An animation is a series of static images that revolve at a rate that creates an illusion of movement to the human eye. The standard ratio of animation is 29.97 frames per second, meaning that in classical hand-drawn animation, the animator had to redraw, in incremental shifts, the scene roughly 30 times in order to create 1 second of believable movement.
Today's technology has both streamlined and de-personalized the process; once an animator has created a character, computers have made it much easier to copy and paste a design, "puppet" a character, or copy and digitize a lifelike re-creation of real location. Yet the computer generated aesthetic is undesirable; the artists in this exhibit reflect a desire to hijack a digital product and "perform" animation in a temporal setting in the built environment. The artists, all in ther own way, make animation a part of the street culture, may it be in reference to graffiti, war murals, or advertisements on the side of a building. Digital technology is still present and necessary for these artists, some more than others, but they make an important break with computer-generated objects when they chose to situate the digitally-motioned product in the built environment. Choosing the built environment instead of computer generating a reproduction of Berlin, or the Tokyo building facade, is important in terms of how the viewer encounters the work and situates it in the fabric of the urban space. Each artist, again, does this in their own way.
Artists like BLU and David Ellis, skilled in graffiti and urban design, wanted their architectural canvas to reflect more of the heartbeat and history of the city around them, and found the repetition of images to make the illusion of movement (when captured by a video camera or digital recorder) more condusive to their vibrant underground culture. Similarly, more commercial artists like the Chanel Store in Ginza, Tokyo and german musician Peter Fox use computer generated animation to rethink the relationship of their personal or company message to built environment they criticize or cater to. And then there are the mysterious collaboratives like Bonom & Lork or the unnamed artist of "Chalk Pipe" who reflect how animation has become a medium of the masses.
In their own way, each artist reinterprets the animation medium and blurs the distinction between digital and hand drawn art. Their final products are breath-taking in their ingenuity and size, and many provide clues or video documentation of how they created their piece. Maybe you will be inspired to make your own. Watch and enjoy!