Home > 09/29/10 Hench-DADA VISITING ARTISTS: Alberto Hermida and Birgitta Hosea > Hench-DADA VISITING ARTISTS: Alberto Hermida and Birgitta Hosea

Hench-DADA VISITING ARTISTS: Alberto Hermida and Birgitta Hosea

Alberto Hermida is a graduate in Media, a researcher and professor in the Department of Audiovisual Communication and Advertising (School of Media, University of Seville, Spain) and a visiting research fellow in the School of Media, Film and Music (University of Sussex,Brighton). Under the FPU research scholarship (a researcher and professor four-year training scholarship granted by the Spanish Government), Hermida is visiting the USC Hench-DADA program for a short-term research period. His thesis examines the deep impact that digital technologies have in the evolution and transformation of moving-image-collage, turning it into a key technique around contemporary audiovisual culture.
Birgitta Hosea is an artist and animator based in London and working in the field of expanded animation. Her work investigates hybrid forms of practice in which animation meets live presence. She has coined the term ‘post-animation’ to describe her practice, because it uses the tools of animation, but does not take the form of an animated film. Rather she creates interdisciplinary works that de-construct conventional notions of animation. Her interest is in exploring animation as both performance and performative act. Is it possible to be both ‘animator’ and also ‘animated’ at the same time? http://www.birgittahosea.co.uk/
  1. Lisa Chung
    October 3, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    It’s always interesting to see how people approach animation. Last Wednesday was no exception. With Alberto Hermida and Birgitta Hosea, I was very intrigued how they interpreted this medium and made it very much about their own interest. With Alberto, I never stopped to think about how collage essentially exists everywhere even in 3D animation, music videos, advertisement, etc. Anything that has a layering system falls into the collage category. In some cases, the goal is to hide the deliberate layers such as when a CG character is in a scene with live actors. The perfect example Alberto gave was Gollum in Lord of the Ring. In other cases, the cutout and layer system is exposed to show a certain aesthetic and help deliver a certain message. Thanks Alberto for helping me see collages beyond the assemblage of magazine cutouts. As for Birgitta’s presentation, she completely challenged my thoughts about what animation could be. She wanted to go beyond the traditional paper and pencil. I love how she utilized performance art to explore the feeling of animation and how spontaneous it can be. It’s unlike anything I’ve seen. Thanks Birgitta for opening the Pandora box of animation.

  2. Gregory Jones
    October 3, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    I think Alberto made an interesting point about collage and the ubiquitous nature of computers today. I’m not sure if I properly understood it, he seemed to be saying that with the technology everyone has at their disposal, collage is now inherit in our manipulation of media. Because of that, people do not explicitly set out to do collage and the art form suffers for it. Looking at it that way, I can see his point. However I feel it’s a small price to pay to have more people working with and expanding the field of collage. In looking at Birgitta’s work, I’m excited to see some of her work in person. Tom Sito’s class will all be participating in this upcoming and I’m sure it will be an awesome experience.

  3. Cecilia De Jesus
    October 4, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    Last week’s presentations were really fascinating. Alberto’s research on collage through history and now in the digital world was very interesting. I never took the time to notice, but it is true how collage has become so common. I thought it was great how he showed how collage has been used throughout art history from Picasso to Rauschenberg. I love the combination of collage and animation, so seeing all his examples was a delight for me. Birgitta’s work was also very compelling and unusual. I like how she is pushing the boundaries of animation and integrating it in her performance art. I’m so glad we get to collaborate with her on her exhibition. I’m really looking forward to seeing how it will turn out.

