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Speakers

Abigail Addison (UK)

Short biography

Abigail Addison co-directs Animate Projects, a UK-based arts agency that champions creative animation practice, and produces ambitious interdisciplinary projects, such as Silent Signal, with a range of partners. As a freelance producer she works with cultural organisations and individual artists on developing, producing and exhibiting experimental moving image projects. Abigail is a Trustee of film and photography charity Four Corners, and an advisor to Underwire Festival.

Presentation

Silent Signal: Exploring Visionary Science through Experimental Animation
Producer Abigail Addison will present on Silent Signal, a project that connects six artists working with animation and six biomedical scientists. Together the collaborators have created experimental animated artworks that elicit new ways of thinking about the human body. These works explore the signals that enable our bodies to operate and to adapt to fight disease, and raise questions around how our immune system functions, the use of our genetic code, and how disease is spread. The presentation will explore how each project provides a creative response to cutting-edge research in order to bring to life the science. It will examine the different ways the artists and scientists have worked together to find a common language, and how each artist has engaged with their collaborating scientists’ data, tools and processes.

Diana Arellano (ES/DE)

Short biography

Diana Arellano is a researcher and software developer at the Research and Development department at the Institute of Animation, Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg. Her research topics are mainly focused on affective facial animation and its creative use in fields other than entertainment. In addition to this, she supports the Technical Director students on their research projects. Diana Arellano has also collaborated in the organization and as scientific committee member of international conferences (e.g. FMX, AMDO, ICAART, Interacción, SIGGRAPH as a student volunteer). She is currently Co-Chair of the ACM SIGGRAPH International Resources Committee (IRC).

Presentation

The Other Face of Character Animation
Animated or virtual characters have belonged for a long time to the film or games industry. But what happens when one wants to use animated characters in a different field than entertainment? Specifically, where and how can we use facial animation in a way that produces a bigger impact and supports other disciplines? These questions will be answered by presenting a number of interdisciplinary projects realized at the Institute of Animation, Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg like The Muses of Poetry and SARA—Stylized Animation for Research in Autism, which have been mostly focused on real-time facial animation.

Reinhold Bidner (AT)

Short biography

Reinhold studied Animation and Electronic Media in Salzburg (AT), Dundee (Scotland/UK) and in Berlin (DE). In 2001 he joined the Ars Electronica Futurelab in Linz (Time-based Media, 2001-2006) and since 2006 he has been experimenting in the fields of Animation and Media Art, either as an individual or as a member of two collectives: goldextra and 1n0ut. Since 1999 he has received various awards and residencies for his artistic work. Reinhold lives and works in Vienna and Salzburg, and teaches at University of Art & Design Linz in the fields of Motion Graphics, Interactive Video and Animation. In 2012, he also became a member of Salzburg's provincial advisory board of fine arts.

Presentation

Animation and Artistic Diversity
Reinhold´s artistic work is always at least cross-linked to animation in diverse fields, settled somewhere between Media Art, (robotic) performances, games, and Augmented Reality. These projects aim to combine technology with social or political topics. Animation, in all its variety, offers incredible potential for addressing social topics and visualizing their complex interrelations, particularly with the new tools and devices now available and artistic disciplines merging with each other. In reference to this, Reinhold will talk about some of his own diverse experiments and also about some other Austrian animation examples that he would consider “Expanded” Animation.

Manuel Casasola Merkle (DE)

Short biography

Manuel Casasola Merkle is a Graphic Designer and Technical Director with over 15 years of experience. He likes to dive deep into the ins & outs of contemporary CG research, burying his desk under piles of SIGGRAPH papers, and thus racking up quite diverse software and programming skills. After graduating from the University of Applied Sciences in Nürnberg in 2000, he co-founded Aixsponza, an interdisciplinary design company based in Munich Germany, in 2006.

Presentation

Planting Seeds of Surreality
Just as the flat bed scanner marked a seismic shift in graphic design in the early nineties of the last century, 3D scanning techniques have started to increasingly influence computer animation. The broad access to these methods, caused by ever more powerful computers, the rapid enhancements to photogrammetry software and thus massively reduced costs, opens new possibilities to a wide spectrum of artists. The “Seed” movie is a visual experiment that makes heavy use of scanned data to create a surreal experience. Samples from the ordinary world that surrounds us are put into a new and artificial context. The contrasting relationship between formerly unrelated objects encourages the spectator to create an individual interpretation. In this talk we’ll shed light on the possibilities these manipulations of our perceived reality offer.

