Publication

Expanded Animation. Exploring the Vastness of Art, Theory and Play

Publication, 2014

Outline

J. Hagler - Expanded Animation. Exploring the Vastness of Art, Theory and Play - Ars Electronica 2014 Festival for Art, Technology and Society, Linz, Austria, 2014, pp. 150-151

Abstract

What used to be clearly defined boundaries separating the various types and genres of digital animation have become blurred. Expansionist tendencies are unmistakable. The 2nd Expanded Animation symposium will be providing an international community of students, instructors, artists and theoreticians with an opportunity to convene and exchange ideas about increasingly permeable borders, peripheral areas, current trends and future developments in the field of computer animation. Participants will view and discuss, in particular, experimental and hybrid forms in a broad, interdisciplinary field at the nexus of art, industry, R&D and science. A distinctive attribute differentiates the winners of the Golden Nica grand prize in the Prix Ars Electronica’s Computer Animation / Film / VFX category in the last three years from those singled out for recognition prior to that. These three works aren’t animated films meant to run in a cinema, but rather installations intended for a museum setting where they’re screened in a loop. Rear Window Loop (Golden Nica 2012) by Jeff Desom is a multi-channel installation—a deconstruction of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic film “Rear Window” condensed down to a few minutes of footage. Forms (Golden Nica 2013) by Quayola & Memo Akten was commissioned by the National Media Museum for an exhibition entitled “In The Blink of an Eye.” It’s an installation consisting of a projection with an additional screen that displays a sort of “making-of” the projected movement studies. This year’s Prix winner, Walking City by Universal Everything, is likewise a museum installation that formally scrutinizes the human walk cycle, the foundation of any character animation. These three works are indicative of a trend in the Computer Animation / Film / VFX category in particular and in the field of computer animation in general. In addition to classic forms, new varieties have gotten established—so-called expanded animation that takes leave of the cinema’s “black box” for settings such as public squares, museums and virtual spaces. These animated realms are projection mappings, installations, trans-media projects, interactive and reactive works, media façades and diverse hybrids blending elements of animation, computer gaming, theater and performance.