Beyond Noumenon

International Experimental Animation Exhibition and Forum, Sichuan Fine Arts Institute Chongqing, China, 18th Oct – 1st Nov 2106

This series of events sought 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.

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Day 1. Forum Opening. Presentations:

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Welcome speeches by Jie Zhang , Vice-president of Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, Chuan Li , Director of the New Media Department and Tingting Lu, director of the Forum.

Tianran Duan “The Principle Concept of Animation” drew parallels between the post-modern collapse of meaning in philosophy and our current understanding of animation.

Gerben Schermer “Holland Animation Film Festival on the Cutting Edge”talked about the curatorial policy of the festival and showed the film Recycled by Lei Lei and Thomas Sauvin

Jian Liu reflected on experimental practice in animation and warned against over theorising practice.

Birgitta Hosea “Involuntary Animation” explored involuntary mark-making and chance procedures in animation with reference to Iimura Takahiko’s Circle and Square (1982), John Cage’s Music of Changes (1951), Vicky Smith’s 33 Frames Per Feet (2013) and Noisy, Licking, Dribbling and Spitting (2014) and finally her own work Time Channel (2014).

Xi Chen “Time and Poetry in Animation”

Yuxiao Yi “Rational Technique and Image Ethic” discussed post-disciplinary, post-hums work and the extension of sensation

Yves Nougzarede talked about “Annecy and Experimental Animation” with examples of films by Paul Bush and Susan Young and thoughts about the curatorial policy behind the experimental category

Lei Lei “Tidy Up Old Things and Image of Animation” presented some his latest works in which he uses re-animation techniques to interrogate archival collections of photographs

Sheila Sofia “Animated Documentary”discussed creative challenges in using animation for documentary purposes and considers whether animation might be more truthful or perhaps more manipulative than live action.

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Tingting Lu’s closing speech 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.

Day 2

Sheila Sofia presents her latest film, Truth Has Fallen, and the context behind it

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Birgitta Hosea presents an overview of her work in animation and performance

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Organiser Tingting Lu, her assistant Juncheng Li, Birgitta Hosea and Sheila Sofian

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Exhibition Opening in the New Media Art Centre

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Featuring work by artists including: Birgitta Hosea.

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bh_exhibition_day3_21For Beyond Noumenon, she has created a series of works that explore erasure and the invisibility of labour. It takes so much physical labour to create the world around us – constructing buildings, manufacturing goods, cooking, cleaning… Yet, all too often this work goes unrecognised and is invisible. We see the end product – the finished building, the meal, the clean house – but not the labour of the workers that went into its creation.
This project aims to remember some of the labour of domestic work performed over and over by many generations of women for their families, but then forgotten. Through sequential action drawings, paper cuts and performance, the process of erasure is used to record the duration and actions of domestic labour. The artist herself worked as a cleaner in hospitals and private houses in her younger years and has created this project in memory of her grandmothers.
The individual works include Rosary Drawing XII (2015), a performance that explores the time-based nature of prayer beads, Scoured I-XVI (2016), a series of 16 images created through cleaning processes through the use of bleach and a scouring pad, and Cleaning I and 2 (2016), paper cuts made as the trace of a performance of cleaning.
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Sheila Sofian

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Tianran Duan

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Lei Lei

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Lots of lovely food was eaten, particularly the local hot pot!

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Meeting up with former students Dandan Wang and Lai Wei, Sheila Sofia and translator Bao Li

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Birgitta Hosea also ran a workshop on Emotional and Physical Mark-making, which used techniques from contemporary dance and method acting to challenge students’ habitual drawing methods

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Press reviews and more photos on 99ys.com, sina.cn and weixin

 

 

Beyond Noumenon

Women Hold Up Half The Sky

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Strangelove Moving Image Festival, Mon 16th March 2015: Women Hold Up Half The Sky

This 1-hour programme takes as its title a Mao-era propaganda slogan as a provocation to think about the status of women in China today relative to the past. These short, independent films by (all but one) female animators, many studying outside their native China, raise issues from contemporary China including personal identity, hormones and chemicals in factory production, the pressure of academic success, memory, the ties of family, abortion and the influence of pervasive computing.

Curated by Chunning Guo (Renmin University), Birgitta Hosea (CSM), Shelley Page (Dreamworks)

MA Character Animation, Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London:
@CSMAnimation

Women Hold Up Half The Sky

Documentation from KETCHUP

The Ketchup exhibition by Chunning (Maggie) Guo in Central Saint Martin’s Window Gallery was extended by two weeks due to popular demand.

