International Digital Media, Animation & Moving Images Screening

Monday, 19 September, 2011 - 14:30 - 18:40
Tuesday, 20 September, 2011 - 11:45 - 18:15

Screening Organizer and Coordinator: Yoong wah Alex Wong
More information, Contact: alexw [at], ywalexwong [at]

September 19 (Monday)

14:30 - 15:15 Peter Thaler & Elise Graton talks (45 mins)
15:15 - 16:30 Pictoplasma 1st screening (75 mins)
16:30 - 16:40 Break (10 mins)
16:40 - 17:25 Stephen Price talks (45 mins)
17:25 - 18:40 STASH 1st screening (75 mins)

September 20 (Tuesday)

11:45 - 13:00 STASH 2nd screening (75 mins)
13:00 - 13:45 Prof. Jian J Zhang &  Dr.XiaoSong Yang talks, Bournemouth Uni, United Kingdom, (45 mins)
13:45 - 14:30 Pictoplasma 2nd screening (75 mins)
14:30 - 14:45 Tea/Coffee Break (10 mins)
14:45 - 15:30 Prof.Heide Hagebolling talks, Academy of Media Arts Cologne,
Germany, (45 mins)
15:30 - 16:45 Kurzundschön screening (45 mins)
16:45 - 17:00 Tea/Coffee Break (10 mins)
17:00 - 18:15 Lodz Film School, Poland screening (75min)

Talk Abstracts

Get into Character - reduced figuration and anthropomorphic appeal.

by Pictoplasma

The worldwide explosion of Character design at the beginning of the millennium changed visual culture distinctively. These graphically pared down and brighteyed pictograms spread like wildfire across digital media, advertising, fashion and art. The playfully sample and remix the visual codes of pop, folklore, brand logos and comics, but resist being restricted to any one genre. By engaging the viewer on a direct emotional level they are able to bypass language and cultural barriers - but can abstract designs really be the answer to our Utopian dreams of global visual communication? Pictoplasma founder Peter Thaler discusses current strategies in contemporary character creation, presents examples of how the reduced iconology is increasingly invading diverse media and reflects on its cultural and theoretical implications, reaching from animism to the iconic turn and robotics.

Motion Design: The Big Picture.


Stash Magazine editor-in-chief Stephen Price demystifies the international animation and visual effects industry – unraveling the major trends and identifying the current opportunities in this complex and growing market. These insights come to life with a screening of outstanding commercials, music videos, virals, broadcast design, game cinematics and short films published in Stash over the last 12 months.

Computer Animation Research at NCCA

by Bournemouth University - National Centre for Computer Animation, UK.

Computer animation is one of the most rapidly expanding areas of creative endeavour and technical development. Some of the more visible applications of 3D computer animation include animations from feature films and television, digital special effects, computer games, computer animated simulation rides and interactive virtual environments. The expansion of the market and the application areas of computer animation are predicted to continue with an explosive growth well into the century.

Since its establishment in 1989, the National Centre for Computer Animation has conducted research of international significance and has pioneered both
undergraduate and postgraduate courses in computer visualisation and animation and digital effects. Students and staff have had their work screened
internationally and have gained numerous prizes. "Bournemouth has provided a large part of the workforce that has made the UK a world leader in feature film visual effects, helping to guarantee that franchises such as Harry Potter and Batman remain in the country." (Paul Franklin, Double Negative Visual Effects Ltd, response to a article). Its alumni are so in demand from the movie industry that more than 50 Bournemouth graduates participated in making Avatar. Some alumni have become established industry heavyweights, such as Paul Kavanagh, who graduated with a master's in animation from Bournemouth in 1991 and was Avatar's animation supervisor, overseeing work on characters and visuals. Andy Lockley, a graduate from the NCCA, also the Visual Effects Supervisor for Inception, was also on the podium to collect the Oscar with Paul Franklin (Double Negative).

The National Centre for Computer Animation has developed an international reputation as an acclaimed centre for research in the field of digital media by developing new approaches to computer animation. This has included the development of tools and techniques for animators as well as the production of computer animations and other visual productions that exploit and explore the potential of digital technology.

