Tuesday, 24 March 2009

pictoplasma 2009

Firstly, thanks to everyone (lyndsay, lars, peter) who approached me to play (and got emma and I free passes to the whole conference!)

We'd been fans of pictoplasma for a few years prior but had never been able to go, due to the high ticket price (for us!) and the fact that its in march. however, living in Berlin x free tickets solved that pretty easily!

We didn't have many expectations - Character design as a fad seems to have passed and the majority of work in that style that is largely reproduced is perhaps getting a bit stale.
However, even on the first day we were blown away by the amount of ideas, beautiful works and above all, positivity, demonstrated by the exhibitors, speakers and organisers alike.

A major theme (for us certainly) that kept coming up, was a re-evaluation of what was important to how you approach creativity - in the light of the current financial depression, and the increasing reliance on corporate work to fund many of the artists. James Jarvis was a good example of this - He seemed to have reached a point where he was pretty dissollutioned with much of the toy design and very polished, "perfect" character design which he is now famous for.
It was incredibly inspiring to watch him "doodle" (on a huge screen), while talking about how he had recently re-discovered his love of just drawing for the sake of it, not being too perfect and embracing mistakes / flaws.

Here's some of the video / pictures i managed to take.

Boris Hoppek had an interesting approach to the presentation of his work - Instead of talking himself, he hurriedly recruited many of the gallerists and curators he'd worked for in the past and allowed them to expand upon his ideas and present their own angle - regardless of the controversial nature of Hoppek's work, it was great to see a dissolution of ego from the artist, turning his work over to enthuisiasts, and the public to discuss.

Gaston Caba, from Buenos Aires, and Mehdi Hercberg (shoboshobo), from Paris, both talked about the importance of collaboration, being open to new ideas and trying to level the field for creative people - it makes things easier if we're all on the same page and we can get on, right? Risa Sato (presenting in japanese, with a translator) showed a lot of charm, spirit and friendliness in her work - large, often portable sculpture, used to engage directly with the public.

The symposium panels were also very interesting, focusing on the dynamics between characters and humans, transmedia and the adaption of characters between different media formats, cosplay and fantasy, robotics, reduction (how 2 dots can be given a personality) etc. - this added a really different dimension to the conference and left us with a lot to think about.

Finally, the closing night party (which i was performing at, alongside pals Gangpol und Mit was a blast, lots of nerdy dancing!

If you're in Berlin, go and check out the Pictopia exhibition (at the Haus Der Kulteren Der Welt) and the Character Walk exhibitions.

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