James Duesing is a professor in computer animation at Carnegie Mellon University. His work has been exhibited in hundreds of international festivals and exhibitions, and nationally televised in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia. His work has received much recognition including grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, an American Film Institute Fellowship, an Emmy Award, the Deutscher Videokunstpreis, and a CINE Golden Eagle. His work is held in numerous public collections including the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Goethe Memorial Museum (Tokyo), the University of California at Los Angeles Film Archive, and the Israel Museum. Duesing has been active in animation and video since 1983; his works are environmental in nature and often reference game culture, and include Cultural Tourism, Law of Averages, and Maxwell’s Demon.
In Tender Bodies, a 10-minute computer animation set in an environment of hills, animal characters serve as archetypal surrogates for humans. The overlapping story revolves around the characters of Kisser, a carnivore who delights in seduction and consumption, and Other, an outsider who is hunted and dissected at a party. The overarching themes include dependency on consumption and status, the need for spectacle, and the cultural role of outsiders. In an effort to communicate as broadly as possible, Tender Bodies is created without dialogue, but with easily identifiable rules that govern the characters and setting.