Computer animated films produced at the NCCA have received awards at IMAGINA and EUROGRAPHICS, researchers have participated at SIGGRAPH and works have been screened at numerous computer graphics and effects festivals worldwide. Collaboration with TV producers has led to several BBC and C4 programmes including work produced here.

Technical research has focused on physically-based modeling and animation, global illumination and rendering techniques and genetic programming. New methods have been developed for the manipulation of deformable objects with an organic look and character including development of animation tools suitable for the dynamic control of viscoelastically deformable models.

Animations and works of art produced at the Centre have explored
representation of the human figure, motion capture, participatory and interactive work in installations and web-based works, the aesthetic use of synthesized representations of natural phenomena such as water, clouds, trees and landscapes. These researches have led to the publication of research papers, presentations, authoring of books, production of animations and exhibitions of art work which have earned national and international recognition.

Because of the excellent contribution of NCCA to the UK media industry, in 2009, together with Bath University, UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) funded Åí6 million to establish the Centre for Digital Entertainment to further support the cooperation between the academic and industry companies. It offers a unique doctoral program that places researchers directly in companies to work on real projects. Currently 14 Ph.D students has been carrying out their research closely with researchers from the NCCA and industrial supervisors from some influential game and film companies, such as Double Negative, Black Rock Studio (Disney) and EA.

Modi in media art: Art in motion and the challenge of transdisciplinary approaches.

by Academy of Media Arts Cologne, Germany (KHM)

The Academy of Media Arts Cologne (KHM) was founded in 1990. Since then it has offered an educational concept, unique within Germany and a precursor for several educational foundings during the 1990s, which brings art, film and science together in one degree course: Media and Fine Art. As such the KHM is an art school with a multidisciplinary focus on media, and a film school that sees its origins in the artistic moving image.

Within this frame the presentation during this year’s ISEA focusses on two issues: an invitation to the special competition “kurzundschön” (“shortandnice”) for young creatives in the broad domain of moving art and an exemplary view of currently developed transdisciplinary artworks.

In 2011, the academy of media arts cologne and the German TV channel westdeutscher rundfunk cologne (WDR) are celebrating the 14th kurzundschön competition for young creatives.

kurzundschön is a pan-European competition for students and apprentices in the audiovisual field. The competition promotes and awards short cinematic narrations, animations films, artistic films and videos (up to 15 minutes max.), commercials and social-spots, music-clips and motion art. In 2009, the category "mobile miniatures" was created as an experimental platform for inspiring ideas and concepts for the networked world. And for all those talented newcomers, who are building the bridges to music, dance, performance and the public space, a prize for motion art with an additional emphasis on live-video/vjing, projections and performances is introduced for the first time in 2011. The notion now lies on “expanded video” with all its exciting capacities.

Also for the first time the Academy of Media Arts offers the “partner price” that will be annually awarded to a partner university. Our partner in 2011 is the Department of Art and Social Sciences of the Sabanci University Istanbul.

During ISEA a compilation of award winning works from 2007 till 2010 will be screened. All schools are invited to join this competition. The entry deadline is July 25th 2011. The award ceremony is celebrated annually in Cologne. The 2011 event will take place on November 9th.

The second part of the presentation takes into consideration creative experiments that interact with the environment and that translate physical, natural and biological phenoma into aesthetic processes as well as spatial and interactive art. Five projects, each of them part of a different referential frame, represent these transdisciplinary paths.

Martin Hesselmeier works at the edge of art and environmental analysis. “SARoskop”, an interactive installation, reveals the impact of electro smoke emissioned by mobile communication devices. Light cascades and mechanical, motor driven moduls react panic-stricken close to mobile phones. Hesselmeier’s spatial installation resembles a nervous system sensitive for information that goes far beyond human perception.

“Floating Point” a 3D animation film by Arne Münch, is a synthesis of natural
phenoma and digital art. Movements obtained and captured in natural settings caused by a breeze, wind, drifting clouds and falling rain drops are translated into digital data that in turn animate abstract computer generated structures and images. In the same manner natural sound scapes provide the base for the digital acoustic atmosphere in this poetic film.

