The Hasher’s Delirium (1910)

Cohl’s animation style is rather surreal and also makes good use of the medium. The cartoons are not formally structured, but the images flow easily from one to another as objects melt into other shapes. For example, an elephant turns into a house or a window changes into a man. These films have had an obvious influence on later animated films, such as George Dunning’s Yellow Submarine, or the pink elephant sequence in Walt Disney’s Dumbo. (filmreference.com: Emile Cohl)

Clothesline

Developed at the Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst Institut HyperWerk , the project connects two corner buildings flanking the gateway from the Main Square to the Danube by clotheslines. Together with 250 boxer shorts and some robotics these lines form a spectacular Mediterranean-style matrix display (and a clear one when the wind allowed it.) (WMMNA: Clothesline Display, credit card scarves and news knitters)

The Shock Doctrine (2007)

“When I finished The Shock Doctrine, I sent it to Alfonso Cuarón because I adore his films and felt that the future he created for Children of Men was very close to the present I was seeing in disaster zones. I was hoping he would send me a quote for the book jacket and instead he pulled together this amazing team of artists — including Jonás Cuarón who directed and edited — to make The Shock Doctrine short film. It was one of those blessed projects where everything felt fated.” – Naomi Klein (naomiklein.org)

TXT of The Living Dead

I took the original movie (public domain) and broke it out into 500 frames to visually tell the original story from beginning to end. Within those frames there are about 150 frames with speech bubbles. Text messages sent in from participants show up in those frames in the order that they are received. The movie moves forward when a new message is received. The other frames are action frames that play through automatically until they hit a speech frame. Once all the speech frames have been filled the movie can then be viewed from beginning to end with the new audience generated dialogue. (TXTual Healing: TXT of The Living Dead)

Theo Jansen’s Strandbeest

A scientist-turned-artist, Jansen’s bizarre beach animals have their roots in a computer program that he designed 17 years ago in which virtual four-legged creatures raced against each other to identify survivors fit enough to reproduce. Determined to translate the evolutionary process off-screen, Jansen went to a local shop and found his own alternative to the biological cell — the humble plastic tube. (Wired: Wild Things Are On The Beach)

See also: Theo Jansen at TED and strandbeest.com.

Very Nice, Very Nice (1961)

When Very Nice, Very Nice was released in 1961, it was immediately embraced by the new generation of hipsters, academics and artists. The film is sharp, jazzy, confrontational and darkly comic. It announces itself straight off with opening shots of office buildings, followed by an off-screen voice intoning, “In this city marches an army whose motto is—bwah, bwah, bwah.” Those three blasts of a car horn burst the documentary balloon; rapidly, we’re shown two signs, “No” and “Buy.” Lipsett has playfully set up the audience, awakening them from their torpor of receptivity and challenging them to engage with his film. Marching bands, drumbeats, old-time piano rolls and jazz music highlight a soundtrack made up of a collage of audio material. Moving in counterpoint are visuals that range from still photographs of individuals, images of crowds, rocket ships, the hydrogen bomb and various iconic historical figures.(NFB: Arthur Lipsett – Focus on Animation)

Synchromy (1971)

McLaren took this equivalence of image and sound even further, and probably to its logical end, in his remarkable film Synchromy, from 1971. With Evelyn Lambart in the 1950s, McLaren had worked out the different patterns of stripes that would lead to them creating different notes of animated sound on the soundtrack area of a filmstrip. In Synchromy, McLaren first composed the soundtrack music using these cards, and then used these same sound patterns to create their exact animated visual equivalant. (“Every Film is a Kind of Dance”: The Art of Norman McLaren)

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