Currently in the process of founding a new film and media department as well as a curatorial masters program, the Alle School of Fine Arts and Design has been faced with questions including those of access to net-based information and online resources for education and learning purposes, while also emphasising the emerging importance of visual culture and information techniques as critical tools to respond to the rapidly changing socio-political landscape in Addis Ababa.
The semester included a variety of local collaborations, experimental educational formats and surprising artistic ventures that brought together students, educators and artists from both schools as well as invited guests and other professionals from Addis Ababa and abroad. Between the fall of and the spring of , Acting Archives unfolded through a series of events taking place both in Addis Ababa and Berlin, including a symposium, workshops, various educational and artistic experiments, exhibitions, as well as an art festival.
These endeavours were motivated by the desire to learn how to learn from and with each other and employed experimentation as a method of artistic research, co-producing knowledge around the topics of art and education. This audiovisual archive was then packaged as a media container, equipped with a set of basic media technology in order to allow people to continue working with the existing archives and to produce new content. The documented events span a period of more than two years and are arranged chronologically. A few months later, already in Addis Ababa, the institute organised a series of events with both local practitioners and international guests, including talks by architect and professor Brook Teklehaimanot, political theorist Chantal Mouffe, art historian Abebaw Ayalew, curator Elvira Dyangani Ose, art historian Molly Nesbit, as well as a series of four lectures by Olafur Eliasson.
Shorter presentation formats were also facilitated during that time, particularly during the Addis Art Practices Marathon. Upon return to Berlin two talks by Doreen Massey and Molly Nesbit in the spring and summer of attempted to revisit and expand on the topics of time and space as well as of travel, translation and narrations as they relate to the shared experiences in Ethiopia. The exhibition Archives Acting was curated on that occasion and included works by twenty-four artists.
Serving as an extended table of contents, this publication opens up a number of pathways, links and diversions through this wide array of contributions. Translated and published in Amharic, English, and German, the content is meant to encourage multiple connections and cross-readings both within and outside this present archive. In doing so, Acting Archives is an educational experiment that proposes a different way of engaging with an archive and putting it in motion.
We hope it also serves as a first step towards further experiments that engage with the collected material, merging the archived entries with present trajectories leading onto future paths. Diese Veranstaltungen wurden von dem Wunsch getragen herauszufinden, wie man von- und miteinander lernen kann. Ein Vorschlag meinerseits: Noch vor dem Recht auf Selbstverwirklichung und vor dem Recht auf freie Rede besteht das fundamentale Recht des Menschen zu denken: das Recht auf Gedankenfreiheit.
Es beeinflusst die Vorstellungskraft der Menschen und ihre verschiedenen Poetiken, die es dann verwandelt. Dies bedeutet, dass hierin die Risiken des Denkens realisiert werden. Beides riskiert die Realisierung des Denkens im Moment seiner Entstehung. Wird einem Gedanken einmal eine Form verliehen, ist er real. Das Potenzial eines Kunstwerkes liegt nicht nur im Objekt oder im Konzept. Sie sehen unterschiedliche Aspekte, erleben die Begegnung auf andere Weise. Glissant ebd. Kunst kann mit dem zugrunde liegenden Prinzip der Differenz umgehen.
Kunst bietet Orte der Verbundenheit, an denen viele Geschichten und Ziele genauso wie unterschiedliche Arten der Wahrnehmung und des Seins koexistieren. Sie ist nicht dogmatisch. Dies ist die Welle, die ich in Bewegung gesetzt habe, um dich zu erreichen. Nach Glissant ebd.
Wissen im Werden begriffen. Dieses Prinzip des Lernens ermutigte und ermutigt auch im Weiteren zu unvorhersehbaren Begegnungen, indem wir auf das Potenzial vertrauen — from here to hear, von hier nach dort, von Addis Abeba nach Berlin und immer wieder von vorn. Die Publikation dient als praktische Anleitung, um durch das audiovisuelle Archiv des Projektes zu navigieren.
So entstand in den zehn Semestern eine umfangreiche Sammlung von Fotografien, Videos und Tonaufnahmen, von begleitenden Texten und Publikationen. Diese Materialsammlung zollt den zahlreichen experimentellen Lehr- und Lernformaten Rechnung. Wie kann es funktional sein?
