-aware, and who are ultimately very lonely. Of course, this is a form of catharsis, so I use surrealism and mythic motifs to universalize my own feelings and experiences. For example, in my narrative game An Afternoon Rippling (2019), my characters were all inspired by people I knew and had complicated relationships with in college. However, the narrative itself contains magical realist elements—it could be considered a ghost story. My most recent project, Invisible Monsters and Tomato Soup (2021), is a documentary that explores the nature of our dreams during the early months of the pandemic. While the piece strings interview soundbites from other people, I drew from my personal experiences when creating the artwork for the film.

Overall, I want to tell stories that center an internal search for meaning, and I want it to be funny.

EDUCATION

Upright Citizens Brigade / Sketch 101, Improv 101 and 201 (2019-2020)

Minneapolis College of Art and Design / BFA in Animation (2014-2016)

University of California, Los Angeles / Unfinished BA in Psychology (2012-2014)

AWARDS + RESIDENCIES

CalArts Experimental Animation Visiting Artist (2021)

Gracie Award / Quartz, Original Online Programming – News (2020)

Light Grey Art Lab / Artist in Residence (2019)

Loeb Awards / Quartz, Finalist for Video (2019)

Webby Awards / Quartz, Nominee for Video: News & Politics (2019)

James Beard Awards / NPR, Finalist for Online Video, on Location (2019)

White House News Photographers Association / NPR, Second Place for Explainers (2019)

Brazil's Independent Games Festival / Nominee for Best Narrative (2017)

Vimeo / Staff Pick (2017)

AniJam North / Best Environment Design (2016)

MCAD / Presidential Scholarship (2014-2016)

Made @ MCAD / Best in Show (2016)

Adobe Design Achievement Awards / Semifinalist (2015)

FILMOGRAPHY

Independent

Invisible Monsters and Tomato Soup / Nonfiction (2021)

Coxswain's Chicken Kitchen / Fiction (2020)

I’m Paul! / Experimental (2018)

Summer of Love / Fiction (2017)

Tales of Untimely Deaths / Fiction (2016)

The Little Ships / Experimental (2015)

Thporth! / Experimental (2015)

VD is for everybody. / Experimental (2015)

Commissioned

Everything You Wanted to Know About Animal Farts (Great Big Story) / Nonfiction (2020)

The fMRI Machine (Invisibilia) / Fiction (2019)

Geocities (Quartz) / Nonfiction (2019)

The secret life of kids on YouTube (Quartz) / Nonfiction (2018)

The Shrek fandom (Quartz) / Nonfiction (2018)

How To Stop Being A People Pleaser and What We Might Learn In Couples Therapy (The School of Life) / Nonfiction (2018)

How To Find Morels, Winter Foraging, and Foraging a Wild Lunch (NPR) / Nonfiction (2018)

The Marshmallow Test (NPR) / Nonfiction (2018)

Why Cities Are Still So Segregated (NPR) / Nonfiction (2018)

PROJECTS + WRITING

An Afternoon Rippling / Game (2016-2019)

A Theory of Chaos / Interactive essay (2019)

"Bricks: Layers of Intrigue" (Quartz) / Article (2019)

"TikTok: Internet hellscape or #goodcontent?" (Quartz) / Article (2019)

"Hulu's 'Fyre Fraud' vs. Netflix's 'Fyre': A Scorecard" (Quartz) / Article (2019)

"How I became one of the animators of 'Shrek Retold,' a crowdsourced remake of 'Shrek'" (Quartz) / Article (2019)

Neo Noboru / Game, collaborative (2017)

Social Media Bio Generator / Website (2016)

The Final Fieri / Zine, collaborative (2016)

The Complete Encyclopaedia of Humanity / Website (2015)

FESTIVALS + SCREENINGS

WORK + TEACHING EXPERIENCE

Freelance / Animator, video editor, and illustrator (2017-present)

Vox, 'Explained' / Motion Graphics Designer (2020-present)

Great Big Story / Motion Graphics Designer (2019-2020)

Quartz / Animator (2018-2019)

NPR / Video Intern (2017-2018)

MCAD Pre-College Summer Session / Teaching Assistant (2016)

Altered Esthetics / Curatorial Intern (2016)

Independent Filmmaker Project / JuiceMedia Intern (2015-2016)

TALKS

CalArts Experimental Animation / 2021

Living Room Light Exchange / 2020

Light Grey Art Lab / 2019

PRESS

It's Nice That, Invisible Monsters and Tomato Soup documents 20 people’s weird pandemic dreams (2021)

CBC Radio, Why this artist animated people's weird pandemic dreams (2021)

Director's Notes, Take a Surreal Trip Through Our Collective COVID-19 Dreams in Intimate Animation ‘Invisible Monsters and Tomato Soup’ (2021)

The New Yorker, The Mysteries and Motifs of Pandemic Dreams (2021)

Zippy Frames, Invisible Monsters and Tomato Soup (2021)

Girls in Film, MERCURY ANIMADE (2020)

pixelrender.tumblr.com, Top 5 games I played in 2020 (2020)

six second game club (2020)

Edge Guard, 109 - An Afternoon Rippling (2019)

Game Curator, An Afternoon Rippling (2019)

Rock Paper Shotgun, An Afternoon Rippling wants to take you on a very peculiar hike (2019)

Daily Plinth, The Artists Saving the Early Internet (2019)

Popular Sociology, Digital Archaeology (2019)

Vice – Motherboard, More Than 200 Artists Remade 'Shrek' Scene-by-Scene and Boy It Looks Weird (2018)

Cartoon Brew, 200 Artists Collaborated On A Remake Of Dreamworks’ ‘Shrek’ (2018)

Cartoon Brew, Short Pick Of The Day (2018)

Aeon, Why racial segregation is a design feature, not a bug, of US cities (2018)

Vice - The Creators Project (China), 季节动画 | 夏日之爱不到来 (2018)

Girls in Film, Summer of Love: A short animation for lonely girls in the summertime (2017)

It’s Nice That, Marcie LaCerte’s obscure animation follows the pursuit of some summer love (2017)

Skwigly, Summer of Love (2017)

So The Theory Goes, Ones to Watch: Summer of Love (2017)

LINKS

CONTACT

me@marslizard.net

(612) 244-7562

225 E 96th Street, New York, NY 10128