Registration is open for Boundary Crossings 2019. Here’s what Rose Bond and I got up in 2017:
Announcing a new book – Experimental and Expanded Animation: New Practices and Perspectives edited by Nicky Hamlyn and Vicky Smith for Palgrave Macmillan, for which I have written Chapter 13. Siting Animation: The Affect of Place.
My chapter is concerned with the experience of watching animation that has been created as a spatial experience for viewing in a particular location. Conventionally, animation is viewed from a fixed seat in a stationary position that the viewer stays in for the duration of the viewing experience without significant change in her angle of view of the images on the screen before her and, indeed, animation scholarship frequently refers to the single-screen animated film. This chapter considers non-narrative animation that has been created to be part of an expanded or site-specific experience in which the viewer must visit a particular location and walk around to experience the work. How does the viewing experience of animation differ if the work is installed in three-dimensional space as part of an art exhibition, museum display or visitor attraction rather than from a fixed seating position? Through reference to examples of works by artists Rose Bond, Birgitta Hosea, Pedro Serrazina and Xue Yuwen in which contemporary animations are displayed as an intervention in historic spaces, the affect of site and the impact of the communal viewing context on the embodied perception of an animation are investigated.
For more information about the book: https://www.palgrave.com/gb/book/9783319738727
Thrilled that a video of my 2012 performance Medium was selected for the Karachi Biennale in Pakistan this year. Curated by Amin Gulgee, this is the first ever Biennale to take place in Karachi and had the theme of ‘Witness’. My work was installed in a building that formerly housed a branch of the Theosophical Society.
The Biennale launch:
Thanks to Sandra Louison for all her assistance in installing and promoting this work for me. Here are some of her photos of my work and where it was situated:
Here is a snippet from the first dress rehearsal of Medium in the cells of a former workshouse underneath Shoreditch Town. Curated by Jane Webb for Illumini.
More about the Karachi Biennale:
I recently had a fascinating evening with Maryclare Foa getting our portraits drawn by Patrick Tresset‘s robots at Platform Southwark, part of the Merge Festival.
A camera looks at you then down at the drawing.
The programming is based on Patrick Tresset’s own left-handed drawing style. Interesting to see the variations. The angle of the pen makes a difference, so do light levels. The lines are gestural because of being drawn by robot arms. The signatures are taken from a random, unintended mark that one of his robots once made.
Me and Maryclare Foa drawn by the same robot. We both look very suspicious!
Maryclare Foa confronts the robot and draws it back!
In the installation upstairs, Human Study #4, there is a classroom of performing robots. A camera at the front desk seems to communicate to the robot arms at the desks in morse code.
The robot arms mark time along with the instructions on the video blackboard.
Finally, all but two start scribbling over their previous marks. The sound of the servo motors and the bleeps of morse code sound incredible. The whole set up brought back uncanny memories of my primary school.
In this presentation, Gary asked us all to come up with a provocation and to talk about the work of 3 artists. My provocation is: Not all experimental animation comes from Europe or English speaking countries!
In particular, today I am going to talk about experimental animators from China. We only have 12 minutes each, so I don’t have time to talk about the China Independent Animated Film Forum (although I am planning to show a screening of films from them at RCA next year) and I don’t have time to talk about the Chinese experimental animator who is perhaps best known outside China, LeiLei (although I hope to also bring him over to speak at RCA next year).
I thought I would focus on three artists from the recent experimental animation exhibition and forum, Beyond Noumenon, at the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, Chongqing, China in October of this year.
Here are some general shots of the exhibition.
Beyond Noumenon aimed to question the ontology of animation with a series of speakers and artists showing work that troubled at the edges of animation as a practice and an idea, exploring the possibility of a new language beyond the single screen, exploring how animation might be experienced by an audience.
In her closing speech, Beyond Noumenon’s Director and Head Curator, Tingting Lu, argued for a dematerialisation of the concepts behind animation, for animation as an adjective or adverb instead of a verb or a noun, for anti-animation, for post-animation.
Tingting Lu was originally trained in animation at Sichuan Fine Arts Institute. Painting is very central to her practice and her films are painstakingly animated by hand, straight-ahead using traditional media like oil pastel and oil paint.
