Symposium 2019 – Out of the Box


For seven years the symposium Expanded Animation has been researching contemporary positions at the intersection of technology, art, animation, and aesthetics under a different thematic focal point every year. This year’s edition takes the festival motto Out of the Box – the Midlife Crisis of the Digital Revolution and offers several panel discussions of current trends in the extended field of computer animation. Out of the Box in the sense of “thinking against all conventions” captures the basic essence of the Expanded Cinema movement, widely regarded as a pioneer of media art.

”Expanded Cinema” is everything that goes beyond conventional movie projection, and therefore ranges from multiple projections to the utopia of pill films and cloud projections […] as well as from connection with other media […] to the cinematic environment. Expanded Cinema is an attempt to push the boundaries of the movie screen.[1]

As in the first conferences about computer animations within Ars Electronica during the 1980s, practice and theory are of equal importance. The symposium tries to give answers to current positions and presents approaches from the fields of art, research and industry.

The symposium starts with the Prix Forum, where the Prix Ars Electronica 2019 winners in the computer animation category present their awarded works. Following that, the anthology Expanded Animation. Mapping an Unlimited Landscape [2], will be displayed. The work contains a synopsis of lectures and artistic positions from the last five years and showcases a selection of contemporary artistic works from Prix Ars Electronica. The first panel is dedicated to the central topic Out of the Box: Jakob Schuh, multiple-award-winning animation filmmaker, and Klaudiusz Wesołowski, director at the award-winning animation studio Platige Image, are both textbook examples of a cinematic narration off the beaten path. Mark Chavez presents an artistic research project about quantum theory, and media artist Pak will talk about his experiences in delegating the curator’s role to the machine, thereby involving public opinion, in order to reflect and reinforce current aesthetic trends.

The symposium opens a new chapter with the panel Expanded Games. The intersection between animation and games is elucidated from the angles of art, theory and practice. Filmmaker and game designer Michael Frei will grant insight into his artistic works, Miguel Sicart will give a lecture about the aesthetic experience of games, and Andreas Suika will talk about current workflows in the game industry.

The panel “Art and Industry” will once again present current trends from the applied artistic field of 3D animation and motion graphics.

Beeple – Mike Winkelmann provides insight into his artistic œuvre, the “everydays,” so-called “finger exercises” that are created on a single day. Beeple is among the pioneers of this genre – he has created over 4500 “everydays” during the last 12 years and enjoys cult status among his fanbase. Furthermore, the media designer Nidia Dias and the 3D artist and director Julius Steinhauser from the animation studio ZEITGUISED / foam studio will present applied works, from motion graphics to experimental 3D animations. Additionally, many of the presented works can be watched at the Ars Electronica Animation Screening and in the Deep Space 8K at the Ars Electronica Center.

[1] Hans Scheugl and Ernst Schmidt, Eine Subgeschichte des Films. Lexikon des Avantgarde-, Experimental- und Undergroundfilms (Frankfurt a. M.:, 1974), p. 253.

[2] Juergen Hagler et al., eds., Expanded Animation. Mapping an Unlimited Landscape (Hatje Cantz, 2019).

A detailed Schedule for the Animation Screening can be found on the Ars Electronica Website


Speakers at the 2019 Expanded Animation symposium: Prix Ars Electronica 2019 Winners in the category Computer Animation, Beeple – Mike Winkelmann (US), Mark Chavez (US), Nidia Dias (PT), Michael Frei (CH), Pak (TR), Jakob Schuh (DE), Miguel Sicart (DK), Andreas Suika (DE), Klaudiusz Wesołowski (PL) and ZEITGUISED / foam Studio – Julius Steinhauser.

Organization: Expanded Animation is produced jointly by the Upper Austria University of Applied Sciences’ Hagenberg Campus and the Festival Ars Electronica, and organized by Elmar Glaubauf, Jeremiah Diephuis, Juergen Hagler, Michael Lankes, Alexander Wilhelm / Upper Austria University of Applied Sciences’ Hagenberg Campus / Department Digital Media.