  4. Rachel Jaffe
    October 5, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    Whether declaiming the fortuitous rise of digital bricolage or opining the validity of unrecorded self-animation as an art that long outlives the transience of the performance, the two visiting scholar-artists were (in my demurely stated view) fantastically educative, if only in terms of how wildly (and, at times, delightfully) disparate their perspectives on the permutating nature of animation were from those stolid definitions embraced by typical scholasticism. Boasting both the interactivity and nonlinearity that — over the past few decades — have been the hallmark of the “direct theory” so lauded by experimental video artists, Birgitta Hosea’s performance pieces are, if not always ingenious, undeniably inventive in nature and semi-academic scope. Similarly, Alberto Hermida’s presentation — a peroration comprised of a half-chronicle, quarter-analysis, and quarter-mission statement — ranged as widely in its structure and cobbled-together conception as the melange of material it attempted to tackle (and — in an acrobatic barrel roll of academicism — did). Moreover, the whole-hearted enthusiasm that so pervaded the voices of these two scholar-practitioners was colossally reasurring — I realized that an unabating passion for one’s craft or self-chosen arena of study is possible to achieve (and, hopefully, maintain). Upholding a steely artistic constitution is no small task (especially as the (pre)thesis clock ticks all too loudly) — but Alberto Hermida and Birgitta Hosea’s presence at seminar last week helped trounce my vaporous doubts as to whether it’s possible to straddle the quasi-divergent worlds of art and academicism.

    • October 6, 2010 at 10:20 am

      I agree that Birgitta’s work effectively straddles the line between art and theory or research. (Although I’m not sure if Alberto is a filmmaker or animator? That being said, I also find his work incredibly refreshing!)

  5. October 5, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    Alberto’s research is very interesting. In my opinion,it is also questioning the definition of animation and collage. The word “collage” comes from visual arts, but also extended into other areas, such as architecture and music. Originally as a very important technique, collage not only brings contemporary art a new types of visualization, but also an fresh aesthetic, which is using some elements from different areas and generate new meanings and connections. Each single collage elements still keep the original information simultaneously, then you still see them as individuals. At the same time, the composition also draws attention entirely. Therefore, people’s attention will be shifting between those individual elements and the composition. That’s the most interesting part of collage for me. It would be very interesting to study how is it functioning in people’s mind.

  6. Maria Sequeira
    October 5, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    I was really intrigued by Alberto’s presentation of collage. I loved that his slides were in keeping with his theme, and I loved the examples he showed, as it’s a testament to how varied and exciting collage-style animation can be.

    I found myself wondering of collage is more of an aesthetic or if it’s a process, and if it was necessary for it to be self evident. Throughout the course of his informative presentation, I came to realize that for myself, the power of the collage comes from the fact that the viewer or audience can still discern the separate parts. Part of the delight is the re-contextualization of elements and the tension that happens in meaning between the conventional use of an object and the new appropriated meaning in the artwork. This was true from Rauschenberg to Bartlett.

    I came to discover that there is also a political dimension in the “naivete” of the technique, in that anyone can cut and paste pictures together. Authoritarianism is clearly rejected; one needn’t be a salon artist to create meaning through art. I think this was the appeal for the Dada artists who rejected the more academic and traditional definitions of “Art.” In this vein, collage is potentially the everyman’s art and perhaps it’s not a bad thing that it has suffused our culture so thoroughly. Furthermore, I would argue that the concept of the “hidden collage” is perhaps an oxymoron in that the slick and glossy style of contemporary visual effects is more akin to surrealism in the line of Hieronymous Bosch and Salvador Dali than the collage tradition.

  7. October 5, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    It was intriguing to see what Alberto showed us as “collage”, whereas most people would just call it “animation”. It’s a pretty fuzzy line between the two, especially with so much computer assistance. I think he was asked what the difference was but couldn’t exactly answer that. I never thought of moving collage evolving separately but in parallel to animation. One of the most interesting things he talked about was near the end when he mentioned that collage it still used because of the persistence of its aesthetic appeal. This can be applied in any art. Just because something is new/ more realistic/ more complicated doesn’t mean it has to be used. Just because something has been used for a long time doesn’t mean there isn’t anything new that can be done with it.