Wie kann mit ihm konkret gearbeitet werden? Alle gemeinsamen Veranstaltungen wurden dokumentiert und zu einer umfangreichen audiovisuellen Sammlung zusammengetragen. Media Lab Workshop. The workshop includes a training in the use of the equipment and an introduction into work flows and the accompanying audio and video editing programs. Olafur Eliasson: Lecture and Book Launch. He introduces the project Acting Archives — Media Lab for Artistic Research and Education, shows video excerpts from the project archive and presents the technical infrastructure of the media container and the forthcoming accompanying guidebook.
Turning Thinking into Doing into Art. A-B-A-B-A : from here to hear workshop.
Die Kamera ist kein Schutz, sie ist gemeinsames Spiel- und Werkzeug. This combination of the two techniques was already achieved in his previous films like Ziegenort and Black, but here he takes one step further by depicting a strange act of inner reality like the transformation of the consciousness and its accompanying involuntary movements of a body and ontologically unstable perception. Dem interessierten Leser kann an dieser Stelle deshalb nur Band 1 empfohlen werden. Die Wiedergabe von Gebrauchsnamen, Handelsnamen, Warenbezeichnungen usw. In short, it is the perfect partner for organizations are taking part and hope that this event helps to generate new growth future-oriented industrial projects in Germany and Europe.
A-B-A-B-A : from here to hear is the third experimental get-together of poets, musicians and translators based in Addis Ababa and in Berlin, who join in this exercise of styles taking place at the Alle School of Fine Arts and Design. Testing new structures and methods in a dialogue, the workshop sets out to explore oral traditions in Amharic poetry culture, translations and interpretations between German, English and Amharic, and performative elements on stage, including music traditions from traditional Ethiopian music, jazz elements and contemporary electronic music.
Poetry Jazz Night in Awash. It is the third experimental get-together of poets, musicians and translators based in Addis Ababa and in Berlin, who join in this exercise of styles. Spoken poetry has a long history in Ethiopia, with Poetic Jazz being one of its contemporary expressions. Poetic Jazz crosses genetic material from music and poetry in a way that discovers a style and form based in listening.
Rhythms, styles, and modes of playing are created between the musicians and the poets and reflect the specific quality of the poems being performed. On the occasion a new album is launched, featuring recordings of the latest experimental live performances which took place in Berlin in July About the participating artists, poets and musicians Gashaw Abateneh is a renowned musician and performer, known for his patriotic recitals and performances of Ethiopian battle songs in traditional acting style. He regularly stars at the Ethiopian National Theatre. Mihret Kebede is an artist, poet, and the founding director of the Netsa Art Village artist collective in Addis Ababa.
Erica Licht focuses her research and work on creating bridges between community members and stakeholders, through dialogue and holistic environmentally conscious curriculum. This was because we did not think they fitted the category of computer animation as we had decided to define it this year.
As a jury we felt honored to be able to witness this selection of works submitted to Ars Electronica that actually represents a snapshot of the state-of-the art in computer animation in Technical trends that emerged from the works included processes such as algorithmic generation, point clouds that index a machine view of the world, artful photographic manipulation with Touch Designer, impossible Octane objects that use irrational and plasmatic cartoon principles rather than the known laws of the physical universe, stylish graphic combinations of 3d mo-cap and 2D rendering, machinima animations that use existing game engines, and various inventive methods to render live data.
Common themes that emerged from the works included personal issues—such as gender, sexuality, relationships, social inclusion, body image and mental health—as well as wider social and geo-political issues such as migration, mass communication networks, ecological devastation, and impending extinction. We mainly watched the entries on screen, but also spent time experiencing works from inside VR headsets. The VR entries become more sophisticated year after year.
We noted how they play with point of view, misdirection, voyeurism, and empathy to enhance storytelling and emotional affect. In addition, some entries paid particular attention to the world outside the headset and sensory experiences were created in the physical environments in which they were encountered that complemented the effect of the work. Although we were able to get a sense of VR and single screen work in the manner in which the works were designed to be encountered, this was not the same for the installations which we received in the form of proposals. Since they were not directly experienced in the physical space in which they were intended to be located in, installation proposals were at times hard to imagine.
