Western Illinois Professor Discusses SLIPKNOT's Inclusion In 'Vultus' Project

Two photographs of masks from the Iowa metal band SLIPKNOT are featured in Vultus, an animated sequence of masks from Western Illinois University Professor of Art Bruce Walters, which will be projected onto a handful of museums in eastern Iowa and western Illinois, including the 50-foot facade of the Figge Art Museum in downtown Davenport, Iowa.

Vultus (Latin for "face" or for "appearance and expression") is a looped video of more than 100 masks (the video will be 10-15 minutes in length, but will run perpetually as a loop). Many of the masks are specific to Halloween, but a number of African, Asian and Native American cultural masks and sculptures of faces and masks are also included. All masks face directly forward and are aligned so they virtually morph from one into the other. Each mask is shown for about 8 seconds — including the transitions. The video is in high contrast black and white.

The masks have "a psychological aspect, which I think is intriguing," Walters told The Des Moines Register. "Even when I was photographing them, all of a sudden it felt like you were in the room with a stranger. There's something very threatening, very aggressive, especially with the blank white faces, like the hockey mask. I found that to be the most frightening. You can't read their intentions. You don't know what they're thinking."

Regarding SLIPKNOT's inclusion in the project, Walters told The Des Moines Register, "I don't know their music especially well, but I looked on YouTube and my first thought was that these guys are great. It was so brutal, so over-the-top. I thought, 'These guys really know theater.'"

One of the above-mentioned SLIPKNOT photographs can be seen in the first of two videos below (around the 8-second mark).

(Thanks: www.SlipknotNine.com)

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