    At least in part, I agree with Birgitta’s statement that performance maintains our identity. This is important for character animators, especially without dialogue. Tom, Jerry, Wile E. Coyote, and the Road Runner are relatively silent characters that all come to mind. Their actions are usually pretty simple, so we can get a sense of who they are without any sound at all. A character’s personality gains depth when and for what reasons they go outside that established range.

    • Sheila M. Sofian
      October 6, 2010 at 10:34 am

      Hi Dan- I thought Alberto did answer Tianran’s question when asked about the difference between animation and collage. (Although I think it’s more accurate to say collage could be considered a form of animation.) I believe he stated something along the lines of collage consisting of the manipulation of images which already exist, rather than originally created imagery.

  8. Javier Barboza
    October 5, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    I have never seen anyone brake down collage so detail. Albertro, made me rethink the way I see collage in my work and in observation . I enjoy the references in films and artist , but I was wondering where , all the research was leading to? Birgitta’s work also put animation in a new context, Having done installation animation work myself, and mostly seeing the perceptive of American installation work, it was refreshing to see another point over view of animation installation.

  9. Linda Jules
    October 6, 2010 at 5:51 am

    I have noticed that I share similar views with several of my colleagues here about the difference between the collage as an art form and animation in general. But I also left class with another question… where is the line draw between computer graphics and interactive instillation as a art form and animation in general? I always thought that animation was relatively simple to define. Just look at the screen, and you will know, for certain, that what you are viewing is animation. But after hearing Birgitta mention that she is interested in creating animation that is live and dynamic has literally left my narrowly packaged idea of animation pleasantly busting at the seams. Animation is about playing with the phenomenon we call persistence of vision–it’s not just drawing a series of pictures, nor is it just about placing pre-decided, pre-keyframed images together to create the illusion of movement (although this is absolutely the most popular form of animation). I definitely appreciated Birgitta’s fascinating ideas, and I look forward to incorporating this knowledge of building animation live in a physical space into my own practice!

  10. Justin Connolly
    October 6, 2010 at 8:29 am

    I found both Alberto Hermida and Birgitta Hosea’s presentations last week extremely provocative as they challenged our definitions of collage and animation. Alberto’s intensive research and deconstruction of the collage technique and the pervasive nature of the technique itself certainly blurred the lines of where collage ends and animation begins. In fact, his research into the various categories of collage that are so prevalent in our culture today opened my eyes to the modernization and assimilation of old world techniques into the digital age. Specifically, Alberto’s comment that every time we cut and paste words, phrases, or media with the click of a mouse, such as while writing a word document or surfing the internet, we are in essence collaging was astounding to me. His point clearly illustrated the invisibility, yet inescapable nature, of collage in our daily lives.

  11. Ryan
    October 6, 2010 at 9:17 am

    I enjoyed Albertos presentation on collage. Some of his examples where really great to watch. I t would be nice to know a bit more of the cultural relevance of the style. It seems that for a contemporary eye collage is constantly all around us. As different cultures and ideas are continually colliding and barrowing from each other and our world gets smaller and more integrated this is being represented virtually in our esthetics as well as the ease to obtain different materials and uniting them in a different context then its original intent. I think there maintains a playfulness inherent o the style and there is no surprise that it has became so popular and successful in animation and larger in pop culture. It is in music fashion studio arts and in the media.
    Birgittas presentation was interesting. Having come from the theater and surrounded with performance my entire life It was interesting to hear someone reveres the perspective of performances influence on animation and animations influence on performance. I was a little lost on her foundation definition of Animation. This came into play when talking about a live performer “ being animated” it seemed more like a comment on animation then really being animated. I could also see referencing animation on live performance in the context of playing with perception of movement threw time, but even there it would be a reference point not a actuality. I was very jealous that Brigitta has been able to play with the 3d projectors as I have alwase wanted to use them and have never seen one other then on video.

  12. October 6, 2010 at 11:11 am

    I really enjoyed both of the presentations this week, I think we are lucky to have these scholars working here at USC!

