Mobile Animation Station

Conceptual Artwork/Performance

A mid-sized school bus that has been sculpturally decorated and references vintage animation styles and techniques.  The outside of the bus will be decorated 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 event 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).  On the outside of the bus, there will be painted different sequences of 12 sequential images that the event participants can take photos of and create an animated gif.

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 the early 1900s) 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 soundscape.

Phantasmagoria Trailer

Animation Hotline

Animation Hotline is an ongoing series of over 200 micro-animations, using crowd-sourced voicemail messages 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


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 to 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 1940s 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.  They 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 scope. 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 to design the Sky Kaleidoscope so that this could remain a permeant installation for Electric Forest.