One of the main screenings is extended play 05, an international selection of animated short films. Clearly the audience is getting used to the fact that everything is possible with digital effects nowadays. The technology is so advanced that creating good looking images with the computer is not much of a challange anymore. This gives directors the chance to focus more on the artistic side of animation. Unfortunately extended play did not offer many experiments style-wise. Perhaps the most unusual films were the ones that mixed traditional animation with digital enhancements like Sarah Cox’ Heavy Pockets, City Paradise from Gaëlle Denis or the miniture city in Stephen Irwin’s Dialog.
If you think about Pixar and the like when it comes to computer animation you wont be disappointed by the extended play programme. Films like Merveilleusement Gris (Geoffroy Barbet Massin) and 9 (Shane Acker) manage to make you laugh and feel for the characters. Also the students from the French animation school Supinfocom show off their skills with Over Time (Oury Atlan, Thibaut Berland, Damien Ferrie) and True Color (Bertrand Bey, Pierre Ducos). No doubt that these films are technically advanced but their fascination has to come from the story they tell or the situation they describe.
Still the most stunning short film amazes on the technological side but will also make you terrified and hold on to your seat. Dominic Hailstone’s The Eel doesn’t really have a story but its combination of a dark environment with incredibly realistic looking visual effects and gripping music makes it stand out from the rest.
Onedotzero9 doesn’t only offer screenings but also two exhibitions: Touching the Invisible: Smart Studio and Generative X. Both of them are rather small. Smart Studio is a Swedish research lab fusing technology and art. However, the presented selection is nothing really new – things that you might already have seen at other events a couple of years ago such as Brainball and the Brainbar which both are controlled via brainwaves.
Generative X works a little better as a side exhibition because it focuses on what the rest of onedotzero is about: art on screen. In this case it is algorithmic art – most of it interactive to a certain extent. Still I think onedotzero could leave the tangible computer arts to other events and focus on a showcase of great digital animation.
You still have a chance to catch an extended play 05 screening tonight or on Sunday, June 5.