The Person in the Gap, her piece for Beyond Noumenon, features a series of monitors located on the ceiling. In doing this, she wants to express the idea that people are in the gaps of time, that its people who make time happen.
This calls to mind Norman McLaren’s famous definition of animation that says:
“Animation is not the art of drawings that move, but rather the art of movements that are drawn. What happens between each frame is more important than what happens on each frame.”
Through walking underneath the images to experience them all, the viewer is made to do the work of animating the sequence of stills through their physical act of walking and this brings into question traditional ways of experiencing animation. As we gaze upwards with an almost religious awe, dwarfed by the images above, this action also references the God-like power of the animator to create their very own time and spaces that transgress the rules of nature.
Based in Beijing, Mi Chai’s fine art practice involves a range of media, including painting, installation, video and performance. She graduated from the MA in Animation at Academy of Art and Design, Tsinghua University.
She now experiments with different kinds of media, such as painting, drawing, paper cut, animation and visual performances. She is currently working in collaboration with various sound artists and dancers to extend her time-based visual language into live performance.
For Beyond Noumenon, she showed part of a series of work called Bird’s Dream, which includes paintings, sculpture and an animated film using paper cutouts.
The film is inspired by a live animation performance that she did called The Sparrow and The Raven.
For Chai, this series of painting, sculpture and film is all one work.
Tianran Duan, who was one of the curators, is a new media artist working on experimental animation, video art and installation. He received his MFA degree in Animation from the University of Southern California and now works in the art department of Renmin University. For his animation work, he has been a finalist in the Student Academy Awards on two occasions. By experimenting with various materials, techniques and aesthetics, he pushes the boundaries of what defines animation. He is interested in drawing parallels between the post-modern collapse of meaning in philosophy and our current understanding of animation.
Stainless Steel,Steel Balls,Motor, Infrared sensor
This is an interactive installation in which participants could put the steel balls into the Lonely Player, but it takes the movements of other people to trigger the Infrared and release a few steel balls. For Tianran, the intention is that like the Tower of Babel, the tower of the Lonely Player stores up messages which are released to others who do not understand them.
Another installation piece he made for the show – the Maze of Noumenon
The starting point for this work is Kant’s definition of noumena – potential things in the work – as opposed to phenomena – which are those things in the world as we experience them. The difference between these two concepts is what we ourselves contribute to the meaning of something that we experience. How much does our own act of interpretation bring to the act of perception? Where is the boundary between the physical world and our imaginary space?
Rather than creating a single screen short film, Tianran is interested in working in gallery spaces to create a “field” that crosses the boundary of the virtual world and reality. This three channel video installation is trying to explore the limitation of our perceiving system in terms of symbols, motion, consciousness and space.
The cuboids and sphere represent abstract thought and the horses bring the physical world into the scenario.The spinning globe represents the limitation of our rationality. When the globe spins with an abnormally fast speed, it makes us to realize we are thinking about that.
To conclude, what interests me is that each of these artists – Tingting Lu, Mi Cai and Tianran Duan – have in common is that they were trained in animation, but now work in a post-medium context embracing a number of different artforms. The form that their work takes cannot be contained by a single screen and explores different ways in which an audience can encounter animation. At the core of each piece is a conceptual investigation of movement through space and time, but this is expressed through a number of media such as painting, sculpture, installation, performance and kinetics as well as animation.
Discovering Collections, Discovering Communities conference, Manchester, 12-14 October 2015
Watch the conference paper on You Tube:
More information about the presentation:
At this year’s National Archives and Research Libraries UK conference, Alison Green and Birgitta Hosea will be presenting a collaborative project between four organisations: MA Culture, Criticism and Curation and MA Character Animation at Central Saint Martins, the Guildhall School of Music and the Old Operating Theatre Museum.
With a conference theme of exploring new digital destinations for the heritage sector, Discovering Collections, Discovering Communities, will examine methods for meaningful and innovative digital engagement with museums and archives. Reflecting on the CUT! exhibition created for the Old Operating Theatre Museum, Green and Hosea will demonstrate a case study of the use of animation in museums and archives.
