Dec 22, 2010
The New York Foundation for the Arts has posted a helpful article, found here written by Maria Villafranca, which is aimed at YOU, the artist looking for employment. NYFA, as it is otherwise known, maintains an active online presence. While it is primarily there to serve the NY artist group, its reach is further than that, as in this instance. They provide "classifieds" and The SOURCE, both of which are full of listings for arts related jobs (mostly in NY,) grants, residencies, and more. You can sign up for their email list and receive a regular update on news that could provide your next big thing! As an example, I searched the word "animation" in The SOURCE and 45 results came up listing grants, fellowships, residencies and even a student scholarship. What are you waiting for?
Dec 21, 2010
Miwa Matreyek is another contemporary live performance artist that incorporates animation (projection) and multi-media, and has likely influenced Shana Moulton's movement into a specific style of live performance with her "Whispering Pines 10" mini-opera (see previous blog entry).
Miwa does collaborative work as well as solo work, and seems to be dedicated to animation as the dominant environment in her mixed-media performances. She also has the surrealist approach in that she is blending fantasy and dream-like states into our viewer's real time world. Her use of her live body as a silhouette within the animation provides a narrative graphic function, engaging with the graphic animation, but her body doesn't necessarily stop there. Her physical, tangible form will enter into the work as well, and in some instances the work incorporates objects and forms. Matreyek goes between breaking/reforming the inferred "4th wall" between the viewer and the viewed.
Shana Moulton and Nick Hallett's epic multimedia one-act opera Whispering Pines 10 will run at the New Museum on Saturday and Sunday, January 8 and 9, 2011. Shana Moulton's Whispering Pines series focuses on the surreal existence of Cynthia, an agraphobic New Age-y hypochondriac, looking for magical ways to cure her imagined illnesses.
She incorporates lots of animation in these works, which is why I'm posting about it here. While this series began as a multimedia performance based entirely in video, it has now extended itself to live performance with multi-media animation, effects and musical score.
Hey - did you know that Henry Selick has signed a new deal with Disney and has settled into San Fran with his studio Cinderbiter Productions, Inc.. They are committed to providing stop-motion "scary films for young 'uns"! Now THAT'S a great promise! Possibly all the way into PG-13? It's what Henry does best.
They're starting to hire their early development people, so hang on tight for the eventual hiring of all kinds of other talent when production begins!
Dec 11, 2010
Post by Brian Carpenter on November 19, 2010 9:34 AM
I've recently been preparing arrangements for a short set of early American cartoon music the Ghost Train Orchestra will perform on Friday December 17th and Friday January 21st at Barbes in Brooklyn. Raymond Scott and Carl Stalling are two of the composers most often associated with cartoon music, although there were many others -- Scott Bradley and Sammy Timberg, to name two other notables. Irwin Chusid, the man perhaps most responsible for bringing Raymond Scott to the public eye over the last two decades, sent me some of the original charts for sextet. Scott did not compose his music for cartoons but his music was often quoted by Carl Stalling in his scores to Looney Tunes cartoons of the '40s and '50s. I've been fascinated with Carl Stalling's work ever since the days of watching Looney Tunes on Saturday mornings as a kid, maybe without knowing it at an early age. My score for Lorelei Pepi's film Happy and Gay was inspired by Stalling's work for animator Ub Iwerks. For the 12/17 performance, I've added guitarist Danny Blume (who is a huge fan of Carl Stalling's work in particular) and bassist Joe Fitzgerald, to join the regular cast of GTO. Hope you'll come see us perform this unique music.
Dec 9, 2010
After 4 years of absence, the MFA Boston is (hopefully) restoring the valuable Maud Morgan Purchase Prize, an "annual" award which was established to recognize an accomplished woman artist with a $5,000 fund and an MFA solo exhibition. Edward Saywell, chairman of the MFA's contemporary-art department, says that the MFA has chosen to award the prize less frequently so as to be able to generate a more meaningful amount for the fund. Sooooo, since they've been sitting on it for four years, that should mean that there is now $20,000 attached to this prize. We'll see.
Big kudos to Greg Cook, the Phoenix's art blogger/reviewer for bringing this topic to public attention.
Dec 7, 2010
|| post by Lorelei P. ||
Dec 6, 2010
Nov 28, 2010
Co-Curator Noël Palazzo will be hosting the event screening, which has been traveling internationally, away from their home in Barcelona, Spain. The Iota Center, a public arts organization dedicated to abstract cinema and visual music, located in Culver City, CA is the other side of the collaboration, and is headed by animation filmmaker/artist, Larry Cuba.
The screening is a collection of the "Best of 2009" abstract animation films.
Nov 27, 2010
Nov 14, 2010
Sep 16, 2010
Monday, Sept 20th
studio B113 (animation studio)
12:30 - 1:30-ish
Come join us for a selection of some of the best animation work appearing at the Ottawa Animation Festival. This is one of the most successful, energizing and well-known animation festivals in the world!
