Kid Koala and Hololabs, a company specializing in 3D video and holography, will be presenting a dreamlike installation inspired by the method that Norman McLaren used to create his animated film Dots (1940). In his film, McLaren applied dots of paint directly to film, then “brought them to life”. In Phonophotopia, the designers have replaced McLaren’s strips of film with a life-size conveyor belt installed outside the Théâtre Maisonneuve at Place des Arts, and the dots of paint with blocks of various shapes and colours. Members of the public are invited to place the blocks on the conveyor belt wherever they like, and the results are translated into an animated film with soundtrack, just like McLaren’s, but projected on the theatre’s façade. The creative possibilities are endless.
Kid Koala is a music producer, author, and world renowned scratch D.J. He has released four albums on the Ninja Tune label and published two graphic novels. In addition to working with Gorillaz and Deltron 3030, he has toured with many famous musical groups, including Radiohead and the Beastie Boys, and as a founding member of the music project The Slew. He has composed the soundtracks for several live-action and animated films, a number of them produced by the NFB.
Founded by Paul Warne and Mike Wozniewski, Hololabs is a Montreal company that specializes in putting technology at the service of creativity. The multidisciplinary Hololabs team includes specialists in the design of video games, interactive web applications, artistic installations and projects that use virtual-reality technology. Two of the firm’s most noteworthy achievements are the video installation/game Breaking the Ice, which was presented at the CODE digital art festival during the 2010 Winter Olympics and won an OCTAS award, and the mobile application Farrago AR. Hololabs is currently developing a video-game-authoring platform called Papercade, which lets players design games themselves and share them with one another.
In the interactive installation McLarena, the Daily tous les jours design studio has produced a playful participatory work that invites passers-by to imitate the choreography of the character in McLaren’s film Canon (1964), which depicts the musical genre of the canon in animated images. For McLarena, a video booth has been set up in a shipping container outside the Saint-Laurent metro station. Each participant goes into the booth and is filmed on video while attempting to perform dance steps based on the preceding participant’s video. The results—errors, transformations, and an evolution of the movements—are all captured in an endless video created by the participants and projected on the façade of an adjacent building.
Known for presenting collaborative creative experiences in public spaces, Daily tous les jours is a design studio with core interests in new ways of interacting and of telling stories. Its multidisciplinary projects, large and small, combine participation, design and technology in many forms, including products, events, exhibitions, spatial designs, urban installations, social interventions, software applications and films. The studio’s co-founders, Mouna Andraos and Melissa Mongiat, have received grand prize and best-in-show awards for their installation 21 Balançoires (21 Swings) in Montreal’s Quartier des Spectacles, as well as recognition for their creations in Europe and the Americas.
Theodore Ushev and the Iregular design studio invite passers-by to participate in an architectural experience based on science fiction, in which they create their own films from three McLaren films—Lines Horizontal (1960), Lines Vertical (1962) and Synchromy (1971)—projected on two façades of the Grande Bibliothèque. An imposing steel monolith, inspired by the one in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, serves as the interactive device. Members of the public scratch its surface with various objects, and the installation reproduces the resulting sounds while using the scratch patterns to alter the images from McLaren’s films as they are projected on the library building’s façades.
Born in Bulgaria, Theodore Ushev graduated from the National Academy of Fine Arts in Sofia. In 1999, he settled in Montreal, where he quickly acquired a reputation as a prolific, talented animator, attracting attention with films such as The Man Who Waited and Tzaritza. He then directed an acclaimed trilogy of films about the relationship between art and power (Tower Bawher, Drux Flux, and Gloria Victoria). In parallel, he made a series of short films focusing on creative artists and their relationship with the world (Lipsett Diaries, Nightingales in December, and Joda). His fascination with new content-delivery platforms has also led him to make films for the Internet and for mobile phones. Ushev’s films have received numerous awards and award nominations.
Iregular is a Montreal-based interactive design studio that uses all of the latest technologies to transform spaces, scenes, events, performances and the use of mobile devices into genuine experiences. Since 2010, Iregular’s expertise in graphic, sound, set, web and other forms of design has been called upon for many events, including Montreal’s Festival du Nouveau Cinéma, Montréal en lumière, Igloofest, Mutek Montréal, Mutek Mexico, C2-MTL, the Mapping Festival (in Switzerland) and GLOW (in the Netherlands).
Winner of the Grand Prize in the NFB’s McLaren Wall-to-Wall competition, this experimental video extends the approach of McLaren’s Synchromy (1971) by exploring the synchronicity between sounds and images, with geometric shapes engaging in a multicoloured dance guided by digital noises. Artist Christo Guelov thus offers an original perspective on the evolution of artistic media and of our relationship with technology.
Born in Bulgaria, Christo Guelov studied mural and fresco painting at the National Academy of Fine Arts in Sofia, then continued his studies in graphic arts in Madrid, where he lives and works today. For over 20 years, he has been exploring audiovisual creation, multimedia design, interactivity, and the opportunities for expression offered by new media.
In collaboration with Malik Benaouda, Yann Favre, Léo Viossat, Thomas Blanc.
Inspired by Norman McLaren’s Spheres (1969), this black-and-white video by Léna Babadjian uses architectural projection to study the relationships between images and sounds. In this duel between reality and fiction, the seen and the unseen, spheres (the images) struggle against an invisible force (musical sounds).
French filmmaker Léna Babadjian studied communication and advertising at the Institut universitaire technologique Paris-Descartes and is now pursuing specialized studies in motion design.
THE BABY BIRDS OF NORMAN MCLAREN
Based on McLaren’s film Begone Dull Care (1949), Mirai Mizue’s The Baby Birds of Norman McLaren is an abstract animated video depicting the metamorphosis of various white animals on a coloured background. This playful kaleidoscope of images is set to the dancing rhythms of the song Poker by Shugo Tokumaru.
Born in Tokyo, Mirai Mizue is a leading figure in Japan’s new generation of abstract-animation filmmakers. His films have been screened in some 20 different countries and have received many nominations at festivals such as Annecy, Zagreb, Hiroshima and Ottawa. He also works as an illustrator.
DIX ANAGRAMMES AUTOUR DE NORMAN MCLAREN
Based on McLaren’s film Begone Dull Care (1949), Dix anagrammes autour de Norman McLaren, by animation filmmaker Delphine Burrus, uses an “anagram machine” to alter words, oscillating between English and French. This playful demonstration based on bilingualism combines contemporary and traditional animation methods with a musical score by Peter Culshaw.
Delphine Burrus is a Parisian artist who studied sculpture and film in New York. Since completing her studies, she has specialized in puppet animation and has directed and co-directed several fiction films and music videos.
Panorama is a montage of excerpts from nine of Norman McLaren’s most famous films: Synchromy, Lines Horizontal, Dots, Blackbird, Begone Dull Care, Stars and Stripes, Opening Speech, Canon and Spheres.