TAIS: The FRAME is the Keyframe: Frame Anomalies

The FRAME is the Keyframe: Frame Anomalies
November 10, 2016 – December 16, 2016

Experimental and installative works exploring frame anomalies as a new frontier within animated art making, featuring TAIS commissioned works by seven Canadian artists.

Becka Barker (Halifax)
Leslie Bell (Calgary)
Marten Berkman (Whitehorse)
Philippe Blanchard (Toronto)
Stephen Broomer (Toronto)
Sabrina Ratté (Montréal)
Nicolas Sassoon (Vancouver) 

Curated by Madi Piller, with an essay by Clint Enns

Opening Reception, November 10th, 8pm
Toronto Animated Image Society, 1411 Dufferin Street

Artist panel discussion, November 11th, 5:30pm
OCAD University, 100 McCaul, Rm 284

Exhibition open hours, Monday – Thursday, 11am – 6pm
Toronto Animated Image Society, 1411 Dufferin Street

"The Frame is the Keyframe"
Feature essay by Clint Enns

When at Times the Mob is Swayed
Becka Barker
Single channel reverse video projection
loop (05:00), 2016

Feel the Beat
Leslie Bell
Single channel video projection
loop (08:00), 2016

Erratic Silence
Marten Berkman
Interactive stereo 3D video installation
loop (03:00), 2016
Filmed at Dechenla, NWT
Performance: Emily Sessford, Jennifer Walden
Interactive software design: Baptiste Bohelay

Dream House
Philippe Blanchard
Expanded animation installation: Metal frame, machine-knit textiles, strobe lights
loop (20:00), 2016

Tufting and Music by Brett Zadravetz
Knitting by Corey Moranis

Built-In Views
Sabrina Ratté
Single channel video projection
loop (09:20), 2016
Video and Sound editing : Sabrina Ratté
Sound Design: Roger Tellier Craig

Stephen Broomer
Single channel video
loop (04:46), 2016

Nicolas Sassoon
Single channel video projection
loop (04:00), 2016

What is the Keyframe?
Traditionally, the keyframes in animation are the drawings that define the starting and ending points of any transition. The functional role of a keyframe is that it allows the animator to reuse elements and automate motion between drawings or “frames” (the drawings are called frames because their position in time was originally measured in frames on a strip of film). While it is the sequence of frames that defines which movement the viewer will see, keyframes alone do not create the illusion of movement. It is only when the remaining frames are filled with “in-betweens” (a series of increments that together define the movement) that the illusion of animation is possible. It is the position of the keyframes, however, that deliver the essential timing of this movement to the viewer.

The theme for The Frame is the Keyframe: Frame Anomalies arose through reflection on animation's position within the broad spectrum of media arts practices — a field continually evolving with each technological advancement. Through digital image production, the discipline of animation has transformed. The animator today now has the capacity to interpret and manipulate images on a minute scale due to automation. These new processes have made it possible to blur the lines between physical material and digital, and allow for new forms of abstraction.
With digital as the dominant format for global animation production, the computer-assisted keyframe has become the new base. This means that the keyframe has become the foundational method through which the animator and the computer interact, as the former seeks to explore and experiment with time and movement. The in-between movements captured in the digital sequence of frames are now expressed mathematically and subsequently exist in a space of data — not solely framed by the animator’s screen. Hence, the keyframe has a more diverse and performative function. It is this new realm of keyframe functionality that allows for instances of the unexpected, or frame anomalies, to occur.
The curatorial premise of this project was developed by animator and filmmaker Madi Piller in conversation with media scholar and artist Clint Enns. Together, Piller and Enns set out to explore how the scale and process of animated image creation might conceptually and literally move beyond the screen, particularly when engaged by artists who incorporate the unexpected and more stochastic elements into their creative practices.
The artists selected by Piller for participation in this project — Stephen Broomer (Toronto), Becka Barker (Halifax), Philippe Blanchard (Toronto), Nicolas Sassoon (Vancouver), Sabrina Ratté (Montréal), Marten Berkman (Whitehorse) and Leslie Bell (Calgary) — each bring innovative and unique artistic approaches to animation, ranging from classic drawing techniques, controllable software emulations, screen based practices, to sculptural interpretations of light and form.
For this project — produced through the Toronto Animated Image Society (TAIS) and contextualized in an essay by Enns — the artists have each created new experimental and installative works that explore the notion of frame anomalies as a new frontier within animated art making. Their works, brought together and premiering as a group exhibition, encourage the creation of new knowledge frameworks for conceptualizing animation practices within contemporary media art.