Saturday Morning Animation Club
Emily Mulenga, Petra Szemán, David Blandy, Christian Wright and Bob Bicknell-Knight
11th June - 9th July 2022
Organised by Petra Szemán and produced in collaboration with isthisit? and Off Site Project
Saturday Morning Animation Club is a series of screenings + talks across five weeks between 11 June - 9 July, showcasing films by people who wield the dual powers of being an artist and a nerd.
Unified by an early fascination and involvement with anime and games, each artist focuses in on the worlds and perspectives fandom allows for. From this angle the five videos broaden ideas of human and non-human perception, screen-based experiences, virtual worlds and alternative ways of being.
Join us on Saturday mornings for a screening of new video commissions by Emily Mulenga, Petra Szemán, David Blandy, Christian Wright and Bob Bicknell-Knight respectively, followed by a little insider walkthrough and a Q&A (via Zoom).
Tied together by a refusal to downplay the enthusiasms and generative energy of fandom, Saturday Morning Animation Club will lead viewers through iterations of animatic worlds, on- and off-screen, with or without player input.
The screening series has been produced in collaboration with web projects isthisit? and Off Site Project. Attendance of all five screenings will be rewarded with a special prize.
The videos were commissioned using funding from Arts Council England as part of On Animatics, a cross-disciplinary project exploring the murky overlapping areas of contemporary art, animation, fandom, avatars and virtual worlds. To conclude the project, the book WEEB THEORY will be released later this year with Banner Repeater, edited by Petra Szemán and Jamie Sutcliffe.
Sign up to the events by following the below links:
June 11 // Main Character by Emily Mulenga
June 18 // Openings !!! by Petra Szemán
June 25 // Androids Dream by David Blandy
July 2 // Body Language by Christian Wright
July 9 // Non-Player Character by Bob Bicknell-Knight
Emily Mulenga (b. 1991, England) is a multimedia artist who imagines what a digital utopia might look like from a feminist and milennial perspective. Her output is the result of a ravenous media diet, blending the high polish aesthetics of MTV with the jagged polygons of early PlayStation games; mixing YouTube video conventions with lo-fi social media posts of her online contacts. Contributing to the excessive circulation of digital matter, she considers how the blurring between human and machine changes experiences of womanhood, and how becoming cyborg is both a fantasy and reality, the future and the present.
Petra Szemán (b. 1994, Gateshead) is a moving image artist whose practice focuses on the murky borderlands along the arbitrary separation of the real and the fictional. Using a virtual version of themself as a protagonist journeying through animatic realms, they explore liminal spaces and threshold situations, looking to dissect the ways our memories and selves are constructed within a fictionally oversaturated landscape (both on- and off-screen). Turning away from considering cyberspace as a radically ‘other’ realm, Petra walks the line between dystopian and utopian frameworks, eyes set on new queer horizons.
davidblandy.co.uk / www.instagram.com/david_blandy_/
David Blandy (b. 1976, Brighton) investigates the stories and cultural forces that inform and influence our behaviour. Through a gaming art practice he has written original RPGs that address issues of social justice, climate change and our potential posthuman futures. Collaboration is central to his practice, used as a means to examine communal and personal heritage, as well as forms of interdependence. His practice ranges from installation, performance, writing, gaming and sound. He has had national and international solo exhibitions, and is represented by Seventeen Gallery, London.
christianwright.info / www.instagram.com/worrrrry/
Christian Wright (b. 1993, Newcastle upon Tyne) is a digital media artist working with video games and animated assets to blend cinematic and machinima visual languages. Through this frame, he looks at how the boundaries of normal play are stretched by the performative actions of players themselves. Whether it be the intimate physical interactions of online multiplayer, the choreographed quest for perfection of speedrunning, or the mimetic act of digital cosplay within character creators, Christian places community driven gestures at the forefront.
Bob Bicknell-Knight (b. 1996, Suffolk) is a multidisciplinary artist, curator and writer influenced by surveillance capitalism and responding to internet hyper consumerism, automation and technocratic authoritarianism. Within his practice he harnesses different processes and materials to create both physical and digital artworks, including fabric printing, painting, ceramics, bookmaking, 3D printing technologies and game development software. Key subjects of investigation include our complicity with corporate giants, the sculpting of online identities and the prescient qualities of dystopian science fiction.