    Alberto’s work is particularly interesting for me, as I think of myself primarily as a collage artist. I consider my work as merging separate approaches to animation, art, film making, film theory, history, teaching, performance, etc. That is actually one of the main reasons I chose to work in animation, as I found it was an ideal medium for collage. What is important for me in the act of collage is the ability to merge apparently disparate items – this juxtaposition can be a means for displaying that seeming contradictions are not necessarily as divisive as they first appear. As Alberto mentioned, collage has become such a part of our visual language, and his ideas on this are also mentioned in theories on “postmodernism” (also post-postmodernism) and “pastiche.” It is interesting that when collage started, with Dadaism, as Maria mentioned, it was highly politically motivated. As we have moved forward in time, some people discuss postmodernism collage as “pastiche,” which some argue might be similar to blending and collaging things indiscriminately, and, perhaps, taking the message and political meaning out of the work. (Some would argue – but not all agree.) How does collage function when we are so inundated with it? It seems like a fundamental question – how do we build on a technique that was tied to a message, but has been appropriated as an aesthetic?

    In terms of Birgitta’s work, as most others, I was pleasantly surprised by her ideas on bringing animation outside of film,and ‘the frame.’ I am particularly interested in the way she designs productions as experiments that test her theories on how animation does (or doesn’t) work. She seems to approach animation as full of possibilities for scientific experiments that challengingly blend the creation of art with experimentation that dissects how animation functions in the human mind. I think her work is an incredibly successful example of how theory and production (of animation, film, art, etc.) can meaningfully interact and support one another.

    – Laura Cechanowicz

  13. Linda Liao
    October 6, 2010 at 11:51 am

    Nearly all of Birgitta and Alberto’s lecture was informative and portrayed their individual styles in a wide range of computer base work.

    Birgitta’s work extended to classically chosen methodology to performative aspects that dealt with the concept of animation. This included robotic mediums, projections that interacted with actors, and her work as the prominent chair of the renowned Central St. Martin school in London. As of now she is trying to dabble into animated projects displayed on the internet.

    Alberto’s work is more graphic oriented. His source of inspiration comes mainly from music videos that also intergrate live action footage. His explorations in collage and Surrealist art demonstrated some basic ideas that stretched to commercial like forms of expression to speak to the general public in a contained and concise manner.

  14. Jordan Hansen
    October 6, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    Intense study of collage seems like such a grand undertaking. That being said, I cannot think of something that has impacted how we create art especially motion pictures more greatly. It seems like since the earliest days of motion pictures there has been a desire to create collage. Alberto really foregrounded this in my mind. I am interested to see what develops out of his study. Will new avenues of creation be explored by future artists? Will the exposure of the use of collage in the creation of motion pictures lead to a rejection of it and a new artistic aesthetic? I think the latter is much less likely since it actually seems that collage is becoming more and more important every day. One thing I was left wondering was what is the culmination of Alberto’s work. Will it be a dissertation, or will it embrace collage itself and take a more varied form?

  15. Miguel Jiron
    October 6, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    It was great to catch a glimpse of animation in the art world with these two artists. I think Alberto’s use of collage is important, but really wide ranging and open ended. It’s easy to see the concept of collage in almost every level of creative production if you want to take it that far. Pasting together disparate elements into a creative whole is a concept that informs creativity in every level. I think the more interesting examples of contemporary collage incorporate video work as these single elements, instead of static elements. Marco Brambilla makes amazing work, stitching video elements to create a compelling whole, like this elevator installation in a new york hotel: http://vimeo.com/5082155

    Birgitta’s incorporation of performance art in animation is a really intriguing and complex idea. Animation is so often thought of the opposite of spontaneous and of the moment process, and fusing it together with performance makes a really great contrast. I’m very curious to see where her further investigations with this go; her projections would be fascinating to see in person (as with most performance art, something is inherently lost in documentation).

