June 23, 2009

The City Paper on Pittsburgh Center for the Arts Exhibiting Weird Animation

The Pittsburgh City Paper published an interesting article not too long ago. From the article:
This spring, few galleries are busier than the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. With eight exhibits running concurrently, the walls and floors are packed with objets d'art, flat and three-dimensional, large and small, colorful and beige. So once you've wandered the two floors, the eight rooms and the decorated staircase, you may need a good movie. Or four.

Put simply, the PCA's Animated Shorts is a fun little cartoon revue. The four shorts, by three different artists, total under 10 minutes. But they demonstrate, with a healthy dose of humor and weirdness, just what can be done with the form.

Granted, in the era of Persepolis, Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Spike & Mike's Animated Film Festival, offbeat animators have to work hard to find conventions to break. But even as iconoclastic animators run rampant, the form itself remains very challenging -- particularly for animators who, in the digital age, still hand-draw their work, or do stop-action photography with real objects. On one hand, animators can tell whatever story they can imagine and draw. On the other, animation is slow, grueling work, requiring days of toil to produce a single second of credible movement.
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