How can digital media augment old spaces and things? Using the exhibition, CUT! (Old Operating Theatre Museum, London, 2014) as a case-study, we will present a project that juxtaposed original, auratic objects with reinterpretations in the form of short digital animations. CUT! was a collaboration between the Museum and students from two courses at Central Saint Martins, MA Character Animation and MA Culture, Criticism and Curation.
The aim of the exhibition was to bring back a sense of the people who had once worked or been treated in a space now filled with glass cases and curious objects. Animations inspired by the museum’s quirky range of artefacts from medical history were created by students from MA Character Animation. The forty films were curated by students from MA Culture, Criticism and Curation, placed as interventions into the museum’s permanent collection, like a haunting or re-animation of the historic objects.
The exhibition, conceived as an experiment and which proved popular with visitors, raised issues about how audiences relate differently to ‘history’ versus ‘the present’ and how different people engage with different types of objects and technology. The paper will theorise these results through discussions of animation and haunting (Cholodenko, 2007 & 2011) and memory as speech versus memory as object (Derrida, 1996). Both presenters have led several collaborative projects with students working with museums. We are interested in exploring what such projects mean for our respective fields—digital animation and curating—and, further, reflecting upon these partnerships as forms of pedagogy.
Link to presentation slides:
Pinning Butterflies: this audience engagement project was created by BA Performance Design and Practice at Central Saint Martins with the Royal Albert Hall.
Animation (by First Year students on MA Character Animation at CSM), installation and performances on the themes of Pucini’s opera Madam Butterfly were installed to be walked through in the backstage area of the Royal Albert Hall. Four groups of visitors at a time were lead through loading bays, changing rooms, props areas, theatre corridors and catering spaces to experience a range of works including animated emotions, a life size chrysalis, provocative poetry in the lift and suicide by origami.
This one day event was designed to get the local community interested in the events at the Royal Albert Hall.
CUT! was an exhibition at the Old Operating Theatre Museum, 9a St Thomas’ Street, SE1 9RY that ran from 3 November 2014 to 15th December 2014. This museum is sited in a former anatomical theatre and herb garret from the ancient St Thomas hospital. There has been a hospital on this site near London Bridge for over 1,000 years!
Animations inspired by the museum’s quirky range of artefacts from medical history were created by students from MA Character Animation at Central Saint Martins with soundtracks composed by students from Guildhall School of Music. MACA’s Visiting Professor, Shelley Page, and the museum’s Creative Director, Kevin Flude, helped the students to brainstorm ideas for short 1-minute films.
The 40 films that the students made were curated by student curators from MA Culture, Criticism and Curation and placed as interventions into the museum’s permanent collection, like a haunting or re-animation of the solid objects. The films were projected onto the wall of the famous anatomical theatre, below cabinets and tucked away in drawers and surgical cabinets. This contrast between contemporary, digital animation and historic artefacts and site proved popular with visitors and raised issues about how audiences relate to original objects in glass cases.
The curation team ran a series of events during the exhibition and also created a CUT! exhibition app which is available on the Apple App Store.
Pictures from the exhibition:
MA Character Animation presents:
Ketchup, an installation by Animation Artist-in-Residence Chunning (Maggie) Guo.
MACA is delighted to welcome Chunning (Maggie) Guo as our first Chinese Visiting Researcher and Animation Artist-in-Residence, a project made possible by the British Council and CICAF. Maggie is an independent animator who collaborates with Baishen Yan on films that explore memory and is in residence at Central Saint Martins for 3 months. Her work has been shown at international festivals and she was previously in residence as a Visiting Scholar at Vancouver Film School. She currently lectures at Renmin University, where she is also a PhD candidate, and is the author of several books on animation and digital arts. Link: http://www.arts.ac.uk/csm/people/teaching-staff/drama-and-performance-programme/chunning-guo/
Ketchup, in the Windows Gallery at Central Saint Martin, presents the context behind the short film, Ketchup, made with Baishen Yan, in which tomatoes act as a memory trigger for brutal events in China in 1984.
Opening times: 09.00-21.00, 11-25th November 2014
Venue: Windows Gallery, The Crossing Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, Granary Building, Kings Cross, London, N1C 4AA
Screening: There will also be a screening, presentation and Q & A on Monday 17th November at 18.30 in room C303. If you would like to attend the screening, please RSVP to: http://ketchup.eventbrite.co.uk as seats are limited.
