PAUL WELLS (UK)
Professor Paul Wells is Director of the Animation Academy, Loughborough University UK. He has published widely in animation studies including 'Understanding Animation', 'The Animated Bestiary' and his latest book, 'Animation, Sport & Culture'. He is also an established writer and director for theatre, film, TV and radio, and conducts consultancies and workshops worldwide based on his book, 'Scriptwriting'. His most recent documentary is 'Whispers & Wererabbits: Clare Jennings', featuring Nick Park, and he is currently working on a feature script and a collection of short stories.
Topic of the presentation: Chairy Tales: Object and Material Sense in Animation
In 'A Chairy Tale', master animator and experimental film-maker, Norman McLaren, does battle with a chair as he attempts to sit down. In PES' 'Roof sex', two armchairs appear to make passionate love. In Jan Svankmajer's 'Dimensions of Dialogue', objects break, re-form, fight and generally create havoc. And that's even before we talk about the puppets in films by Trnka, Starewich, Pal, Harryhausen and Burton. This lecture will address the role of objects and materials in animation, exploring how they seem to take on a life of their own, and impact powerfully on social and cultural practice. The discussion will present the idea of 'the scripted artefact' and the 'animated object cycle', and suggest humankind is ultimately defined through its objects, materials and environments.
BONNIE MITCHEL (US)
Bonnie Mitchell is an American animator, artist, educator and author. Her research and creative interests include experimental animation, interactive immersive installation art, psychology, computer science and geology. Ms. Mitchell's artwork explores perception, the sense of presence and natural phenomena through experiential relationships to our physical and psychological environment. The works use digital special effects in non-conventional ways along with multiple projections, sculpted spaces, electronics, and experimental sound. Ms. Mitchell's animations and installations have been screened and exhibited at festivals, concerts and art exhibitions around the world. Bonnie Mitchell has also curated international exhibitions including the SIGGRAPH 2006 Art Show: Intersections, GRAPHITE in Perth, Australia and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia among others. She is also on the Board of Directors of ISEA International, the organization overseeing the International Symposium on Electronic Art. Ms. Mitchell is the author of the interactive Core Concepts in Art and Core Concepts in Humanities series both published by McGraw-Hill, NY and the interactive Gateways to Art materials. She is currently writing a book on animation as a fine art form.
Topic of the presentation:
Immersive Animation Experiences: Perception, Sensation and Manipulated States of Consciousness
This artist talk will focus on the ability of animation to alter the viewer’s perception of the world through immersion, motion, light and sound. Sensation is often thought of as a physical response to an external stimulus. When engaged in an aesthetic experience, the alteration of consciousness often occurs through the synergetic combination of input to the auditory and visual senses. As an artist and animator, Bonnie Mitchell deliberately attempts to alter the viewer’s psychological state by placing them in the work of art itself. She collaborates with the American electroacoustic composer, Elainie Lillios to create immersive animated experiences that targets the senses rather than the intellect of the viewer.
In this talk Ms. Mitchell will discuss a number of animation experiences that range from intense to contemplative. A few examples include, her newest work, Emergent Submergence, which provokes a sense of connectedness to water, the unifying element essential to life. Encounters, invites the viewer to sit in a sensor-enhanced seat thus provoking a figure to emerge from a abstract forest and ask thought-provoking questions. Internal Distances, uses projections on walls and into hand blown glass objects to create an immersive environment that comments on the internal conflicts we all face. In Inhabitants, the viewer must catch the poetic animations falling from the ceiling to determine the meaning of the piece. The piece metaphorically explores the influences in ones life. In all of these pieces she attempts to create sensations that cause the audience to question their awareness and perception of the world. These experiences are ripe with qualia, phenomenal properties tailored to be uniquely interpreted at a personal level.
PIERRE HÉBERT (CDN)
Formerly an employee of the National film board of Canada where he directed over twenty animation shorts and a feature (La Plante humaine, best Quebec feature award 1996), Pierre Hébert is now an independent artist and filmmaker. Since 2001, he traveled the world with his musician colleague Bob Ostertag and presented the Living Cinema live animation performance over 80 times. He also worked with many other musicians. He equally collaborated with dance companies in New York, Montreal and France and published two books and many articles on cinema and animation. He also pursue a carreer as a visual artist. His current project is a new series of flims “Places and Monuments” for which he received from the conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec the prestigious «career grant» for cinema. The last episode of this series is a video installation, Berlin – The Passage of Time. In 2005, he was the recipient of the “Albert Tessier” cinema award from the Quebec government for lifetime achievement. In August 2010, he was granted an honorary professorship by the Emily Carr University of Art and Design.