  16. Louis Morton
    October 6, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    My favorite part of Brigitta’s presentation was the ARC drawing project. I have always been interested in large scale collaborative drawing events. I think they provide a great space for generating spontaneous ideas. Looking at the pictures on her blog, the liveliness of the drawings created on such a large wall space would be near impossible to create in any other way. It’s very inspiring to think what types of forms might emerge when the artist is not limited to a piece of paper (or mouse) and can throw their entire body into a drawing. Last year I helped organize a live drawing event at a gallery in Oakland. We called it ‘Marker Dance Party’ and basically we covered the walls and stairs of the gallery with paper, put out buckets of markers and had DJ. It was awesome to watch what creations appeared on the walls as people danced, drew, and added to other’s drawings. I love this idea of live drawing collaboration and I had never thought of applying it to animation before, so it was very inspirational to see Brigitta’s work!

  17. Ian McCormack
    October 6, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    It is always important to hear from people who define animation differently from me. It is too easy to have a narrow view of what animation is and what the limits of it are. I don’t know if I will ever find myself doing live performance animation but it is interesting to know that it exists out there.

  18. Yang Liu
    October 6, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    I enjoyed both presentations last week. Alberto Hermida showed us a lot of collage animations that I’ve never seen before, and I was extremely impressed by how much the collage technique can do on screen. This reminds me of one of my drawing class assignment that asked me to do a collage drawing, but I was very confused about what we were doing and why. So basically I just randomly put different pieces together and try making it look visually good. The final product was meaningless to me and I thought that was all about collage-making.. It’s such a pity that I’ve never done any art training before I came to the school, and I now realize how much innovative works can be done using a collage techniques,, not just in motion graphics, but even in storytelling animation. Meanwhile, it doesn’t just make the image look unique and intersting, but also it re-creates a subject that allows us to view things through another dimension, perspecitve, or even another way of thinking. I will surely try collage animation in my future projects.
    For Birgitta Hosea, her presentation reminds me of my memories back in the UK, when I was still a high school student there. Britain for me is very different from the US, since the British have a totally different life style. It’s hard to explain in details, but I really understand how and why they love working on artworks that have a strong and deep meaning. Birgitta showed so much of her love and effort on her creative pieces, and she is very devoted into the philosophy of animation, that is to raise questions to challenge our common sense. Though I feel hard to fully interpretate the intension or meaning of her art designs in the exhibitions, especially the cat face one, I think it’s my fault due to my lack of knowledge in Art. Her working attitude and thoughtful designs amazed me and made me feel maybe I was too superficial and reckless when creating my own design.

  19. Burak Kurt
    October 6, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    Like Ian, I also find myself a little distanced from doing performance animation but that doesn’t in any sense mean that I disregard it. I really find that point of view towards animation interesting and challenging, and I’m a strong believer that challenging is the way to progress. In that sense I found the seminar last week very interesting and I would like to thank Alberto and Birgitta for that.

  20. Allen Yau
    October 6, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    I like both Alberto and Birgitta’s work very much. I’m impressed by the videos that Alberto showed us. Those videos really inspired me for my work, since my project for 555 class has a similar approach and style. It was a pleasure to watch all the videos and yet the time was not enough to let him show more of them.

    Alberto’s definition of collage is an interesting thinking. Especially the concept of hidden collage: it almost includes too many techniques into its definition. Modern films continue to mix and borrow concepts and techniques from their predecessor, maybe this is also a kind of collage.

    Birgitta’s installation works are something that I’ve never seen before. They have broadened my scope in installations and also let me know that there are lots of approaches in animation installations.

