Animal Charm is the collaborative project of Rich Bott and Jim Fetterley, sound and media artists and graduates of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Assuming a deconstructive take on propriety, Animal Charm began creating videos as an act of Electronic Civil Disobedience. Diving the dumpsters of video production companies and scrounging through countless hours of industrial, documentary, and corporate video footage, Animal Charm often edit the tapes in a live mix session before an audience. By re-editing images derived from a wide variety of sources, they scramble media codes, creating a kind of tic-ridden, convulsive babble, their disruptive gestures often investing conventional forms with subversive meanings.
Animal Charm are inspired by a virtual community on the web that is concerned with recycled media, congenial to projects such as John Oswald's Plunderphonics, Stock Hausen and Walkman, Dummy Run, and heavy warped records.
"A pesty spectacle that comes across like channel surfing in a suburb of Hell. Animal Charm has exchanged resurrection for deconstruction. Their videoworks, such as Slow Gin Soul Stallion and Ashley are the return of dead media, only here the embalming fluid still sings in their veins."
—Steve Seid, Pacific Film Archive
"Animal Charm's tapes are mind-bendingly inventive experiments in uncanny, surreal montage that defy logical analysis."
—Gavin Smith, New York Video Festival
"The two exemplary shows of 2000 that rocked my world and justified my love—make that masochism of the margin: in September, Animal Charm's wild-ass, wigged-out, red-hot live video remix of bad 80s TV; in November, the deliriously delicious (improvised?) duet between accordionist Mark Growden and the eye-popping emulsion experiments of Thad Povey's (found) Scratch Films. New wine in old bottles!"
—Craig Baldwin, Other Cinema, San Francisco Bay Guardian, Best of 2000 issue