Drawn from the automobil and aviation industry “stroke city”, a project by Matthias Gerding, visualizes the current of air caused by body movements. Using various modified scripts the moving air is translated into phantastic three dimensional liquid objects and translucent materials that are in constant flux and transition. Seemingly a contradiction in itself the installation unfolds the aesthetics of human movements and gestures by revealing the invisible and unperceivable. At present a realtime interactive version for direct telecommunication exchange is in preparation.

“0h!m1gas: biomimetic stridulation environment” is an artistic research and audiovisual installation by Kuaishen Auson that approaches the self-organization in ants as a cybernetic system with emergent manifestations. By means of contact microphones and video surveillance interfaced with the computer, which feeds these bio-data to two turntables, the life of the ant colony emerges as a soundscape of scratching effects. “Scratching Beethoven” was installed during the international Beethoven Festival Bonn in 2009.

The artistic work of Tobias Damgen is characterized by open and continual procedures in lab situations where his light and cybernetic objects spread like rhizomes. Structures grow, continue, alter. The act of construction, the working process is treated like a performance. “Laser-kraken, light-parasites and other mutations” is one of his latest projects that reveals his artistic methods and approach. Starting in an empty space with shopping windows facing the street, Damgen exposes himself while building and “planting” a new environment that at a certain point metaphorically resembles a jungle where light objects and obscure constructions seem to flourish over night. The whole process is streamed live via web-cam. After the finissage the “jungle” is cleared.

Lodz Film School, Poland.

"In its workings the School abides by a widely accepted code of ethics, freedom of education, artistic freedom as well as research freedom in the fields of art and artistic creation. Respecting the law, solidarity, democracy and tolerance, in this way we are connected to the general university traditions as well as those of Polish art schools” (from the PWSFTviT Statute)

Lodz was chosen as the location for the school because Lodz also housed the first center of film production in Poland, which in time transformed into the Fiction Film Production Studios. At the same time, the Acting School came into existence, and both schools gained from the co-operation. Post-war Lodz, with its theaters, opera, newspapers and media became the cultural center of Poland.

Graduates of the Lodz Film School started to gain notoriety in the world. A few such as Polański, Skolimowski and Holender emigrated to and started work in the West.

Bios of the Presenters

Peter Thaler / Pictoplasma

Peter Thaler, born 1969, studied film at the Filmakademie Baden Wüttemberg and worked for several years in the animation industrie and as director for several music videos and commercials. Frustrated by the lack of appeal characters in the main-stream animation industry had, Peter Thaler launched the Pictoplasma project in 1999 as a research tool for daring and stylistic outstanding characters in other fields: design, digital media, fine and urban art. The project soon received international recognition with its high quality book compilations and vast encyclopaedic publications. Coming from a background of philosophy and cultural studies, Lars Denicke joined Peter in 2004 to initiate the first ever Pictoplasma Conference. The event brought together a growing scene of leading artists and upcoming designers from various fields, all joined by the common interest for contemporary character visualisation.

From there on, Pictoplasma has curated a series of exhibitions, conferences and festivals, installations and performances and has established itself as the world’s first and leading organisation with a unique focus on contemporary character design and art. In fact, it has itself become the synonym for the character craze continuously sweeping the globe.

More information:

Stephen Price, Editor-in-chief, Stash Magazine

Stephen Price founded Stash Magazine in 2004 as a video showcase for outstanding animation, visual effects and motion design. As editor-in-chief and creative director, Stephen built Stash into the world’s largest online library devoted to design-driven motion projects and curated screenings in over 20 countries. Graduating with degrees in graphic design and computer animation, Stephen designed, produced, executive produced and reported on animation and visual effects for 15 years before starting Stash.

More information:

Prof. Jian J Zhang

Jian J Zhang is Professor of Computer Graphics at the Media School, Bournemouth University. He leads the Computer Animation Research Centre, National Centre for Computer Animation (NCCA).

