Sunday, July 31, 2005

Henrik Drescher

Time for...What's living in my enlarged brain cavity!!...
Like a Dr. Jekyll, I scour the evil Chapter's bargain bins for the elixir that will transform me into some big-headed intellectual monster. Yesterday, I found one that at least fulfilled the monster part of it in Henrik Drescher's work. I have known about his stuff for awhile now as I picked up his book, Turbulence, A log book, a couple of years ago. But it wasn't until I found his latest project, A Postal Seance, that re-introduced me to the intense primal-ness and mysticism of his work. Maybe it is because I went and saw A silver mount zion memorial orchestra and the tra-la-la band last night that matches up so perfectly with Henrik's images that I was mesmorized by the horses in the sky!

Friday, July 29, 2005


Under the Microscope...Amit Pitaru and James Paterson, AKA...Insertsilence.
As I was perusing the Ars Electronica program I found a familiar name in Amit Patiru. He is one half of the 'defunct'(??) Insertsilence duo. He is an artist that uses his programming skills to experiment with making visible sound. You can download his latest and greatest, Sonic Wire program from his site. Coool stuff. After seeing this, I wondered what James Paterson was up to these days and found that he is exhibiting his raw agitated world of drawing and animation in NYC. Check out his stuff at Presstube. Hopefully we will see these two collaborate again in the near future. Now, get back up there you surface dwellers!

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Rubber Johnny

Chris Cunningham will disturb your world. Rubber Johnny is your salvation and destruction. Nuff' said.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Ars Electronica

Ars Electronica festival just updated their site last week with this years programs and events. The theme is Hybrid: living in paradox...right up our street, to the left and past roadkill corner you will find the anthropomorphic vision of this years festival. I can not say enough about this festival! The performances, computer animation, sound art and interactive media, it has it all!! This years prizes in computer animation/visual effect goes to Tomek Baginski for Fallen Art, Gaelle Denis for Paradise City and Brad Bird for the Incredibles. I know it is very expensive to go to Linz, Austria where this takes place but they have great books and dvd's that you can order and make your computer programmer friends jealous with.

Saturday, July 23, 2005


I had the pleasure of meeting the dutch duo behind the much lauded comics anthology, Eiland, at this years Toronto Comic Arts Festival. Tobias Schalken and Stefan van Dinther are the siamese twins of sequential art creation. A sort of two man comics jam, they experiment with various styles, themes and narrative structures. Whether it is a micro/macro sequence or an out of context dialogue against innocent pictures, their work is challenging and enigmatic at times but always worth the effort. You can buy their books on-line at North America's pre-eminent comic book store, the Beguiling.
Tip of the day: Culture is more than something growing in a petri dish.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Rock and Rule

Let's see, talking rats in a post-apocalyptic future starring the voices of Iggy Pop, Debbie Harry and Lou Reed... sounds like a ether induced dream...
but no, it is the cult animated classic by Nelvana, Rock and Rule!! The good people at unearthed films have finally made this available at an affordable price, replacing that old vcr copy off the CBC. It also oozes with extras that chronicle the 'made before it's time' movie from financial flop to cult status.
If only the rats had bigger heads. Again, the Pied Piper of Spamlin commands you to go and buy this dvd...maybe after 23 years it can break even.
(aside) can you believe Ryan Larkin did concept drawings for this film!! I would love to see those drug induced drawings!!

Well, the official program is in for this years Ottawa animation festival!! There is alot of good stuff to see...the one I am looking forward to is Igor Kovalyov's, Milch. Do not let the fact that he worked on Rugrats fool you. He is the real deal and not some mouse oil seller. Also, Henry Selick's Moongirl will be debuting there (see previous post) and Nyócker!(the district) by Áron Gauder from Hungary which won the Cristal award at Annecy this year. Plus tons more!! So come on kiddies, time to stop soaking in the formaldehyde pool and get your 'specimens' to Ottawa (only the best darn one-stop shopping festival for all your animation needs!)

