Jennifer Steinkamp For Older Children



Jennifer Steinkamp

American, born 1958

Subject: Moving image

Activity: Create a moving image with multiple layers. 

Materials: transparency paper, permanent marker

Vocabulary: layers, forms, dynamic, symbiosis


In this work, artist Jennifer Steinkamp uses a computer program to combine many small images into larger moving forms. Notice how the shapes are similar but not exactly the same. They are interdependent and combine to create the completed work. The work is layered with many different images on top of one another that move together dynamically.


Do these forms remind you of anything in real life? Can you tell which forms are combined to create a larger shape? Choose an individual shape in this work that you find most interesting. Why did you choose it? How does it change when you look at other shapes around it?


Using the permanent marker, draw any shape onto one of the pieces of paper. Then, think of another version of that shape; think of giving it a different edge, or changing its size. Draw it on the next transparency. Continue with this process for each piece of transparency paper you have. Put the shapes on top of each other and move the pieces back and forth. In your finished creation, how do your shapes rely on each other to create a new form? If you change the order of your layers does it change the way the image looks?


Many of the artist's other works of art feature trees and plant life. This work of art explores the concept of symbiosis which describes two life forms that exist coexist and benefit from a mutual relationship.

Look again

You can rotate the individual images to change the movement of your final product.


Symbiosis - Interaction between two different life forms that gain an advantage from each other Dynamic - Having a quality of movement or seeming to move; many parts in motion Layer - A certain section of material on a surface Form - A shape, outline, or object in an artwork