Erwin Feyersinger (AT/DE)

Short biography

Dr. Erwin Feyersinger is a research associate in the Department of Media Studies at the University of Tübingen. His research is mainly concerned with film and animation, and relies on narratological, semiotic, and cognitive frameworks. He is member of the editorial board of Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal. His current research project focuses on theories of visual abstraction and dynamic visualizations. He is initiator and co-coordinator of the interest group AG Animation as part of the Gesellschaft für Medienwissenschaft (GfM). Together with Maike Sarah Reinerth, he recently guest edited an issue of Montage AV on animation.

Presentation

Wizards of Data: Embodied Cognition and Animated Visualizations
Dynamic, i.e. animated, visualizations are a highly pervasive form of moving images, increasingly used in various academic disciplines, in journalism, and in education. While many visualizations foster meaning-making of complex phenomena, others achieve quite the opposite by being unintentionally misleading or even intentionally deceptive. I will argue that embodied image schemata strongly influence both the understanding and misunderstanding of visualizations.

Mihai Grecu (RO)

Short biography

Mihai Grecu was born in 1981. Ever since studying art and cinema in France, at the Fresnoy Studio of Contemporary Arts, he has been developing a complex personal visual language. By mixing symbolic images with highly metaphorical situations and surreal atmospheres, his works challenge the viewer’s perception as well as contemporary imagery, with recurring themes such as environment, war, water and metamorphosis. His films-poems have been shown in numerous film and new media festivals worldwide (Rotterdam, Festival of New Cinema in Montreal, Clermont Ferrand, Videobrasil) and exhibitions (“Dans la nuit, des images” at the Grand Palais in Paris, Mois de la Photographie in Paris, Hengesbach Gallery in Berlin, etc).

Presentation

Under the Centipede Sun
Mihai Grecu makes what would be defined as non-narrative short films mixing 3D simulation techniques with real footage. Yet definitions cannot exist in the universe created by those films. Grecu blends images of global challenges with images of existential uncertainties into space where time passes as for a fly paralyzed in a spider’s web. This view is trying to hold on to reality slipping away differently in every facet. What it catches is hyper real, up to every scale of a fish swimming in the air (Glucose), or every drop of a rain fallen upside down (Coagulate). The hyper real breaks the rational observation delicately enough not to proclaim what is seen a fantasy, but to promote it to a parallel present, an unknown twin of the reality we used to believe was the only one. With just one slight difference, such as North Korea possible to be flooded like Atlantis (The Reflection of Power), or raspberry jam possible to pollute a big river (Exland). Absurdity makes these landscapes even more believable – because lies are logical, while the nature takes chances. The excessive images of liquids (oil, water, syrup), fire and smoke in the films play with the anxious feeling that somehow nature's sublime forces were distorted and hacked into an unknown reality. Those matters also represent the infinite number of nature’s varieties, as they are always similar and never the same. People say they can look at water or fire forever, which, after all, corresponds with the pace of time in Grecu’s films.

Yuya Hanai (JP)

Short biography

B. 1986. Software engineering. Rhizomatiks co., ltd. Hanai studied at School of Integrated Design Engineering, Graduate School of Science and Technology, Keio University. After his engineer career in R&D department at Sony Corporation, he started working at Rhizomatiks. By using computer vision skills, Hanai took part in various projects such as “Perfume at SXSW”, Nosaj Thing’s mucis video “Cold Stares ft. Chance The Rapper + The O’My’s” and NHK (a state- sponsored channel) “NEXT WORLD LIVE”. He won “Craft Award” in 2015 55th ACC CM FESTIVAL as an engineer.

Jonas Hansen (DE)

Short biography

Jonas Hansen is a designer and media artist who works at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne (KHM) at the Laboratory for Dimensional Research (Lab.D) in the area of experimental 3D and games. He is co-founder of the Cologne based Paidia Institute and the Dutch media art collective z25.org. In his artistic work Jonas Hansen develops interactive systems and experimental games that often explore the boundaries between the real and the virtual world. He has taken part in numerous international exhibitions and festivals, including Museum of Modern Art (Rovereto), ComeOutAndPlay festival (Amsterdam), Artefact festival (Leeuven), V2_ Institute for the Unstable Media (Rotterdam), Ars Electronica (Linz), Transmediale (Berlin), Translife International Triennial of New Media Art China (Beijing) and Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie, ZKM (Karlsruhe).

Presentation

No Frame
In this talk I will focus on strategies that expand and question the traditional use of the screen and actively incorporate the human body and the physical space. Not only since the renaissance of virtual reality has the rigid format of the screen as a frame been challenged, but also through a long history of artistic inquiries that explored the boundaries between the real and the mediated space. The question we have to ask ourselves is to what extent these expanded spaces create a deeper understanding of reality or completely cut us off via immersive simulations of existence. Examples of my own work and also the work of the students of the newly formed department exMedia at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne will be shown to open discussions about the hybrid forms in art, animation and games.