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Okay so you've endured the under the microscope highlights now it is time for
What's living in my enlarged brain cavity (and cue music)...
Pamplemoussi by Geneviève Castrée, is a nice oversized book that has beautiful images of Genevieve's illustrated world. It is inhabited by animals, nature and a darker undertone of dreams and myth. Plus it has a record with her songs that accompany the illustrations. (and she's cute too.) Now all I need to do is dig out the old turntable to give it a listen. I think she is going in residence for awhile.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Speaking of puppet kings...check out the work of Scott Radke. I am glad to see that he is doing well and getting into film and videos. But why oh why did I not buy one of his delightful puppets when he was a nobody!! Kill me, stuff me and display me as homo idiotus.

STOP the genetically modified press!! Code Orange...Henry Selick trailer Moongirl under the new studio masthead Laika (aka Will Vinton Studio) now online. What is that you are! Yes, my stuffed friends, not only does Phil Knight (Nike boss) own the company but he has stolen Henry's soul and replaced it with a machine. Alas, the puppet king is not dead and the trailer does look S(e)lick.
This is the same studio that is going to be doing Neil Gaiman's Coraline (see Dave McKean post). So I look forward to both projects and hope that Laika does not fall into the same (running) shoes as the House of the Mouse.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Back from vacation! I picked up some good stuff that I will share in front of the class this week. But for now, I begin the countdown to the Ottawa Animation Festival. They have put together another solid program of retrospectives and special screenings which includes one of my favorite italian animators. So this is this weeks: Under the Microscope... Gianluigi Toccafondo. His films are not experimental in the sense of him creating some new technique. His films are however innovative in the use of the paint on film style that he has mastered. The stroke of Toccafondo's brush attaches itself to the flicker of film in a poetic and hypnotic way and so convincing is that warp and blur of line that I can't tell where one ends and the other begins. What are you waiting for...break out and storm the castle as the king is dead and is touring with last sideshow on earth.

Monday, July 11, 2005

I just picked up a self-published comic by Rob Sato today called, Burying Sandwiches. I must admit that I have only thumbed over it a couple of times but the art is striking, Beardsley does a PG-13 Al Columbia comic, and the meat of the story is dark with the bones left in. So, go and buy this book! I highlight this comic because it is another self-publication helped by the good folks at the Xeric Foundation. It is an organization whose main purpose is to help fund unpublished sequential art. So if you have work that you wanna damage the minds of others with (that goes for us canadians) then come on down and be the next contestant on Give ME the Money!

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Under the microscope...Dave McKean.
Not only is Dave McKean one of my personal favorites in the realm of comics but he is one of most diverse and uncompromising artist's in the biz. His influential comic, Cages, and his covers for the Sandman have put him at the forefront of image storytellers. Logically the next step to take is to the big screen. Mirrormask is debuting this fall and looks promising. Check out the cool fx done by Jim Henson workshop!! Also long time collaborator, Neil Gaiman, aided in the script duties! The worlds created by these two should be sliced up and studied by all us neophytes of myth and lore.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Come outta the lab and send me giant hEEads!
mascot prototype numero uno.
create yer own and win a trip to the psych ward...
and I'll even post it.

re: hydrocephalic animals are fast food for zombies

Alright then you specimens...
this posting is very close to my ventriculo esquerdo (as my spanish cat friend would say). Experimental is what this blog is mainly about and so we pull back that layer of flesh to show the origins of creative image and sound making...
The Hirshhorn Museum in Washington is showing a Visual Music exhibit. The works range from abstract paintings to experimental films. There are over 90 works of about 40 artists. The pioneers of experimental animation,the likes of Fischinger, Lye, Hirsch, Richter and the Whitney's, are shown here. So get out of your drawers and tubes and run, walk or creep to see it. This exhibit is on until early september but if you can't make it there, here are the links to go check it out... -offers up a good overview of the films and artists being shown. - is a great organization founded by pioneering film makers that promote and expose this under rated art form. -is the exhibition info.

So jump lemmings...the water is black and deep.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

First slice of the knife into the virtual surface of blogging. Let's just jump right into the unnatural mess of things...
The first openning into the otherside of dark is a cool link to a patch of orange. Inspirational stuff from robin joseph, who is a recent grad of Sheridan college. He points out the influence of ronald searle but also check out ralph steadman and gerald scarfe for more inspiration. Good for your damned soul and a 'get out of purgatory' card on your next life.