Topic of the presentation: Video installations and performances, a new understanding of animation
Pierre Hebert will explain how all his work is created outside the traditional field of animation the way it has been understood since the fifties. In an open conversation he will describe how performance and installation connect and how both is influencing his film work. To encourage the audience to engage in an exchange about and a discussion of his methods, concepts and approaches he will also comment on his installation at ASIFAKEIL and on the performance that will follow his talk.
ANNA IDA OROSZ (H)
Born in 1986 in Budapest, Hungary. She studied film theory & history and English language & literature at the Budapest Eötvös Lóránd University (ELTE). Currently she is a PhD student at ELTE’s Institute of Art Theory and Media Studies researching animated documentaries. She is in the editorial of Prizma (“Prism”), a peer-reviewed quarterly and online journal of film art founded in 2009, where her animation-related essays and reviews are published. She has been in the organizing committee of the Hungarian Kecskemét Animation Film Festival (KAFF) since 2009. With Tamás Patrovits, she is the co-founder and curator of Primanima World Festival of First Animations first organized in 2012 in Budaörs, Hungary.
Topic of the presentation:
Rendering the experience – How animated documentaries grasp the sense of reality
Anima verité is a unique filmmaking method introduced by the most important animation artist from Hungary, György Kovásznai in the late 1960s. His numerous short films of the 1970s, the extraordinary animated documentary musical Bubble Bath (1979) and his experimental TV-series (This is Just Fashion!, 1976) all attempt to merge the sensitivity and expressivity of paintings, the possibilities of characterisation of animation and the realism offered by the camera of a documentary filmmaker. This paper will give you an insight into the method of Kovásznai’s anima verité films and also show how his approach became influential in recent Hungarian documentary animations.
ERWIN FEYERSINGER (A)
Erwin Feyersinger is an assistant professor at the University of Innsbruck in the Department of American Studies. His research is concerned with animation studies and transmedial theories, and relies mainly on narratological, poetic, semiotic, and cognitive frameworks. He is member of the editorial board of Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal. He is coordinator of the interest group AG Animation as part of the Gesellschaft für Medienwissenschaft (GfM). With Maike Sarah Reinerth, he has recently guest edited an issue of Montage AV on animation
Topic of the presentation: Sensing and Making Sense
The talk will explore visual abstraction as an important feature of all kinds of animations that is essential for meaning-making – both on a rational level ("to make sense of something") and an intuitive level ("to sense something"). On the one hand, I will discuss examples of animated visualizations and how they use our sensory system to gain a better understanding of complex concepts and phenomena. On the other hand, I will show how avant-garde animation uses abstraction to create certain feelings that we cannot express with words – a vague understanding that is perfectly suitable the same time.
KALLE LAAR (D)
Sound artist, composer, dj, author of radioplays. Founder of the Temporary Soundmuseum, a broad collection of vinyl documents on contemporary history. Exhibitions, performances, project development for overtures.de, e.g. art biennials of Venice and Havana, Ars Electronica Linz, Transmediale Berlin. Lectures on Perception, Sound and Art, e.g. Technical University Munich, Nanjang University Singapore.
Topic of the presentation: Can You Hear Me? Some Remarks on Sound and Perception
We have learned to deal with our pictorial world, we do not faint visiting the shopping malls or streets in our towns, like a 19th century citizen might do, regardless of how many visual impacts we have to deal with. We have learned to pick and choose, to make selections and decisions about what we like to see and what to ignore. At the same time we have also been taught to mistrust the pictures, every time you see a badly filmed mobile phone movie from the latest conflict area, the news mark its status as ‚unconfirmed‘, doubtful. Nevertheless, the visual sense has been accepted as the dominant one of our time.
Regarding sound, one does not even think in these categories. If we are not in our living room where we can more or less freely decide what to listen to, it seems as if we are helplessly exposed to the noises of our world, unable to pick and choose, and while we are not (anymore) startled by our daily fill of shocking pictures, the emotional quality of sounds can find us unprotected. A gloomy scene in the movies might resolve into something quite harmless, we even expect to be sent down the wrong track sometimes, but a gloomy sound rarely misses its effect.
So let us have a closer ‚look‘ at sound and our perception, on how we are trained to ignore the fact that we are actually surrounded by purposely manufactured noises, how silence can be rather talkative and a few other observations concerning our sonic environment.
ELIŠKA DĚCKÁ (CZ)
Eliška Děcká is a PhD candidate at FAMU Prague. With her academic past including MAs from Film Studies and Law (both at Charles University in Prague) she focuses with her research and publication activities on contemporary independent auteur animation and its close connection with our society and current social issues. Her methodology is often based on oral history and strong interaction with animation practitioners. She has been member of the Society for Animation Studies since 2009 and presented her papers at SAS’s annual conferences (last time in Toronto 2014). She teaches at J. A. Komensky University in Prague and collaborates as a dramaturgist with various animation festivals. In 2014, she founded a non-profit organization “AniScreen” producing site-specific screenings of animated independent short films.