His research focuses on a number of topics relating to 3D virtual human modelling, animation and simulation with applications in computer games, film special effects and medical visualisation. Some of his research achievements were widely reported by international news organisations and magazines, including MIT Technology Review, Newscientist and LiveScience (New York).

Prof Zhang has chaired numerous international conferences and symposia. He has produced over 150 peer reviewed publications and given over 30 invited and keynote presentations internationally including Europe, America, China and Australia.

Prof Zhang is one of the two founders of the Centre for Digital Entertainment (CDE). The CDE aims to produce the next generation of technical leaders in the area of computer games, computer animation, digital effects and visualisation. The Centre of Digital Entertainment received Åí6.3 million initial funding from the EPSRC.

Dr. Xiaosong Yang

Dr. Yang’s research interests include computer graphics, computer animation, physically based modelling and animation, medical visualisation and simulation, virtual reality, computer aided design. Dr. Yang has supervised seven Ph.D students. He has successfully completed three research projects, from 3D realistic character animation to virtual surgery. His work on production oriented anatomy-based human character animation was regarded as a major improvement in computer animation, and was reported widely by influential magazines and news organisations, including MIT Technology Review and the New Scientist.

Dr. Yang has published more than 40 peer reviewed publications that include international journal articles, conference papers, and book chapters. Jointly with other colleagues, he has won some research grants from UK’s funding organizations.

Dr. Yang has been invited to join numerous International Programme Committees and will participate in the organization of the next Computer Graphics International conference (CGI2012).

More information:

Heide Hageboelling

Heide Hageboelling is professor at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne, Germany, that she cofounded with Manfred Eisenbeis 1988-2000. She teaches video, interactive media and scenography, and established the field of interactive dramaturgies.

Studies in design, art, film and communication at the Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach, the Annenberg School of Communication/University of Pennsylvania and the Tisch-School of Arts/New York University. She worked and lectured at the Johann-Wolfgang Goethe-University, Frankfurt, the University of Heidelberg and the Hochschule fuer Gestaltung Offenbach.

Since the 1980ies her academic and artistic work focusses on the interrelationship of art, design, new media and culture.

In this domain she organized international colloques i.a. for the UNESCO, Paris, and participated in group exhibitions at the Centre Pompidou, Paris; Bauhaus Museum, Berlin; Ars Electronica, Linz; L’Immagine Elettronica, Bologna; Cite des Sciences/La Villette, Paris; Imagina, Monte Carlo and MILIA, Cannes.

Heide Hageboelling considers her approach and teaching as an open process of artistic research, creative development and a synthesis of various fields such as theatre, music, architecture and media.

Presentations and lectures:
Harvard University; University of Pennsylvania; MIT, Cambridge; New York University; Pratt Institute, NY; University of Art and Design Helsinki; School of Art and Design Tampere, Finnland; Smart Lab, University of Art London; Universite Paris VI, Le Fresnoy, France; Tongji University Shanghai; Renmin University, Beijing, China.

Art diretion and concepts for several multimedia projects for public and cultural institutions (i.a. Goethe Institut/Internationes 1994), for international architects (i.a. Zeidler, Toronto/London 1992), for museums (Post and Communication Museum, Frankfurt 1988), for exhibitions (German Ministry for Post and Telecommunication 1987), for art in public places (Multi-Media-Station Cologne 1992-95) and events (Information Spheres, EXPO 2000, Hannover; International Beethoven Festival, Bonn 2006/2009).

Publications i.a. “Interactive Dramaturgies”, “Pablo Picasso in Documentary Films” and “Synthesis – the Visual Arts in the Electronic Culture” co-edited with Manfred Eisenbeis.

She is member of the European Academy of Sciences, Arts and the Humanities, Paris, and received the Miro-Medal of UNESCO.

For further information:

Andrzej Bednarek

The Vice President of International Affairs and University Spokesperson.

Documentary filmmaker. Graduate Faculty of Chemistry Technical University of Lodz (1960-65), assistant in the Department of Physical Chemistry, Technical University (1965-1969). In 1969 he graduated from Warsaw University School of Journalism. Since 1974 lecturer in Film School, since 1996 vice-rector for Cooperation with universities abroad.

For further information: