Artists Bring Exquisite Corpse Animation to Life

The short animated film Quick and Dirty (posted above) is an exquisite corpse project created by 23 animators, one compositor and six sound designers/composers, most of whom are CalArts students, alumni or faculty members.

The title refers to the project’s directive to participants to work quickly and not “over-think what you are creating—letting the unconscious take over and make decisions.”

Curated by animator Maya Erdelyi (Film/Video MFA 12) and producer and animator Gina Kelly (Film/Video MFA 12), they recruited a number of filmmakers to create the exquisite corpse.

“We wanted to make an effort to mobilize artists to produce time-based works collectively,” Kelly says.

In July 2011, each animator was given a week to create 24-100 frames of animation after receiving the last frame of the previous artist’s sequence as a reference.

Quick and Dirty artists:

Kelly, Meejin Hong (Film/Video MFA 12), Matt Broach (Film/Video MFA 13), Nate Page (Art MFA 08) and Jena Lee, Jim Trainor, Kathleen Judge, Erdelyi, Courtney Ziegler, Ethan Clarke (Film/Video MFA 12), Sara Gunnarsdóttir (Film/Video MFA 12), Jeanette Bonds (Film/Video BFA 11, MFA 13), Lori Damiano (Film/Video MFA 04), Olivia Taussig (Film/Video MFA 12), Devin Flynn, Nick Gibney  (Film/Video BFA 12), Guy Burwell, Dan Grzeca, TV on the Radio frontman Tunde Adebimpe, Aimee Gogun (Film/Video BFA 09), Manuel Barenboim (Film/Video MFA 13), faculty members Masha Vasilkovsky and Maureen Selwood and compositor Benjamin Rohel.

With the animation portion wrapping earlier this year, a separate exquisite corpse technique was employed for the sound and music for the film. The project’s sound curator and 24700 contributor Paul Fraser (Music MFA 11) enlisted five other sound artists to create two tracks—of sound design, composition or both—for the entire length of the film, sending only one track to the next participant for reference.

The final film includes audio pieces by Kari Seekins (Film/Video & Integrated Media MFA 07), composer and Califone band member Jim Becker, composer Jay Bodley, composer Ellen Reid (Music MFA 11), sound designer/composer Justin Asher (Music MFA 12) and Fraser.

Quick and Dirty recently premiered during the Shangri-LA exhibition at the Synchronicity Space in Los Angeles and will be on view until Sept. 1.

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