Out of the Gutter

My first little clip from way back in 2003 when I was teaching myself 3d Studio MAX.


Just some random experiments and such that I’ve done that came out kinda nice and if you like please feel free to download them. Just click to see the big one and do they old Save Image As.. 🙂 More soon!

At the Train Station

(I looked to my left.) Dream inspired. Like- right out of the dream.
I saw this.

At the Train Station (I looked to my left.) by J. Matthew Root – Digital Image 2013

Crystal Scarab

Crystal Scarab by J. Matthew Root – Digital Image 2013

Feed Your Head

Feed Your Head by J. Matthew Root – Digital Image 2013

The Wave

In boardrooms throughout the world a fly sits on the wall and listens to the decisions that change the lives of millions. Decisions that are made by shrewd minds and cold hearts. Things you would hate if you knew them. Lives given values calculated on profit projection charts. Morals as commodities. Interest off of pain.

We knew all of this. Or at the very least we were sure this was the case. Sure enough to create the Fly on the Wall Project. It was a simple addition to the already well underway nanobot model. A camera and a host of other sensory equipment added to the microscopic robots. The conversion of the information was very tough- the fastest we could get it still only supported a very condensed bandwidth of signal- so after heavy filtering we could see an ‘almost’ in focus picture and hear well enough to make out voices most of the time. But it was enough to start with. More than enough.

So from boardrooms just like the ones we would be spying on- the money came. We built it. Well- that’s not quite the right word- nanos were more ‘grown’ than built- but the process did much to blur that line. We improved as much as we could, which wasn’t much. The delivery was incredibly simple. A random emergency inspection for safety reasons opens anyone’s doors- especially in the dead of night when an underpaid security guard won’t think its anything worth bothering to phone their boss about. And the few with tighter security than that we’ve already infiltrated anyway.

So- not much of a story yet, right? Rich schmucks spying on other rich schmucks. Who gives a damn? They probably think of it as some delightfully sick sex game anyway. But, as always, this story didn’t end there. Their sick obsession grew with the eating and before you know it they wanted to know a lot more than just who’s fucking who. They wanted high quality video and stereo sound. They wanted to smell the fear. So we improved and improved and made physics let us have it. So we could deliver it on to you, the addict. Always the faithful pusher there to be your smiling friend for not much more than the change in your purse. Everyone gets what they want. It was a lovely relationship. When we couldn’t supply any more quality we politely suggested that perhaps having more areas bugged might give them some added punch and they all did a lovely little square dance throughout the world rubbing a little clear nano-solution on every surface that might see even a glimpse of something remotely interesting.

It wasn’t enough to watch it on a screen anymore either. They wanted direct links so all they had to do was close their eyes and choose which channel to spy on. And it wasn’t just the rich anymore- everyone wanted a piece of the action. Nothing is a better sales pitch than “Someone is watching you right now- Wanna know who?”

We had to build more than a few new buildings to accommodate the servers to process it all. And- most importantly we had to hire Mel. It was gonna take some damn serious math to handle all of this information and he was the famous pioneer of cross-referenced, multi-layered pattern recognition. He’d written the program that could tell you how many times a word was used as a verb in a sarcastic manner that references a dead grandmother was written by an author with a spotted dog and a yellow bathroom in the entire Library of Congress in less time than it took you to read that sentence. But, as you probably also guessed, he was a bit of an asshole. But great minds are guarded ships and sometimes need to hide behind masks to conduct their business.

You see- Mel turns out to have been setting himself up to get into our shop for quite some time. He used us as a way to piggy-back his masterpiece into every mind everywhere. The man was an artist- and we would be the orchestra to play his 9th symphony. He stuck around long enough to get the work done and then became gradually more and more of a pain in the ass until they had to fire him. Once he knew he was covered by a nice paper trail he could throw the switch and no-one would be the wiser. Although it was quite silly for him to worry about getting caught.

So then he flicked the switch.

And for 23 minutes the world truly thought as one. The psychic feedback was enormous. Every person on the planet experiencing every event on the planet simultaneously. The flow of information entered your mind and suddenly you could see everywhere. Hear everything. Taste, smell and feel all there was- at once. Every mind aware of every other mind in every possible way.

Monkey see, monkey do dominated the world for the first 5 minutes. One person would recoil in horror and all those watching them did the same- touched their faces in the same way- thought the same thought- but slightly different each time- echoing out- contributing to a blanket of shifting fractal emotion that covered the world with our collective minds.

Everyone screamed.