Clear information about the set-up and video documentation of what it would be like were essential for us to understand how these works were intended. The process of selection takes several stages.
After the initial preselection, there are three full days of further discussion and voting by the jury to first narrow down the entries under consideration and then to select the final fifteen. Sometimes there was a consensus of opinions and we were in total agreement and at other times we had quite heated disagreements.
When this happened, decisions were taken by majority vote. Consequently, we tried to recognize independent artists and small studios over major industry players. In our selection it was important for us to represent a spread of the different expanded forms that animation can take, but above all we selected works that demonstrated individual authorship, independence of vision, and thoughtfulness.
Even more than technical prowess, we valued meaning, daring, and emotional risk. As animators we can conjure powerful visions through our fingertips and we must take responsibility for the messages we portray. We should be careful to avoid becoming totally absorbed by the technology and to remember that we are communicating ideas. As a jury, we hope to continue to see animation that does more than technically innovate, but has the vision and bravery to engage with the complexity of topical issues in contemporary society and the sensitivity to portray intimate, personal, human experience. Roy, Fred Casia.
Mental illness is too often a shameful and misunderstood topic that people do not want to talk about in public. It can be hard to understand if you have not personally experienced it. Scenarios such as being trapped in a small room and then flying through the ceiling to touch the stars served as a metaphor for the rush of mania after a depressive episode. With a clever script that mixes chat messaging with programming language in a nostalgic retro gaming aesthetic, Strings addresses online gaming and the loneliness of remote communication.
Chasing ghostly algorithms within a discarded game, the narrator searches through data banks for traces of a lost cyber femme fatale who once caressed him pixel by pixel, but can no longer be found. The jury was enamored with the highly poetic treatment of this story of lost love and the loneliness of social media. They also found the idea of a lost world of forgotten games to be moving and thought provoking.
Inspired by her love for the famous soccer player Ronaldo, in this installation the artist Cindy Coutant has created a virtual character with whom she can have a deep personal relationship. Undershoot, sensitive data: Cristiano pays tribute to the deeply personal need to connect through all of the senses—sound, touch, and smell—with the image on the screen and real person.
The animation is emotionally charged and enhanced by the physical installation. The jury was moved by the honesty of the piece. Undershoot, sensitive data: Cristiano provokes the social, cultural, and ethical standards of the current technology, screen-based and social media infatuation. We are in constant communication with everything around us through machines. As such, it is a tribute to lost emotional connection, intimacy, and materiality. This film was chosen by the Jury for its daring and humorous exploration of male privilege in heterosexual relationships and the hidden desires beneath the performance of conventional gender roles.
Over and above the technical accomplishment of being a well-made CGI character animation that pays attention to detail in modelling and animation, it has a clever twist that reflects power dynamics in sexual relationships and how they are impacted by social stereotypes of gender. The film reminds us that our own thoughtless, bad habits towards those who are close to us can go very wrong in the end.
In this bizarrely colored film, Tomek Popakul combines the animation of 2D drawings and 3D models in an unusual way. This combination of the two techniques was already achieved in his previous films like Ziegenort and Black, but here he takes one step further by depicting a strange act of inner reality like the transformation of the consciousness and its accompanying involuntary movements of a body and ontologically unstable perception.
The effect of these visions is enhanced by digital techniques: strange mutation of the things, sudden appearances of one of the layers, awkward movements or seemingly infinite multiplication of human figures… By depicting various human condition in this way, the film also tells something sinister happened to our existence: It already has been deeply mutated or deteriorated and it will never be the same. The ugly beauty of acid rain or a puddle with soaking oil shows it with the mesmerizing and terrifying metamorphosis of its color.
Animation is uniquely placed to convey very intimate thoughts and private, subjective feelings. In these digital drawings, the body of the character is trapped within a box, limited by her own beliefs and poor self-image. Body parts multiply and mutate as she contemplates whether to eat, kill, or nurture an egg.
The jury admired the illustrative style and the bravery of the animator to explore a personal battle with anorexia.