Jamestown Baloos (1957) [SLYT] by Robert Breer [PDF] (previously) "is a frenetic, three-part stop-motion animation that features an army of everyday forms and figures — geometric shapes, a piece of string, newspaper clips, a pin-up girl, even Napoleon Bonaparte — flashing across the screen. Placed in increasingly compromised situations and choreographed to a jingoistic tune, the figures essentially become puppets of their former selves. Such unrelenting visuals recall not only Fernand Léger’s early experimental film, Ballet Mécanique (1924), as Breer himself has mentioned, but also early twentieth-century Dadaist collage. Dada artists like Kurt Schwitters and Hannah Höch created witty, unapologetic works that reflected the chaos and violence of modern existence. Jamestown Baloos serves, as their works did, as a pointed indictment on the absurdity of war."
2012 Vimeo Awards Nominations — There are 13 categories including four new ones. The Experimental category is lots of fun. [previously]
In 2003 and again in 2009, Director Andy Glynne, with Mosaic Films and BBC4 created Animated Minds, a series of animated documentaries to express the subjective experiences of various kinds of mental health disorders. [more inside]
On August 12th, pioneering experimental animator Robert Breer passed away at the age of 84. [more inside]
Al Jarnow had been exploring time and space in his panoramic paintings when a friend suggested he try animation. From experimental films (Cubits) he went on to create shorts for Children's Television Workshop that were seen by millions on Sesame Street (Yak, Orange, Floor Tiles, Block City, Perpectives, Put Your Litter in the Can, Real Cats Drink Milk) and 3-2-1 Contact (Facial Recognition). One standout is Cosmic Clock, which speeds us through time much the way the Eames' Powers of Ten speeds us through space. Along with his collected works on DVD, Numero Group has released the half-hour documentary Asymmetric Cycles: The Work Of Al Jarnow. [more inside]
What does the artist do to a machine? There's a hammer lying here. Suppose we consider the computer a tool very much like the hammer, only we don't know what to make with it or what to do with it. [more inside]
Harry Everett Smith was a, "20th-century Renaissance man, working as an abstract film-maker, painter, musicologist, anthropologist, theoretician, self-mythologizer and connoisseur of arcana". His Anthology of American Folk Music was hugely influential on American music, while his alchemical, synæsthetic films were to have a similar impact on experimental film and animation. Enjoy his mesmerising and astonishing "Early Abstractions" on Youtube [part 1 or 4], hear Harry lecture, or listen to some tracks from The Anthology.
Norman McLaren's Masterpiece with music by Oscar Peterson. Each frame of this short was scratched directly onto the film in order to be in perfect synch with the pre-recorded soundtrack. This has been discussed before here and more generally here but I haven't seen this online until now. More on Norman McLaren.
I've been having a good time with "You and We", a project from Born Magazine that invites you to "contribute your words and images to this continuously evolving, collective experiment." Users upload art, text and photos to be collaged together in a fast-moving montage that actually turns out to be pretty nice. So far there have been over a thousand contributors. [Flash, Sound (toggles), and possibly NSFW.]