Lab for Animation Research (LAR) operates as a research centre for studying the art of animation. Specifically, LAR operates as a lab within the Department of Fine Arts of the Cyprus University of Technology and aims at studying the artistic possibilities of animation. LAR uses a wide range of digital and “traditional” technologies and artistic practices as methods to experiment, study and develop innovative expressive methods for creating animation artworks.
“I see you in the trees” is a comparative study of people and trees, which explores humanity and its complexities within the context of nature, thus forging a path to self-realization. In a bid to convey dynamic connectivity, which neutralizes bias while initiating empathy and compassion, participants were asked to illustrate their innermost self while considering the anatomical attributes of trees. It is these deep personal insights, which the artist has forested into a collective plantation of 100 curated selves/people that offers viewers a truly polyphonous experience. Re-establishing this symbiotic connection is an attempt at saving trees and people simultaneously, since both are under threat.
For Carl Jung, the tree symbolized the Self, androgyny (integration and equality between the masculine and feminine principles), and individuation.
Concept and digital processing: Nina Sumarac Jablonsky
Audio-video projected in space, indoor (or outdoor) Installation
Animation and video editing: Nicos Synnos, Marinos Savva and Christos Georgiou
Drawings: various participants
Theme: Inspiration for the title is taken from the lyrics “Sycamore Trees” by Angelo Badalamenti / David K. Lynch
The “weather project” is -originally- an installation artwork by Olafur Eliasson (Figure 1) exhibited at Tate, London, in 2003. In Eliasson’s installation, objects representing the sun, and lights representing the light of the sky are exposed at the Turbine Hall of the Tate Gallery. The observer is dazzled with an atmospheric experience indoors. An outdoor experience replaces the limits of the walls and the ceiling of the gallery.
In our project, we propose to create a live animated film material that uses a similar logic, specifically recreating the outdoor conditions within an animated artificial reality of a weather-sensitive animation. Immersive technologies and experimental practices can be applied to create environments within art installation concepts and explore live animation capabilities.
As mentioned above, the animated film material will be weather-sensitive, meaning that it will be transforming following the actual real-time weather conditions (wind, temperature, rain, humidity, barometric pressure).
To implement this project, we need to acquire and extract weather data from a weather station installed nearby. The data extraction must be processed through a programming language (namely Python) and interact with a 3D animated setting that will be projected.
What we expect to find:
The implementation of this project will experiment with the concept of creating artificial realities with references to real-time, actual data. Actual weather data will be “translated” into artificial animated narratives and meanings, anchored to “real” data. As with the previously mentioned projects, this idea has technical and philosophical parameters and implications that we could extract and expand.
Following the multilayered digital frame logic, we aim to create a narrative within a single frame of a film (i.e., a 1/25 of a second). The animation frame components and the space around them is examined as potential filming spaces and therefore, digital cinematography practices can be applied within. A single digital multilayered frame (or “working file”) from a commercial animated movie will be used for these experiments. This approach will examine the new technical potentials of animation film and the philosophical and even the political allusions that arise.
This project’s implementation requires the acquisition of a single frame from a commercial animated movie. The file must include all layers with their components such as characters, filters, graphics etc. Any licenses must be acquired to have the permission to alter and evolve the frame into new film footages.
What we expect to find:
In this project, we expect to experiment with how a bit of an animated movie’s flow can create new narratives and animated stories. The abovementioned project has technical, perceptual, and philosophical implications and references. For example, it opens up a space of new possibilities embedded within a single frame of an already existent animated film. A narrative can be analyzed to autonomous bits of information that exist within an organized set of frames that structure a narrative. The same bit of information can be extracted from its original setting and create a different set of animated forms with different narratives. Results may be presented or directed as video art or film.
Following the theory, modern art is concerned with examining the concepts of space and time. Space and time in film and animation can be broken and rearranged; thus, they become fluid entities that we can manipulate.
Narratives are bounded to spatial and temporal variables. Thus, by intentionally manipulating the spatial and temporal parameters of animation-making mechanics, we can create conditions under which an animated artwork can be perceived, understood, and acquire meaning.
By using 3D digital reconstructions of pre-cinema, animation optical devices, we aim to experiment with the way narratives are formed under specific conditions and parameters that we control. Such parameters are the camera’s position within the digital structure and the point of view under which the animation unfolds. 3D reconstructions of pre-cinema toys allow us to experiment freely with the camera and the movement of the frames, without the obstacles we would face through an actual, material reconstruction of pre-cinema toys. Additionally, we will use animation sequences, already existed in pre-cinema optical devices and motion research.
What we expect to find:
Preliminary results suggest that depending on the point of view, the spatial and temporal dimensions of animation break down, creating new narrative forms. For example, a point of view that aims at a center of revolving frames, as seen below, breaks down the spatial dimension into several distinct states, each of it representing different rules onto which the temporal dimension evolves, thus creating a different narrative.