Hearts raced. Panic set in. Ears popped and heard no more but the violence of the fear shook the world and you felt it anyway. Millions of people died. Billions more remained comatose for the rest of their time on this Earth.

Turns out Mel didn’t live through his own greatest performance either. His heart gave out at the height of it. Just when it turned at about 15 minutes in. Suddenly no one wanted to be scared anymore. They were just tired of it. The people that couldn’t deal with it and the ones that fed of it were dead and as they died, and the broken ones went quiet, the negative energies that added to the noise went with them. It simply faded away as the ones left behind wanted to feel the pain and the fear no longer. They stood, for one silent moment, the entire planet with no idea of what to do and no idea how to do it. Every mind in the world was sitting silently in the driver’s seat without a clue where to put the key.

But some had held each other. The lucky ones that had been close enough to a loved one when it happened held on tight. They found sanctuary and safety in the bond. Their love hid there at first. But soon the need for safety vanished and their new instinct was to help. To help by holding. To help by loving. And the thoughts traveled like a wash of warmth through the scared and paralyzed and broken. All those who could hug someone did. Everyone accepted everyone. And all those who’s minds had made it through came out on the other end knowing the single most important thing there is to know:

We are one.

Watcher II

Watcher II (Sphinx) by J. Matthew Root – Digital Image 2013

A combination of dream inspired and mood piece. What does the watcher see?

Watcher II (Sphinx) by J. Matthew Root – Digital Image 2013 – Detail


Gargoyle by J. Matthew Root – Digital Image 2013

There’s a bit of me that’s always up there. Watching. Wondering.

Gargoyle by J. Matthew Root – Digital Image 2013 – Detail


Truth by J. Matthew Root – Digital Image 2013

Kind of a visual poem about truth. I ran with it.

The Angel Show Dream

There were unrelated bits before and after this- but this part really stuck.

I’m walking along in town with my new girlfriend and her friend. She is shorter and cute with long brown hair and wearing all brown. Very hippie-ish, peaceful and kind. She is happy and sad at the same time. More sad than happy though. He is a young black guy who is smart but quiet and reserved. I get the feeling that he doesn’t approve of her being with me. Not so much that he doesn’t approve of me. More that he doesn’t approve of her having a boyfriend.

As we walk along a man stumbles out of an alley and into me. He’s in bad shape. Bloody and coughing. He doesn’t say anything just hands me a sword and takes off his brown leather jacket and gives it to me. The jacket is thin brown leather with holes in various patterns cut into it and sparse silver ornaments. Then he falls down and dies.

We’re all sitting in a Volkswagen Rabbit. She’s driving. I’m in the back. We’re heading back to her house after the ordeal. She lives in a large farmhouse partially overgrown. Potted plants under giant trees. A longer driveway. This is obviously the original old farmhouse surrounded by newer housing on all sides. It has a larger yard than theirs and stands out because its yard isn’t perfectly manicured. It’s in need of paint and some yard work but isn’t really rundown. Its lived in. Comfortable. Field stone foundation with worn wood siding that might have been painted once but doesn’t look bad with the paint gone. Some ivy creeping up. Flat driveway. This house sits on top of a rise. All the newer houses are downhill from it- but only slightly. And the newer houses aren’t really new. They’re almost 50 years old themselves but obviously not as old as the farmhouse which feels as though it has been there forever. I feel at home here.

We all get out and go inside. Sitting down and relaxing from the ordeal. Talking about what might have happened. But not much. More me talking and my girlfriend politely listening with a look of tolerant love on her face. Like she loves the sound of my voice but isn’t at all listening to what I’m saying. Her friend says nothing. Just watches us.

I’ve taken off my tall green leather Dr. Martins sat back- trying to figure out what to do with the sword. The sword and the jacket are lying on the dining room table in the corner.

Her and I talk for a bit and things get kind of heated. I can’t remember why. But she says something and I’ve had enough. I can’t remember what it was but it was completely unacceptable to me and I want to leave. I look around and can’t find my boots- so I ask them to give me my boots so I can leave. My home is far away and it’s a very long walk but I don’t care. Just want to go. They or someone else must have taken my boots away and I wanted them back so I could go. She and her friend leave to find my boots for me. She seems a little upset but resigned. He shows almost no emotion but I get the impression that he doesn’t blame me for being upset by what she said. Part of him is on my side and part of him is just happy I’m going to leave- but not in a selfish jealous way. Its almost like he wants me to leave for my own good but isn’t allowed to tell me this.