Join Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1530522017186368
Exhibition curated by Birgitta Hosea
Foá + Hosea, Carali McCall, Anne Robinson, Sarah Sparkes, Thurle Wright
Folkstone Triennial Fringe 29-31st August 2014
Deptford X 27th September – 5th October 2014
Curated by Birgitta Hosea
He will not have been (a) present but he will have made a gift by not disappearing without leaving a trace.
(Jacques Derrida in Re-Reading Levinas,1991)
Seeafar features new work by six artists whose practice traces the presence of absence through drawing, painting, installation, performance and moving image. Recalling the perspective of generations of women living in a state of unknowing as they wait for news or the return of loved ones from overseas, the works explore the tensions between anticipation and memory, separation and speculation. The visionary act of making becomes an empowering process that enables each one of us to think things into the world, to reveal the hidden and make manifest the unsaid.
The Old Truckers Lounge, Folkestone Harbour
Foá + Hosea
Traion III (Folkestone), Mixed Media (Graphite/pen on paper, projected animation), Dimensions variable (2014)
In the Traion series, Foá + Hosea respond to the myth of the first drawing, in which Butades’s daughter traced the outline of her lover’s shadow on the wall to hold on to his memory before he left on a journey. Foá + Hosea engage with this dilemma – the impossibility of attempting to hold time – through fixing their digital shadows in place with animation. In the title of the series, the words ‘trace’ and ‘motion’ are merged to reference their process of drawing over film, in which evidence of presence and motion is traced.
Artists’ bio: Maryclare Foá draws to examine the relationship and affects between place and practitioner. Her PhD revealed how sound can be drawing that interacts with the environment. She teaches for Central Saint Martins and writes for Studio International. Birgitta Hosea is a media artist working with expanded animation, installation and performance. Her work and PhD explore performativity, presence, affect and digital materiality. She is Course Director of MA Character Animation at CSM. Both artists have exhibited internationally and awards include Foá – RCA Drawing prize and twice shortlisted for the Jerwood Drawing Prize and Hosea – MAMA Holographic Arts Award and an Adobe Impact Award. Foá and Hosea work individually and also collaborate. Recent collaborative works have been exhibited in Paris – Dans ma cellule, une silhouette, Centre d’Art Contemporain, La Ferme du Buisson; London – Draw to Perform, ]Performance Space[; DRAFT, Parasol Unit; Bletchley Park – Ghost Station and Orkney – Papay Gyro Nights.
Work no. 4 (Restraint / Running) Folkestone, Performance to camera (2014)
In an area of performance drawing, which considers drawing to be connected to movement through the act of doing and physical activity, this performance addresses what it means to use the extreme form of physical activity – running. Using (myself) the runner to articulate an understanding of how the body moves through space, I use the ‘breath’ and the discipline of marathon training to explore how the physical act of running can be a viable form of drawing.
Artist’s bio: Carali McCall is an artist working and living in London from Canada. She completed her MFA at Slade School of Art, UCL in 2006 and has recently submitted her practice-based PhD thesis at Central Saint Martins, UAL. Although training for marathons and ultramarathons have always occurred alongside her art practice, it was not until she adopted Euclid’s definition of the line ‘a line is a breadthless length’ and began to explore the role of the body in drawing that McCall has become aware of potential connections between running and drawing. Since studying the influences and the trajectory of performance art practices, her recent work has been used to explore linear properties beyond conventional mark making processes. Recent exhibitions and presentations of work include, Performing Site, Falmouth University 2014, Draw to Perform, Performance Space, London, 2013 and Again and Again and Again: Serial Formats and Repetitive Actions, Vancouver Art Gallery, Canada, 2012.