7 October - 4 December, 2010
201 Chrystie Street
Thursday, 7 October, 6-8PM
201 Chrystie Street
New York, NY 10002
Telephone 212 254 0054
Lehmann Maupin presents Peak, an exhibition of new works by Tony Oursler, on view at 201 Chrystie Street, 7 October – 4 December 2010. Peak continues the artist’s exploration into the ways in which technology affects the human psyche. Focusing on humankind’s obsessive relationship to computers and other virtual platforms, the works in this exhibition are microcosmic scenes that convey the varied nature of these relationships, such as obsession, escapism, isolation and sexual fetish. The installations reference dynamic systems and models, such as flowcharts, Rube Goldberg machines and astronomical orreries. Oursler’s projections combine glass, clay, steel and other raw materials with a synthesis of performance language and rhythmic editing.
Oursler explores Masahiro Mori’s “The Uncanny Valley”, which theorizes that as inanimate objects become closer in appearance to the human form and face, mankind will find them increasingly disturbing and therefore cast into the realm of the uncanny. Oursler redefines Mori’s theory by investigating our contemporary Internet usage, viewing the Internet as a mechanical reflection of our human psyche, inducing a compulsive relationship despite its disturbing effect. The dynamic developing between humans and the virtual apparatus becomes and is an epistemological mirror of the human consciousness and, thus, is uncanny in its nature.
May 12, 2010
I spent the day making the hands for a puppet I have designed and will complete by the end of this week. The hands will be, in their final form, made out of a foam latex material, which is softer and lighter that the latex available in the plaster shed.
The process of making puppet hands is quite simple, as I learnt, but it requires some materials which might not be so easy or cheap to acquire. First, I experimented in clay to model the right hands for the puppet I had in mind. I went through a couple designs, finally deciding on some rougher larger hands that will hopefully look a bit more like wood than latex. The best way to model hands of of clay is by carving them out of a block. Making them through an additive process took a bit more time and resulted thinner than I expected, too thin for the wire that will be fitted inside.
After the hands were modeled, I stretched out a rectangular panel of clay, about 1/2 " thick or half the thickness of the hands I made, and I traced the outline of the hands on the sheet of clay. Use a different color than the hands, so you can better separate the two later. I carved out the shape of the hands following the outline and fitted them in there. Then, with L shaped metal corners surrounding the hands, I covered the hands in plaster. After it dried I flipped it over and removed the layer of clay. The hands remained attached to the plaster. I covered the other side of the hands in plaster in the same way as before, adding a layer of soap in between to separate the two sides. A couple pieces of clay are used also after the layer of soap to make it easier to get the hands out of the mould.
The puppets I was learning to make have only 4 fingers because of the mechanism that is used to attach them to the armature. The wire used for the fingers was made of very soft lead. Do not lick the lead, it will make you sick! When the mould is dry, the clay hands are removed and the wire is fitted into it. The latex mixture is poured into either side of the mould and eventually baked in an oven to complete the process. Contact me if you are interested in making some puppets or puppet hands out of foam latex in the near future, or if you have any questions about the process or the vague descriptions I wrote where I brush over important details !
I'll post soon on armature design and technical drawings.
Happy animating. Make some puppets and watch THIS!
May 8, 2010
The last couple of posts are an excellent introduction to my post! I am currently in Prague doing a workshop on Czech puppet design and puppet animation. Its a ten day schedule where we learn about the way that stop motion animation has been traditionally done in the Czech Republic. Well, all that we can fit in such a short time frame. For the last two days we have been making a short animated film with the same style of puppets that were used in Jan Balej's film "One night in one city". It has been an amazing experience to be able to work with these puppets. The are created with a special armature specially designed to allow the most controlled movement of the puppet. The armatures is made of two wooden parts and several metal joints and extremities. The wooden pieces are placed in the center of the puppet, at the chest and at the pelvic area. They join together the specially designed pieces that form the legs, arms, neck and torso of the puppet, which are mainly created as a series of joints.
This particular example does not have the top wooden part. But you can see that the puppet construction is much more sophisticated than a wire armature. The joints at the knees, the ankles, the elbows, etc., are set so there will be no discrepancy in the way the puppet bends his body when he moves.
Later in in the week I will have a lecture on puppet armatures, so I will be able to post a more detailed description of how it all works and where the parts are made. What I know for sure is that the professional armature is relatively expensive, priced at 15000 Kc, the equivalence of 882.5 USD.
For now, I am just enjoying the animation process, in the Hafan studio, where the Czech film, "Fimfarum" was shot.
Apr 20, 2010
Raoul Servais was born in the Belgian city of Ostend in 1928. He is mainly known for the film "Harpya", which won the Palme d'Or at Cannes in France in 1979. "Harpya" was also the first and last film to use the technique of mixing animation and live action together as one.
His work is surreal, with odd camera angles and strange subject matter, and it is really fun to watch. I recently saw one of his earlier films, "Sirene", and it looks like something that could have been made today. It has precise movements of the machines and the delicate form of humans rolled balanced in quite a harmonious way. Go watch it. You'll love it.
