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24 DECEMBER 2013

Bunny: tale of a cranky elderly bunny baking in her kitchen when a pesky moth flies in to disturb her lonely late-night activity

Fig.1 Chris Wedge (1998) "Bunny", Blue Sky Studios.

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1998Academy Awardafter deathafterlifeallegoryanimated short filmanimationanthropomorphism • baking • Blue Sky Studios • bunny • Bunny (1998) • Bunny Blue Sky • cabin • cake • cake batter • Chris Wedge • computer animationcontemplating mortalitydeathfantasy about deathforest • gateway • heaven • husband • kitchenlate nightlonelinesslosslove storymortalitymothovenrabbitremembranceromantic loveshort filmsoulmatesvisual effectswedding day

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
27 NOVEMBER 2012

Technological advances expand the artist's expressive vocabulary

Exhibition: "Bruno Munari: My Futurist Past", Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, 39A Canonbury Square, London, N1 2AN, From 19 September 2012 to 23 December 2012.

Bruno Munari was a "founding member of the Movimento Arte Concreta (M.A.C.) in Milan, which was established towards the end of the 1940s. This acted as a catalyst for new developments in Italian abstraction, and aspired to bring about a 'synthesis of arts' in which traditional painting would be complemented by new tools of communication, demonstrating the possibility of a convergence of art and technology, creativity and functionality. Reflecting his belief that technological advances expanded the artist's expressive vocabulary, by 1950 Munari had begun to experiment with creating works by means of projecting light through compositions made from a wide range of materials such as coloured and transparent plastic, organic elements and Polaroid filters, producing beautiful and intriguing images of vast dimensions."

(Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, 2012)

Fig.1 Bruno Munari, Aeroplanes and Archers, 1932, mixed media, 34.8 x 24.8cms Courtesy Massimo & Sonia Cirulli Archive

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19071998artart and technologyartistBruno Munaricolour and lightConstructivist-inspiredconvergence • creativity and functionality • exhibitionexpressive vocabularyFuturism (art movement) • Futurist past • hanging mobile • hanging objects • Italian • Italian abstraction • Italian art • Milanmobilesmodernist tradition • Movimento Arte Concreta • new tools of communication • photomontagesculpturespatial environments • synthesis of arts • technological advances • transparent plastic • uncritical attitude towards progress • use of space • useless machinesworking across disciplines • working across media

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
29 APRIL 2012

Boundary Functions: personal space exists only in relation to others and changes without our control

"Boundary Functions shows us that personal space exists only in relation to others and changes without our control. ...

By projecting the diagram, the invisible relationships between individuals and the space between them become visible and dynamic. The intangible notion of personal space and the line that always exists between you and another becomes concrete. The installation doesn't function at all with one person, as it requires a physical relationship to someone else. In this way Boundary Functions is a reversal of the lonely self–reflection of virtual reality, or the frustration of virtual communities: here is a virtual space that can only exist with more than one person, and in physical space.

The title, Boundary Functions, refers to Theodore Kaczynski's 1967 University of Michigan PhD thesis. Better known as the Unabomber, Kaczynski is a pathological example of the conflict between the individual and society: engaging with an imperfect world versus an individual solitude uncompromised by the presence of others. The thesis itself is an example of the implicit antisocial quality of some scientific discourse, mired in language and symbols that are impenetrable to the vast majority of society. In this installation, a mathematical abstraction is made instantly knowable by dynamic visual representation."

(Scott Snibbe, 1998)

Fig.1 Scott Snibbe (1998). "Boundary Functions".

