Electric Forest Ideas


Animation Bus (Mobile Animation Station)

Mid-sized school bus that has been sculpturally decorated and references vintage animation styles and techniques.  The outside of the bus will be decorated by artist and muralist Rob Tobin and turned into an installation, blacklight reactive paints, projections and recycled materials to create an object that can be interacted with both during the day and at night.   The wide, middle sections of the bus will be painted with black, chalkboard paint and professional animators will either work themselves or help festival participants to drawn on the bus and create animations that can then be projected around the bus, but can also be used by the festival for social media and potential stage quality (1080p or 4k) projections.  The content of these animations that are created during the festival can be loose and abstract, or we can do a series of Animation Hotline videos (see below).  The outside of the bus there will be painted different sequences of 12 sequential images that the festival participants can take photos of and create an animated gif.

Photos – We are currently building the bus out, so we don’t have completed images of the bus, but we do have images of previous projects that we’ve created.


Animation Hotline

Animation Hotline is an ongoing series of over 200 micro-animations, using crowd sourced voicemail message for audio content.  This project has been featured at Sundance, screened at the Museum of Modern Art and premiered in the New York Times (see press below).  In this iteration of the project, we would have a phone booth attached to the back of the Animation Bus or potentially a series of phone booths scattered throughout the festival (see below) where festival participants could watch previously created animations and possibly get inspired to leave their own message.  These messages could even start getting sourced before the festival (ie. telling stories about their adventures coming to the festival, or what their favorite performance act will be) but could definitely take place during the festival, telling stories about their experiences there, or anything else they want to leave a message about.  These messages would then get animated on the side of the Animation Bus (see above) during the course of the festival.  Logistical note: participants don’t need to leave a message at the phone booth, there would also be a unique phone number for the festival hotline messages.

New York Times – Ode to Bikesharing
New York Times – Silver
MoMA screening
Sundance Film Festival Installation


Magic Lantern Shows

The animation bus can have an inflatable room built off of the side of it (or we can simply present it outside if it is dark enough) where at night, we would host a magic lantern show.  Magic lantern shows (around 1743 until early 1900’s) were the predecessor to animation and used glass painted slides projected on a wall with narrations. Melissa Ferrari (see work samples) has many magic lantern shows already created, although for the festival we would like to create a new magic lantern show based on a Robert Hunter or Alan Ginsberg poem, including projection, narration and potentially sound scape.  

Phantasmagoria Trailer


Vintage Phone Booths/Mini Movie Theaters

We have been up cycling vintage phone booths and making them into little, one or two person movie theaters.  The person can sit inside, close the door and watch a video screen installed in the phone booth.  These could also be scattered throughout the festival and connected in a wireless network, where we can control the content on the screens.  So technically it could be entertaining videos, scattered with festival information playing on a loop.  The phones can be pre-programmed to record Animation Hotline (see above) voicemails, or they can be used to play the audio of the video screen through the handset’s phone speaker.

Currently they have been 1940’s phone booths, but because this would be an outdoor venue, we could either build large scale beach umbrellas over the booth, or use booths that were built for outdoor, sidewalk use.  The outdoor versions would have to be custom built for the festival.



Sky Kaleidoscope

This large-scale open-air installation would use a crystal-like cluster of giant kaleidoscopes for participants to lay under and look up into the sky. The Kaleidoscopes would be built out of reflective stainless steel and would branch out in multiple directions, using the clouds as the catalyst for generating the imagery inside the triangular tubes.  The would range from 2′ to 5′ and would be clustered together so that people could walk through and look out multiple scopes or simply lay down underneath and enjoy one scopes. The canopy of kaleidoscopes would be raised to about 8′ in the air by steel structural supports so that participants could easily interact with the piece.  Doug Meyer (see below), who is one of the artists working to build the steel structures in the Animation Bus (see above), would be able design the Sky Kaleidoscope so that this could remain a permeant installation for Electric Forest.




Rob Tobin

Artist and muralist, building out Animation Bus installation prior to and during the festival.


Dustin Grella

Captain of the Animation Bus and founder of Dusty Studio, will be directing/producing the bus’ projects as well as animating some of the Animation Hotline videos.


Melissa Ferarri

Magic lanternist, will be hosting magic lantern shows throughout the night as well as animating some of the Animation Hotline videos and potentially creating a brand new Magic Lantern show for the festival. Melissa Ferrari is an experimental animator, nonfiction filmmaker and magic lanternist who seeks to acquaint folklore of the past with contemporary culture. Her practice engages with the politics of contemporary cryptozoology and skepticism, the history of phantasmagoria and documentary, and the mythification of current science and pseudoscience. Originally from Virginia, Melissa is now based in Los Angeles where she recently received an Experimental Animation M.F.A. from CalArts. Her films and magic lantern performances have been shown internationally in venues such as Hauser & Wirth, the Ottawa International Animation Festival and Automata L.A. and the Imagine Science Film Festival.


Doug Meyer

Sculptor and Imagineer, will be building out all of the structural modifications to the Animation Bus as well as potentially installing the Sky Kaleidoscope.


Dusty Studio Team

Artists and animators who have helped create hundreds of unique animations, using styles and techniques that are sometimes vintage, sometimes experimental. They would potentially be helping with the Animation Hotline videos.