Markos R. Kay (UK)

Short biography

Markos R. Kay (MRK) is a digital artist, director and lecturer based in London. He is best known for his artificial life video art experiment “aDiatomea”, exhibited at Haeckel's Phyletic Museum. His work can be described as an ongoing abstraction and digitisation of the microscopic world through computer simulations and generative techniques. These experiments explore the scientific methods and processes that reveal information about the complexity and emergence of the invisible.

Presentation

Visualisation and Simulation in Art & Science
In the works presented, computer simulations are used as an artistic tool to visualise scientific observations. Observation can be defined as the abstraction of information from a source. In visual perception, light information is transformed and processed through the brain to create a representation of phenomena. In scientific observation, instruments intervene to translate information from aspects of reality that cannot be directly observed into perceptible forms. Thus, the scientific narrative mediates information, transforming it into emergent orders of complexity to produce scientific knowledge. This knowledge is further abstracted when it is represented in visual form. Scientific visualisations communicate these observations, guiding and forming the way this knowledge is perceived and understood.  This work takes the form of virtual experiments consisting of parametric systems that are set into motion to generate emergent structures and interactions. As visualised digital recordings, they illustrate the informational paradigm of science as expressed through the tools and iconography of scientific observation.

Boris Labbé (FR)

Short biography

After obtaining a DNAP (National Diploma in Visual Arts) at l’Ecole supérieure d’art et de céramique de Tarbes, Boris Labbé continued his studies at the EMCA of Angoulême (Ecole des métiers du cinéma d’animation). At the EMCA, he produced Kyrielle, his final film project, which was awarded the Special Jury’s prize for Graduation Films at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival in 2012. Simultaneously, he developed an artistic work that is both visual and plastic. He spent a year at the Casa de Velázquez in Madrid. RHIZOME is his first professional film.

Moritz Schwind (DE)

Short biography

The chain of events according to Moritz:
Born. Year 1 - don't remember much. Year 2 - still no memories. Year 3 - still nothing. Kindergarten. Lego is awesome! Elementary school. Elementary school. Thought I knew EVERYTHING. Elementary school. Gymnasium. Wing Commander is the shit. Programming is awesome. POV-Ray is great. Teachers are crappy. Girls. Beer. Teachers still crappy. Cocktails. A-Levels. Civic service. Parachuting. University. Computer science is hard. Working instead. Another University. Programming is awesome again. CGI is awesome again too. Interning at Sehsucht. Building a 3D scanner as thesis. Working. University again. Programming is easy - concept is hard. Master thesis. Working. Working at another place. Quitting & getting some sleep. Freelancing. Working at Aixsponza. Today.

Presentation

Planting Seeds of Surreality
Just as the flat bed scanner marked a seismic shift in graphic design in the early nineties of the last century, 3D scanning techniques have started to increasingly influence computer animation. The broad access to these methods, caused by ever more powerful computers, the rapid enhancements to photogrammetry software and thus massively reduced costs, opens new possibilities to a wide spectrum of artists. The “Seed” movie is a visual experiment that makes heavy use of scanned data to create a surreal experience. Samples from the ordinary world that surrounds us are put into a new and artificial context. The contrasting relationship between formerly unrelated objects encourages the spectator to create an individual interpretation. In this talk we’ll shed light on the possibilities these manipulations of our perceived reality offer.

Matthias Winckelmann (DE)

Short biography

Matthias Winckelmann is a designer and director based in London, UK. He works as the Head of 3D at the internationally renowned design and motion studio ManvsMachine. After studying Visual Communications in Offenbach, Germany, and Media Art in Shanghai, China, he received his diploma in Film, Design and Media Sociology in 2011. Starting his professional career as a freelance designer and director in 2009, he quickly established himself by creating top projects for prestigious clients worldwide, such as Nike, Apple, Honda, BMW, Audi, Toshiba and many more.

Presentation

Animals vs Machines – When Creativity Goes Uncontrollable
Contemporary design studios work predominantly within their conceptual thinking. The project brief guides designers through the process of research and development. “VERSUS” is a project without a brief, an opportunity for an unpredictable result. Sometimes creativity is uncontrollable and a hint to our ever present primeval nature. Matthias Winckelmann, Head of 3D at London-based studio ManvsMachine, will be talking about the short animation “VERSUS”, how it came to existence with the help of MAXON and how it developed into a viral campaign that keeps on recreating itself.

Website

mvsm.com/