Ars Electronica Animation Festival

Selection of the best works of the Prix 2010

2.9 – 7. 9.

Films that challenge our spatial perceptions, “Dark Stories” that transport us into an absurd world in which the customary criteria of perception have gone completely haywire; cinematographic narratives from different ethnic groups and expressed correspondingly in a variety of substantive formats ranging from the comic-grotesque to the serious-traditional; statements containing political, social, ecological and cultural messages; transformations of states of existence; and films that merge the coordinates at the nexus of music, sound and imagery. The description of our endeavors to create an ordering system is itself an expression of the tremendous diversity of digital design variants in their multifarious areas of application in advertising, film industry special effects, TV, science and art. The Ars Electronica Animation Festival 2010 is meant to provide insights that demonstrate the current state of the art of digital visual design.

Dark Stories
The dark and shadowy sides of life emerge—abysses, threatening worlds of imagery, black fantasies. We become observers of the realization of death’s approach, of transgressing boundaries, of the discourse on biotech development, of battle scenes and criminal cases. Definitely not a program for the faint of heart!

Experimentation & Abstraction
In this program, viewers are confronted by digitally painted visions. Shifting, interwoven worlds of imagery captivate our perceptions. 2D overlays, motion patterns, fluid simulation, abstraction—the entire spectrum of generated images accompany us through the domain of 21st-century experimental animation.

Inner & Outer Spaces
The inner world interacting with the outer world—this is a theme that has long occupied philosophers, poets and thinkers as well as marketing strategists and ecologists. So it’s logical that the latest possibilities of image design and the storytelling that results from it magically attract the graphic artists of our century. They employ the means made available by their times to take a position on a timeless theme and consistently formulate it anew.

Late Night Stories
When the day makes the transition from grey to black and the shadows grow longer, it’s time for stories that are nothing less than abstruse. This is a world populated by baby skaters, surreal fish, robots, and people who mutate into animals. In short: just the stuff for late-evening entertainment!

Narration as it is
Not all the narratives in this program can necessarily be recommended as bedtime stories, but each demonstrates in its own way its filmmaker’s skill in dramaturgy, design and storytelling. They most certainly are not stories taken from real life—or are they? It depends on how much the audience gets into them.

Positions & Messages
Securities speculation, environmental pollution, conflicts in the family, making a political statement—these are the themes about which this lineup of films has something to say. Emotion, satire, pathos, grotesqueness are the devices the filmmakers use to formulate their messages.

Short Cuts
A real entertainment program—short films that head for their objectives without detours or pussyfooting. Stories from a variety of genres, full of surprises. No subplots or shades of nuance; just the straightforward plot. This program includes ads as well as storytelling from artists’ studios. Comedy is the primary common denominator.

Visual Sounds & Music
The interplay of music and sounds probably has the longest tradition in what used to be called electronic art. In today’s live music scene, this form is being reinterpreted. Nevertheless, since the 1980s, such productions have been far outnumbered by music videos, a format perfectly suited to mass media and TV. This program brings together highly diverse forms with the common denominator of music, sound and visuals. Poetic, witty, sensual.

Transformations from Real to Abstract
The 1980s was the era of morphing—image sequences that evoke the impression of constant transformation. It almost seemed as if no commercial could be made without using it. Today, morphing is nothing special, and has long since ceased to be the only technique that artists use to describe transformations. To accomplish this, filmmakers utilize visual effects, traditional animation or even hypnotic experiments.

Japan Media Arts Festival Selection
Visual imaginativeness and unconventional narrative forms characterize animation made in Japan. This program shows various kinds of Japanese animation from the latest Japan Media Arts Festival, which is the hybrid festival that focuses on Japanese pop culture phenomena such as animation, manga, games and media arts.

young animations
Witty, off-beat, subtle, tragic and serious animated work produced by young filmmakers will be screened during the Festival Ars Electronica. Every year,
gifted young filmmakers submit their movies to u19 – freestyle computing (Austria), bugnplay (Switzerland), MB21 (Germany) and C3<19 (Hungary).
The greatest hits will be featured in young animations.

Curated by: Christine Schöpf (AT) / Jürgen Hagler (AT)
Trailerconcept, Production & Audio: Matthias Isele (DE)
Project Management: Bianca Petscher (AT)

Project Assistance: Lukas Dullnig (AT)

Filming and photographing during the screenings is prohibited.

All Rights Reserved, 2010.
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