Skinny White Sailor, 4-6 x paintings, 30.5cm x 40.5cm, oil on canvas (2014)
Thrashing In the Static, Single screen video, 10 minute loop (2014)
How far is too far? How can we look over the edge, feel our way beyond the horizon, traverse time zones and cross the bounds of one human life? The two new works presented here, paintings in the series Skinny White Sailor and the song-film Thrashing In the Static, involve a haunting – keeping watch in the night for revenant sailors. In Robinson’s song-films the voice becomes spirit presence. In Thrashing In the Static, the wavelengths of a search for a brother lost at sea soar over the edge across time zones – a ‘traveling eye’ crossing from the Thames foreshore in 21st century London, way back to an island in the South China Sea in 1942, a dream terrain, long away and far ago. The work draws on surrealism, phenomenology and radical philosophies of time to work with uncanny presence, the sorcery of long exposures, high speed filming and painterly surface distorting out time sense.
Artist’s bio: Anne Robinson’s practice encompasses painting, moving image installations and performance and is concerned with the perception and politics of time passing in art. She has shown work nationally and internationally, recently working with the Commonist Gallery and CGTV on film and singing interventions. She completed a residency in 2013 in Marseilles at De Centre der Space. She has published in: The Journal of Visual Arts Practice and The Journal of Media Practice as well as curating One More Time (2011), Over Time (2014) and being one of the art curators for the Supernormal festival. She has recently completed a PhD on temporality and painting and also works with the moving image in collaboration with other artists and as an educator, currently senior lecturer in Film at London Metropolitan University.
The Haunted Sea and Jane Conquest Rings the Bell, Mixed media (2014)
Sarah Sparkes’ great grandfather was a Magic Lanternist. Using his decaying lantern slides and combining these with a magician’s optical effects, the artist has created a series of works illuminating the ambiguous relationship between the woman watching on the shore and the spectre of the shipwreck at sea. In Jane Conquest rings the Bell a standard maritime narrative is re-imagined, in which a visionary woman looks out from behind the helm of destiny.
Artist’s bio: Sarah Sparkes’ work, as both an artist and curator, is primarily concerned with concepts of immateriality and how this might be visualised. She runs the visual arts and cross-disciplinary research project GHost, which explores how ghosts are manifested in visual art and contemporary culture. Her chapter on Ghost has been published in The Ashgate Research Companion to Paranormal Cultures, 2014. Recent exhibitions include Theatrical Dynamics at Torrance Art Museum, Los Angeles; The Infinity Show at NN Contemporary, Northampton and Haunted Landscapes, University of Falmouth, Cornwall. She is currently developing work for the Over Time project in Greenwich, London and is one of the selected artists for Art in Romney Marsh Churches, 2014.
Crossing, Collage (Found map of Dover Strait and two poems by Matthew Arnold; ‘Dover Beach’ and ‘Calais Sands’), 90x100cm, (2012)
Deep Reading (Extract from children’s adventure novel and old school atlas, glue, on paper), 60 x 20″, (2010)
An oily old sea map and pages from a poetry book: the poems in this work are addressed to a woman at the end of her honeymoon travels. The poet, Arnold, speaks to his new wife as he gazes out to sea at night contemplating the future in a mood of great uncertainty and melancholy. In deconstructing the lines of the poems and stitching them in small paper stages across the map, the physical progress of the sea crossing is referenced, flowing alongside the slow unravelling process of reflecting and writing itself. There is a patient stitching of thoughts, not knowing how it will end. The words themselves become waves and currents, caught in that space between leaving and arriving, at the mercy of the tides.
Artist’s Bio: Thurle’s delicate paper reconstructions stem from an interest in the systems and structures of language, the ordering of knowledge, the collecting, storing and accessing of words. Working in the gap between the concrete and abstract impression of text on paper, Thurle cuts, folds, weaves and stitches lines of words into a new visual format, in which traces of the original mingle with personal, often playful or poetic interpretations. Thurle has shown work widely both in the UK and internationally including the Bookarts Triennial in Lithuania, Deptford X, and Brussels Art on Paper. Her work is in various public and private collections including Brisbane Sate Library. Numerous residencies include work for the V&A Museum of Childhood, Perth Central School of Art and Design, Fremantle Arts Centre, Camberwell Arts Festival and various colleges.
Num3er, Creekside, Deptford
Acknowledgements: thanks to all of the artists for their help in putting together this exhibition as well as Anne Pietsch, Sandra Louison and the teams behind the Folkestone Fringe, Num3er and Deptford X