See the video ANIMATION EXERCISE NO 13
See the video ANIMATION EXERCISE NO 18
See the video ANIMATION EXERCISE NO 19
This project started as an experiment about non-linear animation which developed away from the public eye in the intimacy of my studio. They were studio performances that I have been doing once a day for an entire week. The objective was to explore how a very short segment of evolving animation (16 frames) could relate to itself through repetition and through simple formal video processing done digitally (reversing the direction of the flow, changing speed, shuffling the order of the images, three layers compositing, etc.). The animation is done manually on a white board with a dry erase felt pen, each of the drawings is recorded in a very short digital buffer so that after the 16th drawing, every new drawing override the oldest of the existing images in the loop. As a result, this set of 16 images is changing and renewing itself very quickly, constantly heading in new unexpected directions. From one trial to another, the system grew more intricate by adding other buffers of different lengths so that the renewal rates of the different streams of images would vary, allowing for more complex and more subtle combinations. One of the buffers is long enough to keep in memory all of the drawings done during the performance so that it is possible to switch from a range of short cycles to a very long one. The result is a very malleable, very dynamic, ever changing combinatory fantasy, the closest I have been to absolute improvisation. It is an experiment both at the level of spontaneously producing the animation and at the level of the computer processing applied to it. I was happy enough with this process to start performing it in public. It lasts thirty minutes and can be done either with a prerecorded music track by Bob Ostertag or with Bob Ostertag himself or occasionally with local musicians.
One branch of this project evolved into another project that took a life of its own : Digital Scratch. As far as the animation is concerned, it shares the same approach as the Animation Exercises (all my performances do, for now), but it has the particularity of combining animation done with a digital set up and live scratched animation on black leader. It first started as an Animation Exercise, in Meldola at Area Sismica with Andrea Martignoni and continued as an autonomous project, even so when it became an homage to Norman McLaren’s famous film Blinkity Blank.