Setting up (thanks to Judy Wang):

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The exhibition: Window I

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The exhibition: Window II

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Private View

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Presentation

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During her presentation, Maggie described how, based on incidents from her husband, Baishen Yan’s childhood in a secret military base, the installation served as a materialisation of some of the ideas behind the film. A telephone call from her mother-in-law and the sensual memory trigger of tomatoes being made into ketchup, inspired her script for the film.

Watch the film on Vimeo:

ketchup from Baishen Yan & Chunning Guo on Vimeo.

Curated by Birgitta Hosea. Photos by Birgitta Hosea and Chunning Guo.

Documentation from KETCHUP

KETCHUP by Chunning (Maggie) Guo

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

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KETCHUP by Chunning (Maggie) Guo

Calls for Papers: C.A.K.E. / BFX

Deadlines are approaching for two forthcoming conferences that invite proposals for papers on interdisciplinary themes related to animation.

CALL FOR PAPERS ~ C.A.K.E.
Edge Hill University 14th – 18th July 2014

In July 2014, Edge Hill University will be hosting a unique five-day festival and conference on Sino/UK creative animation practice research. C.A.K.E aims to provide a forum where Keynote speaks Paul Ward and Paul Wells and industry specialists Mackinnon & Saunders and Cubic Motion, as well as key speakers from CICAF will provide exciting opportunities for practice and theory, and cross-cultural debates to take place.

The conference represents a core strand within the Creative Animation Knowledge Exchange (C.A.K.E.) event that celebrates a growing relationship between the UK and Chinese animation industry and education sector. The objective of C.A.K.E. is to nurture a long-term cultural partnership with the ambition to form new collaborations, commissions and enterprise relating to creative animation practice, industry, academic research and knowledge exchange.

Final deadline for submission: 25th April 2014 (Abstracts for Papers)

Please send a 200-word abstract and short bio to Alex Jukes 

alex.jukes@edgehill.ac.uk
Further information will be available via: www.edgehill.ac.uk/cake

CALL FOR PAPERS: BFX 2014 Conference

Bournemouth University, September 22 – 24, 2014

The BFX Conference was setup in 2014 to run alongside the BFX Festival hosted by the NCCA (The National Centre for Computer Animation) at Bournemouth University.

Digital Convergences 2014

This conference intends to present and analyse the convergences that are occurring across and within the genres of moving image, in part resulting from the impact of digital technologies.

Through an interdisciplinary approach, the BFX conference invites authors to examine various theoretical positionings with a view to realign the discussion in the light of current technologies. The conference seeks to revisit the arguments that position film, animation and art as aesthetically, structurally and intellectually different.

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION: 15/05/2014

For more information and to submit online: click here

 

 

Calls for Papers: C.A.K.E. / BFX

Liquid Boundaries at the Shenzhen Architecture and Urbanism Biennale

Central Saint Martin’s Head of College, Jeremy Till, recently curated the UK Pavilion at the 2013 Shenzhen Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism taking an animated approach to his exhibition design concept with films made by students of MA Character Animation and MA Communication Design. Taking place in Southern China, this is one of the world’s most important architecture exhibitions, with over 500,000 people estimated to visit over the course of three months.

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Responding to the Biennale’s overall theme of urban boundary, architect and architectural theorist, Jeremy Till, responded with a concept of liquid boundaries. He explained to students:

We live, Zygmunt Bauman tells us, in an age of liquid modernity. Labour, capital, time and commodities have achieved an unheard-of sense of fluidity as global flows of people, money, the virtual and goods dissolve previously stable conditions.

And yet against this socio-temporal liquidity, space has apparently hardened, throwing up ever more rigid boundaries as the production of space is increasingly codified and commodified. The proposal for the UK pavilion at the Shenzhen Biennale investigates how a new generation of British architects, spatial agents and activists are challenging the fixity of boundaries and the regulation of space. From co-housing to the Occupy movement, temporary interventions to playing with codes, the exhibit will show a range of methods through which boundaries have become liquid – suggesting that these more fluid spaces are best suited to emerging social conditions of negotiation and flexibility.

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The UK Pavilion was a joint production by several of the MA courses at Central Saint Martins. The curatorial team working for Jeremy Till consisted of myself, Alison Green, Tricia Austin and Rebecca Wright. The exhibition displayed films by students from MA Character Animation and MA Communication Design and was designed by students from MA Communication Design and MA Narrative Environments. A catalogue was produced by students from MA Culture, Criticism and Curation that was designed by students from MA Communication Design. Having the only seating area in the whole exhibition was a real draw!