  21. Eric Tortora Patp
    October 6, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    Although I found both presentations intriguing, I’m going to concentrate a bit more on Birgitta Hosea’s for this comment. Not because I am more inclined to it (to the contrary, I have a huge soft spot for cut out and collage animation, even if I am a bit burnt out on it this week) but because I take some issue with a certain idea Birgitta espoused. This is the idea of animation having to ‘escape’ the medium of motion picture, live action in particular. Now, I could, as an equal opportunity filmmaker and enthusiast, go on to defend live action’s versatility, argue that it could (and very much has) been employed for all the same transmedia ideas and integrations she listed (or at least in similar intent). However, this is not really my main point of contention, rather it is this: in the squares are rectangles but rectangles are not necessarily squares version of understanding film, animation is the higher category. That is to say all live action is in fact animation, but not all animation (vis a vis, not all film) is live actions. Though the techniques vary, live action is all about the same illusion, the same faking of movement, space, character and story where it is not actually more than a simple flat as animation is. Live action, in the end is nothing more than animation in real time technique. There is no escape from the other half of your body, I suppose.

  22. Shaun Kim
    October 6, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    I love the the Collage ideas. I’ve thought these days lots of films and video’s using collage for transition, but I couldn’t know why. Alberto’s presentation was really helpful to figure out the definition and kinds of collage. Especially some categorization about collage such as ‘Motion in time’, and ‘Motion in space and time’ was good for understanding the root of collage’s characteristics. Plus, his examples for easier understand was pretty charming films.

  23. Matthew Steidl
    October 6, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    I enjoyed listening to Birgitta’s explanation of the program at her school in London, for it highlighted a unique approach to animation that seems quite relevant to character animation that would be useful for animators anywhere. Like the TUT students who will be coming from Tokyo next week, meeting animators from other schools (in other countries, moreover) really help give us a perspective of our own program. While I appreciated Alberto’s presentation, I could not see myself content in the same research-focused position, preferring the hands-on approach that we take in Hench’s program. Regardless, I think it is great that we are supporting visiting artists, and I hope that Birgitta and Alberto are but the first of many artists to come.

  24. Brandon Lake
    October 10, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    It was very interesting to finally see the works of the two visiting artists. They had sat in some of our classes and described what their work entailed, but I really had no concept of what it actually was about. Alberto’s approach to the conceptual aspect of animation was pretty new for me. Outside of the history of animation I usually have not taken much thought into the overarching concepts behind certain styles and methods of animation. Brigitta’s work was just as fascinating. I’ve personally never showed much interest in interactive installation animation, so I never really looked at works that focused on it. I was very impressed by her ability to avoid the static nature of many installations and make a true performance out of the experience. I also, having read many articles about the Gorillaz concerts, would have loved to see more of her 3d projection work.

  25. November 10, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    I saw the Chatter already. It was so funny when our works were showed in TVs. Much more interesting than I thought when I was doing the lips work.

  26. Juan Gonzalez
    December 7, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    Having both Brigitta and Alberto around was great. Alberto{s research on collage presents interesting questions on digital vs non digital animation. How the sense of freedom that digital offers can be deceiving because there are some aspects of the technique that are attached to it, collage being one of them. Brigitta’s work is fascinating and showcases new possibilities to take animation outside the traditional screen. I was particularly interested in her exploration of drawing for animation in ways that push the technique into a place where the artist can be surprised by it’s creation. Very inspiring overall!

  27. Jovanna
    December 8, 2010 at 5:13 am

    Birgitta’s work expands the standard idea of animation. She takes the art form beyond the screen; As in the case of Dog Betty, Birgitta created an animated personality inspired by Betty Boop, and created a series of performances. Taking on the role of Dog Betty, she exercised her cartoononimity to deliver mischief in real space. Even behind a mask, Birgitta described self-censorship as one of the challenges she faced. She expressed an interest and possibly a regret not going further with her cartoon antics.

  28. Kim Cagney
    December 14, 2010 at 7:23 am

    “Dog Betty” is definitely an interesting concept – assuming the identity of. It creates an exchange where the player is at once influenced and even controlled by the character she assumes, but at the same time imposing her own ideas and personality onto the character. She attempts to become the character, but in so doing redefines that character according to her own perceptions of it.

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