I’m angry at what she said and that my boots are missing and I notice suddenly that I’ve been in this house before. Many times before.

Ok- here’s where it gets really interesting. I’ve racked my mind since I woke up and I can’t for the life of me remember being in a house like this. I’m a bit uncanny in my recall of floor-plans and I have never been in this house in real life. But in my dream I remember having been there many times. But not in a real world kind of way. I remember the other times I was there as other dreams- making this at least a partially lucid dream- but I’m still completely unaware of my waking self. It’s almost like the dream/real life relationship reversed. I can remember other dreams clearly- like normal memories- but the waking world does not enter my thoughts at all. The waking world- in my dream- has no meaning. I’m lucid enough to know that I am dreaming and to remember the other times I was in the house as other dreams with other characters and even geographic locations, but this seems completely normal to me. No thoughts of the waking world at all.

I’m talking to myself out loud- about being in the house many times before.

“I keep getting pulled back to this house. Maybe ten times now. I was at a party once here. House was filled with maybe 30 people. Great party.” And suddenly I notice there are two old guys in the living room with me. They’re watching the TV avidly. They take no notice of me or what I’ve said. I’m embarrassed for a second until I see what they’re watching on TV. It was like Pokemon meets the 700 Club with a hefty dose of Touched by an Angel. Too hefty in fact. The show was a live action soap opera about angels that have different clans and families and fight each other with their own unique powers. One of those shows you couldn’t follow unless you’ve been watching it for years. But it was really cheesy. All the angels had white plastic wings and wore these garish almost Anime costumes and carried tons of weapons and gadgets and magical stuff. It was a grab-bag of gimmicky TV crap. And then before the commercial break there was a segment back with the studio audience where it got all religious. People in the crowd really enraptured by the fake angel on the stage as he closed his eyes and put two fingers on his head and said, “Is there someone here with…”

Cut to a shot of the spellbound audience swelling with hope- eyes growing wide.

“…a hundred dimes?!”

One girl screams while the rest look mildly upset. Someone comes to help her to the stage as everyone claps and acts more excited then they really are. It couldn’t be more fake and these two old guys were drinking up every second of it.

I ask, “What the hell is this?”

They respond, “You mean you don’t watch it? Everybody loves Angels.”

I’m a little disturbed by all this and now really want my boots so I can leave. The commercial is on and they wander to get stuff from the kitchen. They notice the sword on the table and recognize it. They start going on about how this is such-and-such’s sword and it occurs to me that they are talking about the show- they really think its real. Even the stupid audience crap didn’t break the spell for them. They’re arguing about angel genealogy when the girl and her friend return with my boots. I sit on the couch to put them on. Still angry with her and weirded out by the old guys and the strange angel show. The boots are for some reason covered in and filled with gravel and dirt. I empty them out on the floor and clean them as best I can. The girl and her friend watch me intently but the show is back on so the old guys are glued to the TV.

I finish cleaning one of the boots and start pulling it on only to discover it’s a short maroon boot and mine were tall and green.

“These aren’t my boots!”

I’m very irritated now. I order her and her friend to bring me my boots and they go off to get them. They don’t seem very upset that their ruse didn’t work. Its almost like they were just too lazy to care and hoped I wouldn’t notice or something.

Finally they return with my green boots which I put on and get up to leave about the same time the show ends. The old men notice me again. I say they can keep the sword- I couldn’t walk home with it anyway. They are grateful for this but keep arguing about the show and which angel the sword belongs too and what they should do with it.

I pull on the brown leather jacket and head out the door. The old guys follow me- trying to preach to me about the angel show and how important it is that I believe too. I can tell they mean well but I want nothing to do with any of them.

“If you asked me I’d say you’d be better off as atheists.” Then I start walking down the street.

Just at the edge of their property a flashy red sports car pulls into the yard of the corner house next to the farmhouse and parks in the middle of the front yard facing the street. It’s a convertible and sitting in the front seats are too young attractive guys who do nothing but sit there talking to each other. Suddenly the whole area is filled with crowds of people watching the two and photographers snapping away. I would much rather avoid the whole thing but I can’t- I have to walk right through the crowd to head home so I keep going on down the sidewalk – round the corner and in front of the house. There is a wall between the sidewalk and yard where the yard is much higher than the street- so everyone was looking over me to see the two guys anyway- which was fine by me. I started home.

In my pocket was a “Cup-o-noodles”. I had no water or any way of heating it up but I was really hungry so I broke off a piece of dry noodle and crunched it as I walked home.