Topic of the presentation: This doesn’t feel right!
This presentation will focus on animation and its great potential to trick our senses in order to make us see current social issues, prejudices or stereotypes from a different point of view. Based on her PhD research and teaching experience Eliška will show some examples of tackling a variety of socially sensitive issues in an animated welcoming way that may be helpful in producing some future social changes.
DANIEL ŠULJIĆ (HR)
Daniel Šuljić graduated from the College of Applied Arts in Vienna in 1997. He employs a specific animation technique, painting on glass. He is an associate lecturer in the Department of Animation and New Media at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb. His films include: Evening Star (1993), Walz (1994), Leckdonalds (1995), Highway 59 (1996), Kolač (1997), Sunce, sol i more (1997), Film s djevojčicom (2000), Kratak život (2007) and Mogu si to jako dobro zamisliti (2004).
Topic of the presentation: The World Festival of Animated Film Zagreb - ANIMAFEST ZAGREB
Daniel Sulijc, the artistic director of Animafest Zagreb, the annual "World Festival of Animated Film Zagreb”, will talk about the background, directions and intentions of this festival. Initiated by the International Animated Film Association (ASIFA) the festival was established in 1972 and is, after the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, the second oldest animation festival in Europe.
Animafest Zagreb is a place of inspiration, creativity, exchange of ideas, innovation, communication and international diversity and Daniel Sulijc will talk about his part in this event
HRVOJE TURKOVIĆ (HR)
(1943, Zagreb, Croatia) Film theorist and critic, he worked at the Academy of Drama Art, University of Zagreb, lecturing mostly film theory (film editing and film discourse) from 1977 to the retirement in 2009. (as a full professor), still teaching as an external professor. He is a member of the editorial board of the film magazine Hrvatski filmski ljetopis/Croatian Cinema Chronicle, and the chief editor of the Filmski enciklopedijski rjecnik/Film Encyclopedic Dictionary (in progress, Leksikografski zavod Miroslav Krleza). He published numerous articles and 13 books on film and TV, one of them on animation (Zivot izmisljotina/Life of Fabrications, 2012).
Topic of the presentation: “Feel” of the texture and the pictorial gag in “Zagreb school” films
The most senses are marked by particular “sensual feel” – subjective qualitative estimation of the sense reaction, but not the vision itself – seeing does not imply any sensual feel. But, what vision can is to evoke the feel of other senses - e.g. tactile feel of the presented objects, or, in the case of pictures, the tactile feel the textural aspects of some drawing or painting. The classical animation mostly tried to avoid making the textural nature of drawing and painting visible, and therefore “sensible” (felt). But one of the marks of the modernist animation has been the inventive foregrounding of the drawing trace, the texture of the painterly ground and the paint surface – making them prominent, often thematized part of the kernel film experience. This aspect of modernist animation will be demonstrated on some “Zagreb school” cartoon films, particularly in their introduction of the “pictorial gag” - in contrast to the mostly “scenic gags” of classical animation.
NIKICA GILIĆ (HR)
(1973, Split, Croatia) Film theorist and historian, works as associate professor and Chair of Film Studies at the Department for comparative literature, Faculty of humanities and social sciences in Zagreb, where he got his Ph.D. in film theory. He also teaches film theory at the Academy of Drama Art in Zagreb and he is an associate Research Fellow at Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies in Regensburg and Munich. Editor-in-chief of the film journal Hrvatski filmski ljetopis/Croatian Cinema Chronicle, he published three books in cinema studies and numerous articles in journals and books. He was editor of Filmski leksikon (Film Lexicon, 2003, with Bruno Kragić) that also deals with animation.
Topic of the presentation:
Attack on the Senses: What we can and what we should understand in the rich animation of Nedeljko Dragić’s Dnevnik (Diary)
Nedeljko Dragić’s Diary is one of the most famous works of Zagreb School of Animated films, but also one of the films that provides the viewer with most aggressive sensations, very likely capable of completely blocking the rational part of the mechanism we usually call the viewer. Animated films such as Diary, or Zdenko Gašparović’s Satiemania, are rich in denotation, connotation, association and other aspects of meaning but the richness and power of imagery changing in time (in this case – animation) might encourage us to pose the question of the general relation of sensation and understanding as two aspects of perception. Present in other artistic forms as well (for instance in the films of Busby Berkeley, Baz Luhrmann or The Wachowskis), this dichotomy can be of particular interest in animation studies, since animation is more free (some would even say – more powerful) than other forms of images moving on screens.