The Telegram (St. John's)

An­i­ma­tion fest goes live

Chro­matose Any­ma­tion Fes­ti­val starts to­day


“Any­ma­tion” can now be added to the prov­ince’s bur­geon­ing list of fes­ti­val themes. Black Bag Me­dia Col­lec­tive, a lo­cal group of artists who work in mu­sic pro­duc­tion, new me­dia and per­form­ing arts, is get­ting ready to stage the first an­nual Chro­matose Any­ma­tion Fes­ti­val in St. John’s this week­end.

The event, which fea­tures film screen­ings and mu­sic per­for­mances at The Ship Pub the first two nights and a par­tic­i­pants’ con­fer­ence “around the Me­ta­verse” (a fic­tional vir­tual world) on Sun­day, will in­tro­duce au­di­ences to a “new genre” of an­i­ma­tion that fes­ti­val or­ga­nizer Liz Solo says is presently “un­der­neath the an­i­ma­tion world” and “still evolv­ing and defin­ing it­self.”

Ac­cord­ing to dig­i­tal artist Tom Jan­tol, author of the “Any­ma­tion Man­i­festo,” the con­cept sig­ni­fies a new ap­proach to dig­i­tal an­i­ma­tion, one that is de­ter­mi­nately “ less con­scious of the bar­ri­ers typ­i­cally seen be­tween the dif­fer­ent types of dig­i­tal ex­pres­sion” and whose prac­ti­tion­ers boast a “‘re­nais­sance man’ kind of will­ing­ness to har­ness any avail­able tool or method to cre­ate that ex­pres­sion.”

Jan­tol hails from Croa­tia and is renowned for his work in the “machina” genre of an­i­ma­tion. He will travel to St. John’s for the fes­ti­val, which will fea­ture the “real life” pre­miere of a new short film, says Solo.

Solo and the Black Bag crew, in­clud­ing fes­ti­val co-di­rec­tors Steve Abbott and Mike Kean, share a keen de­sire to ex­plore the “re­la­tion­ship be­tween real-life space and vir­tual space.”

“ We’ve done a lot of events over the last num­ber of years that have hap­pened si­mul­ta­ne­ously in real life and vir­tual space, pro­ject­ing one into the other,” Solo ex­plains. “And through trav­el­ling in these com­mu­ni­ties we’ve dis­cov­ered … this whole plethora of tools that are be­com­ing avail­able for (do-it-your­self) ap­proaches to an­i­ma­tion.”

The fes­ti­val’s sec­ond night will be “de­voted to mu­si­cians and their use of an­i­ma­tion,” Solo ex­plains. “ We have quite a few sub­mis­sions from Nova Sco­tia: Tom Fun Fam­ily Or­ches­tra, Down With The But­ter­fly,” and In-Flight Safety, to name a few.

“ There’s a piece made with an­i­mat­ing a video us­ing only Lite-Brite, to hand-drawn pen­cil an­i­ma­tions to re­ally amaz­ing CGI stuff and ex­per­i­men­tal stuff. So we’re try­ing to en­cour­age and demon­strate … how mu­si­cians, in par­tic­u­lar, are us­ing these new tools to en­hance their mu­sic, make short films with their songs as sound­track, or re­lease straight up mu­sic videos us­ing these tools.”

If con­cepts like “ma­chin­ima” and “any­ma­tion” or even dig­i­tal an­i­ma­tion, are un­fa­mil­iar to art en­thu­si­asts, Solo says not to worry. “Some of the en­vi­ron­ments some peo­ple are shoot­ing in may be brand new to (other) peo­ple. We’re go­ing to put ev­ery­thing into con­text, so it should be ed­u­ca­tional as well. And then we have, sprin­kled through­out, some per­for­mance pieces.”

“Chro­matose” will fea­ture mu­si­cal per­for­mances by Lo­cal Tough, Black Bags, Lizband and Gei­nus, and, dur­ing the screen­ings, the work of lo­cal artists like Crash Jones and Jeremy Rice of The Sell­outs, as well as artists from the United States, the U.K. and Canada.

The fes­ti­val web site’s main page reads: “Don’t be afraid of new things.”

Solo ex­plains that there is re­sis­tance to a lot of new ideas in dig­i­tal an­i­ma­tion.

“I don’t know that it’s ev­ery­where, but we en­counter it,” she says. “ There’s also big back­lash in the main­stream me­dia based on a lack of un­der­stand­ing. So it’s some­thing that we’re try­ing to coun­ter­act.” She and the Black Bag col­lec­tive are ea­ger to “share with the com­mu­nity the amaz­ing, cool stuff (we’ve) been un­cov­er­ing in (our) ex­per­i­ments and ex­plo­ration of dig­i­tal technology.”

She main­tains there is a gen­uine de­sire to “ bring peo­ple in to ex­pe­ri­ence this won­der­ful work.”

The Chro­matose Any­ma­tion Fes­ti­val runs to­day to Sun­day at The Ship Pub and around the Me­ta­verse.

For more in­for­ma­tion, in­clud­ing ad­mis­sion costs and a full sched­ule of events, visit the fes­ti­val’s web­site at www.rock­can­roll­­i­m­fest.

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 ?? — Sub­mit­ted pho­tos ?? The Chro­matose Any­ma­tion Fes­ti­val will in­clude screen­ings of Liz Solo’s “Ma­chine I Am” (from top), Trace San­der­son’s “Push” and Les­vatar’s “Love Sick”.
— Sub­mit­ted pho­tos The Chro­matose Any­ma­tion Fes­ti­val will in­clude screen­ings of Liz Solo’s “Ma­chine I Am” (from top), Trace San­der­son’s “Push” and Les­vatar’s “Love Sick”.

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