2012, 34:15 minutes, colour, English
The Toronto Animated Image Society (TAIS) presents in partnership with Trinity Square Video (TSV) and Vtape, a special and unique animation commissioning project titled Hello Amiga. The Toronto Animated Image Society acquired donated AMIGA equipment in the early years of the organization. This discarded top of the line animation equipment was once very popular in the industry from the mid 80ʼs to early 90s and was used in the TAIS studio to create animated workshops with children. The workshops were immensely popular because of the friendly and intuitive approach of the AMIGA operating system. Advancement in animation software and digital technologies caused the AMIGA to decline and become obsolete. For this special project the Toronto Animated Image Society returns to the roots of digital culture, utilizing old aesthetics and generating critical discourse by uniting the old technology with new intuitive manipulations to create exciting experimental animated projects and explore its insertion in a gallery space.
6 commissioned works (Daniel Barrow, Barry Doupé, Amy Lockhart, Alex McLeod, Lorna Mills, Mark Pellegrino) accompanied by the essay: Hello Amiga, Goodbye and Then Hello Again by Andrew James Paterson. Essay available on the website: helloamiga.ca
1. Advanced Search Terms, Daniel Barrow (2:05)
Winnipeg-born, Montreal-based artist Daniel Barrow uses obsolete technologies to present written, pictorial and cinematic narratives centering on the practice of drawing. Daniel has been creating animations using Amiga software since 1992. His newest Amiga video features a gay goth devil performing advanced image searches on a homemade computer.
Daniel Barrow uses obsolete technologies to present written, pictorial and cinematic narratives centering on the practices of drawing and collecting. Since 1993, he has created and adapted comic book narratives to “manual” forms of animation by projecting, layering and manipulating drawings on overhead projectors. Barrow is the winner of the 2010 Sobey Art Award.
2. Whaty, Barry Doupé (0:30)
A line can be used to express joy or hesitation, it can be hard or soft, thick or thin, and can wander off or dominate the visual field. Whaty‘s rush of morphing shapes willfully connect into a parade of faces and colour, a hallucinatory palimpsest of images that boil and break down in an elastic current of activity. It works to engage the expressive language of movement, and to sublimate the force behind such movements.
Barry Doupé is a filmmaker living in Vancouver. His films have been screened throughout Canada and Internationally including the Ann Arbor Film Festival, Anthology Film Archives, Lyon Contemporary Art Museum, Pleasure Dome and the Tate Modern.
3. Landscapes, Amy Lockhart (8:31)
Landscapes is a series of short animated scenes featuring various figures interacting in a natural landscape. Images and sound created in Amiga.
Amy Lockhart is a filmmaker, animator and artist, whose artwork and award winning films have been exhibited and screened internationally. Lockhart studied at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and has been a resident artist at Calgary’s Quickdraw Animation Society, Struts Gallery, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the California Institute of the Arts. Her work has received international acclaim and been collected by public and private art institutions and film festivals across the globe. Lockhart has received a fellowship at the National Film Board of Canada and support from the Canada Council for the Arts.
4. Dark Space Beach, Alex McLeod (3:40)
Galaxy projection merges to endless ocean where Dark Space Beach is born. Palm trees stars and land masses dissolve in the void between constellation and mirage. Eternally repeating as reflection.
Alex McLeod constructs hyper-realistic 3D environments filled with crystalline mountains, fiery lakes, and rotund clouds, all rendered in a sickly sweet and gooey candy-colored palette. Recalling the wide-open vistas of Romantic landscape painting while at the same time staging otherworldly dystopias. Alex McLeod lives and works in Toronto, Canada. He has exhibited in New York, Philadelphia, San Jose, Denver, Sao Paulo, Barcelona, Toronto and Sweden.
5. Peaceable Kingdom, Lorna Mills
Peaceable Kingdom is a multi monitor installation of looped animations culled from old AMIGA game sprite sheets and found animated gifs. Not being a classical animator, but more of a collage artist, I employed my arsenal of dirty net-art tricks (my usual thievery) and altered contemporary images with a Photoshop overlay to mimic the surface of old AMIGA screen shots. Several animations reference Vladimir Putin’s current PR image assaults updating the old 1980′s cold war anxieties and virile pretensions that informed so many of the old AMIGA action games.
Lorna Mills has actively exhibited her work in both solo and group exhibitions since the early 1990′s. Her practice has included obsessive Cibachrome printing, obsessive painting, obsessive super 8 film, and obsessive animated GIFs incorporated into restrained installation work.
6. G.I.R.L, Mark Pellegrino (20:00)
G.I.R.L is a look at the history of online sex and an attempt to show us the temporality of our online world. A young man discovers his sexual identity through early computer bulletin board systems. While exploring ASCII art, erotic text adventures, cyber-sex and porn video games, he finds that the machine slowly disappears and the boundaries between reality and obsession become blurred.
A pre-cursor to the Internet that we hold so dear, BBS networks were small, localized, dial-up communities where a whole new world flooded with art, secrecy, piracy and sex began to emerge. They shared phone numbers, not hyperlinks. Long distance charges applied. There was no way to find out who was on the other end.
Mark Pellegrino is a Toronto-based, multi-disciplinary artist and art technician. His digital practice utilizes antiquated video equipment, emulated computer systems and 3d animation to explore the history, discourse and anomalies of the video medium. His varied practice has shown around Toronto and includes illustration, printing, animation and installation. He is also the Technical Manager at Vtape where his focus is in the preservation of early video art and bridging it with contemporary web-based distribution.
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