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1998art installationboundariesboundary functionsdynamic visual representationdynamically changingfloorgeometryindividualindividual and society • individual solitude • installationinteraction patternsinteractive artinteractive floorinteractive projection • Jonathan Shewchuk • linesmathematical abstractionmathematicspartition of spacepatternpatternspersonal spacephysical interaction • physical relationship • physical spaceprojected from overhead • proxemics • psychology • regions • relationships between individuals • scientific discourse • Scott Snibbesocial interaction • social relationships • Theodore Kaczynski • unabombervideo trackingvirtual spacevoronoiVoronoi diagram

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
14 APRIL 2012

Practising Theatre History as Research

"Much current scholarship in the field of Elizabethan and Jacobean drama, including my own, focuses on the actual performance of plays in their own or later periods, regarding the texts that survive as, in different ways, blueprints for performance, and exploring them in the context of their performance spaces, actors and theatre–practice and of other agencies such as audiences that impact upon those texts in performance. My own research in these areas is largely conducted through practice.

But let me just sketch a brief background. In 1998, a sea–change occurred in the lives of arts (as opposed to humanities) researchers in the UK, with the creation of the Arts & Humanities Research Board (now Council) which, for the first time, funded practice–led research in the creative arts. I cannot stress too heavily the impact this had on the landscape of research in the performing arts.

That's not to say, of course, that research through practice had not been conducted before then. If I take my own department at Bristol as an example, scholars such as Glynne Wickham, Richard Southern and Neville Denny were experimenting from the early 1950s by staging medieval and early modern plays, and using their findings in their published work.

But the arrival of the AHRB not only provided funding for practice–led research in the academy, but in so doing, confirmed it as being as valid and – not to be underestimated – as respectable as research conducted through more traditional or conventional means. And – a point to which I shall return – it opened up debates not only on how such research might most profitably be conducted, but how it might be disseminated in forms other than the books or journal articles that had predominated – and be disseminated, in fact, through the practice/performance itself."

(Martin White)

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1950s1998AHRBAHRCArts and Humanities Research BoardArts and Humanities Research Council • blueprints for performance • Bristolconducting researchcontribution to knowledge • Cornish • Cornish Ordinalia • Cornwallcreative artsdesign researchdesign researcherdissemination through performance • dissemination through practice • early modern period • Elizabethan drama • fourteenth century • funding for practice-led research • Glynne Wickham • history of theatre • Jacobean drama • journal articlesmedieval • medieval mystery plays • model of enquiry • Neville Denny • Ordinalia • Origo Mundi • Passio Christi • passion of Christperformance researchperformance spacesperforming arts • plays • practice as research in performancepractice-led research • practising theatre • publishing and disseminationresearch dissemination • research in the performing arts • research scholarshipresearch through practice • researchers in the UK • Resurrexio Domini • Richard Southern • staging • surviving texts • texts in performance • the academytheatre • theatre audiences • theatre history • theatre practice • theatrical performancetheoretical contextUKvalid scholarship

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
12 MARCH 2012

What Dreams May Come: imagining a painted world through vfx

"Ward's 'What Dreams May Come,' starring Robin Williams was nominated for production design in addition to winning an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects. The film, tells an epic love story of soul mates separated by death. The story would inspire Ward to envision the afterlife as a painted world, incorporating state–of–the–art, adapted, and entirely new visual effects technologies in an original, fully articulated, filmic view of imagined realms that may await us after death."

(Saville Productions)

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1998after deathafterlifeallegory • Annabella Sciorra • Aotearoa New Zealandboundary-crossingcontemplating mortality • Cuba Gooding Jr. • deathdreamemotion • eternity • Eurydiceexpressionexpressionisticexternalisationfantasyfantasy about deathfictional worldfilmflowerflowersheavenhellin the mindin transitin-limbointernal quest • Joel Hynek • Josh Rosen • LIDARlifelove storymemorymilestonemortalitymoving paintingNew Zealand filmmaker • Nick Brooks • oozingOrpheusOscarpaintpaint our own surroundingspainted worldpainting • Pierre Jasmin • psychologyremembrance • representing emotions • Richard Matheson • Robin Williams • romantic love • Ronald Bass • Scott Huntsman • self-realisationSFXsoulmatesspecial effectssurrealisticthemethreshold spaceunderworldVFXVincent Wardvisceral experiencevisual effectsvisual metaphorvisual spectacle • What Dreams May Come (1998) • wifeworld of the story

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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