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IMG_0827The animations in the pavilion were a response to the work of architects and planners.  Open City, directed by Yukai Du (production team: (Kee) Jiaqi Liu, Andrea Gulli, Mohan Ganesha) responded to ideas about creative commons for the city proposed by 00 Architects. See more of Yukai Du’s work on her website.

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The Planning Game, directed by Ria Dastider (production team: (Frank) Yu Wang, Natalia Biegaj, Laura Keer) took the form of a retro game to illustrate the ideas of David Knight, DK-CM Architects, who aims to make planning popular. See more of Ria Dastider’s work on her website.

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Here is David Knight talking about his research into making planning regulations more accessible:

Liquid Boundaries at the Shenzhen Architecture and Urbanism Biennale

8th China International Cartoon and Animation Festival

CICAF is the biggest animation festival in China and includes the Golden Monkey King Animation Awards, an education summit, animation trade fair, project investment fair, masterclasses, conferences and Cosplay shows.

The tourist destination Hangzhou is beautifully located at the side of a large lake and is rapidly becoming an important city for animation with the regional government investing 70 million yuan (approx £7million) to support original animation projects in the last year. 22 major roads in the city are decorated with cartoon characters. The city is also preparing to open an amazing new Comic and Animation Museum designed by Dutch architecture firm MVRDV, which will be made in the form of cartoon bubbles and include an IMAX cinema. This museum will definitely be worth visiting when it’s completed. Here is the architectural visualisation.

I felt very privileged to be selected by the British Council to participate in the Expo as part of a UK Day. The opening ceremony for the festival was unlike anything I have ever seen before. We were taken to the Huanglong Sports Stadium, which is bigger than Wembley, to see a truly incredible show. After opening speeches from government officials on the cultural and economic significance of the animation industry, the Golden Monkey Awards were presented to festival prize winners. We were then treated to a two-hour spectacle, which featured kites, flying acrobats, mass dance troupes in all kind of costumes, ice skaters, Chinese popstars and TV presenters. Two massive screens on either side of the auditorium relayed live video feeds of the action. Huge screens also played animations that served as backdrops. Local dignitaries were seated in special seats at the front. Everyone was given plastic hand clappers with flashing LED lights so that the applause was magnified. I cannot imagine anything on this scale to launch a UK animation festival!

The scale of the expo itself was simply staggering. There were two halls in the convention centre, each the size of Olympia, but standing three stories high. On each of the three days we were there the number of people who attended the show exceeded 100,000 people. The demographic was mainly teenagers to early 20s and some families with their children.  As it was a public holiday, this seemed to be a major attraction for teenage comic and animation fans. The only event I could compare it with would be Comic Con in the USA.

I spoke to a lot of people, but the majority simply wanted their photos taken with me as there are not many foreign visitors to Hangzhou.

One of the most fascinating aspects of the trip was my introduction to the world of Cosplay. In this teenage sub-cult, costumes are worn that make the wearer look like a character from a (Japanese) comic or animation. I was fascinated by the extent to which animation could influence fashion and the sheer scale of the economics behind this.

Not only was there a Cosplay competition, but several halls of clothes and accessories. I couldn’t resist buying myself a leopard print pair of ears with bells. At times I was surrounded by elves, cat people, French maids, pirates and purple haired ancient warriors with animal ears.  I can imagine Chairman Mao turning in his grave!


On the final day of our trip, the British Council had arranged some cultural visits for us. In the morning we went to the Zhongnan Animation company. Founded in 2004 by the CEO of a construction company who wanted to see Chinese animations made for his children, the company now has over 300 staff. In the short time since it was founded, it has produced over 15 TV series and 25 feature films.

We were treated to a screening in their 4d cinema – as well as wearing 3d glasses you sit in a chair that moves with the motion of the action in the animation and air is puffed past your face at certain times. In addition, we were taken to see their merchandising store. Most of the profit in animation comes from toys and other associated items for which the animation itself serves as an advertisement. We were shown a number of new interactive toys that were being developed.


China is a clearly emerging as a force to be reckoned with in the field of animation. The animation industry is not only very successful in China economically, but also has cultural significance for the government who are keen to promote the development of Chinese art forms.

8th China International Cartoon and Animation Festival