Apr 19, 2010
Apr 14, 2010
Jiri Trnka was consider to be Disney of the east. Through his provoctive puppet animation, Trnka became one of the most infulenical animators of our time. He graduated from the Prague School of Arts and Crafts. He created a puppet theater in 1936. This group was dissolved when World War 2 began, and he instead designed stage sets and illustrated books for children throughout the war. After the end of the war, Trnka started an animation unit at the Prague film studio. Trnka soon became very recognized as the world's greatest puppet animator in the traditional Czech method, and he won several awards including Cannes in 1959 and 1964 for Best Short. The last film Trnka work on earned him an BAFTA was RUKA (The Hand). It was a
Apr 8, 2010
Chuck Jones's "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" is a favorite among the Gorals, and its viewing on Christmas Eve has been a family tradition for years. Personally, I think the cartoon is a too-often overlooked Chuck Jones gem.
Apr 7, 2010
When I took a character animation class last semester, we often looked at John K's blog (creator of Ren & Stimpy), primarily because he posts frame-by-frame analyses of many Looney Tunes moments, dissecting how extreme exaggerations and motion smears look individually. Often times, the animation is so well executed and smooth that the extreme drawings of certain frames don't seem all that noticeable when watching them in motion. Through this, the animation is far more interesting and exciting when seemingly strange techniques are used. He also provides a link to the actual animated scene at the end of each post, so you can see what these images look like when animated.
We all recognize Elmer Fudd because of his familiar gullibility, short temper, big head, and double barrel gun. His never ending goal of hunting "wabbits" kept and still manages to keep viewers captivated because they know that he will lose, and they know why he will lose, but they don't know how it's going to happen. Bugs always has another trick up his sleeve. Though Elmer is considered the villain of the cartoons, he lacks the essential characteristics of a potential villain. He's relatively slow, has terrible aim, and a short attention span.
He first began his life as "Egghead", created by Tax Avery as a bizarre figure with an egg like head, and a big nose. Chuck Jones re-drew Elmer for "Elmers Candid Camera" in 1940 with the baby voice of Arthur Bryan, who truly did have a lisp. In "A Wild Hare"(1940), we see Elmer as he appears today for the first time.
What could have made Elmer so bitter that he feels the need to poach Bugs? He is a vegetarian and hunts purely for sport. I would originally say that he was so bitter because he had tried time after time to catch this dumb wabbit and felt defeated, but it turns out that in his first appearances, he "wikes wabbits" and just wants to photograph Bugs and adopt him as a pet. Eventually Bugs must have had vulnerable Elmer so frustrated that it drove him to huntin'.
After Arthur Bryans death, Hal Smith took over Elmer Fudd for two cartoons, but eventually Fudd had no voice at all, retired for almost three decades.
Perhaps one of my favorite cartoons by Chuck Jones (and of all time, for that matter) is his “What’s Opera, Doc?” Perhaps it’s a simple question of nostalgia, but I always find myself enjoying the short more and more after each subsequent viewing. One reason I enjoy it is because of the many ties it has to various Wagner operas (e.g. The Flying Dutchman, Tannhäuser, The Valkyrie, etc…) Maybe I like the short simply for it’s idea of teaching kids about things they might not know about at that stage (in this case opera). I know that after I saw this, it prompted me to go and find out about what the short was parodying. The short truly stands on its own. It can do everything from teach you, to make you roll on the floor laughing. This is why it has held up so well compared to other things throughout the years. In this magnum opus by Chuck Jones, he lampoons everything from Richard Wagner to Disney’s “Fantasia”. Perhaps this is why I like this particular one so much; the diversity.
And then when I was in fourth grade (or somewhere around that time), my mom and I got a satelite dish. Now, this thing was very sensitive. It was on our roof and it had to be turned with a clicker from the room the TV was in. As you clicked the clicker, left or right, the dish would follow. And that dish could get amazing channels! Like Eurosport and BBC. One day as I was playing around with the clicker and was trying desperately to get it back to where I started from, I stumbled onto Cartoon Network. And I was smitten with Cartoon Network. Someone told me a story about this girl, who learned English just by watching it. I told my mom that so she would let me watch more if it, but she didn't go for it... Anyhow, it was then that I saw Tom and Jerry, and Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd the first time. I loved them all! Especially the ones with lots of visual gags, because my English at the time constituted of "Vatsi yor neim?" and "Tank yu". Later on, after hearing "Gotcha" a hundred times and a dozen futile attempts to find it in my dictionary, I finally got it!
Just last night, I had one of those "gotcha" moments that made me ridiculously happy. I watched an early episode of 30 Rock and Liz Lemon's phone goes off and it is the "Kill the Wabbit" song! The joke is on the snobbish art dealer because she is not familiar with the reference and asks her if she likes Wagner. And I got it. And the joke wasn't on me. (It made me almost as happy when I read the Phantom Tollbooth and was figuring out the wordplays. Pretty exciting if I think about how I first read Goodnight Moon when I was a freshman and halfway through "Make way for ducklings" I had to finally ask if these Mr and Mrs Mallard were birds, and I am still not through all the Dr. Seuss books.)
Posted by Eszter