ANIMATION SCREENED AT CINEMA NOVA, MELBOURNE IN THE MEGABITES DIGITAL FILM PROJECT, NEXT WAVE FESTIVAL
Skin2Skin was the first animation work that the Visionary Images studio undertook in its quest to find new ways to engage marginalised youth and give them the chance to work with emerging technologies and software.
This 90-second animated film took its impetus from the early works of Eadweard Muybridge, pioneer of motion photography. By using Muybridge’s figures as tracing templates, the participants slowly became familiar with the form of bodies and human movement in the repetitions that animation requires.
SKIN2SKIN plays across the screen, its energy celebrating the human body and the space it inhabits. An intimate study of bodies – touching, kissing, dancing and wrestling – unfolds with the use of flat forms and simple lines.
The animation explores the oppositional forces of the human body in motion, masculine and feminine, pushing and pulling. Intimacy and combativeness play against each other in these short segments and the work reveals the joy and optimism of its creators as it pays homage to Muybridge’s imagery.
As the project developed in the studio, sexuality, dislocation from family and the importance of how people are touched emerged as shared, collective issues, bonding the group as they engaged creatively with the subject. Through the collaborative process, these real life concerns were embedded into the narrative, enabling the young people to create an artistic interpretation that came directly from their own personal experiences.
A decade ago, access to computers, scanners and animation software such as Flash was out of reach for many young people. Those marginalised by social conditions or disengaged from education, employment and community resources were often at risk of being left behind in the use of technology. The SKIN2SKIN animation project allowed participants to explore emerging technologies and created an interest in how they worked. It narrowed the gap in the digital divide and equipped participants with the skills to use these technologies into the future.
Here is the SKIN2SKIN animation in full.