The State of Things: Tim Shore
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The State of Things: Tim Shore

An Eye for An Eye by Valeria Fonseca

An Eye for An Eye by Valeria Fonseca

We talked to Tim Shore, Head of Animation at London College of Communication about ‘the state of things.’

What is animation at LCC?

We have a range of animation courses but that’s just the courses with the word ‘animation’ in the title. Animation – its principles, techniques, and what people do with them – I think it really has become pervasive. There was a conference called just that – Pervasive Animation – at Tate a couple of years ago, at which Suzanne Buchan, who runs the Animation Research Centre at Farnham, brought together animators, artists, graphics, games and scientists.

And animation is such a fundamental part of games and interactive courses, moving image graphics. Artists increasingly work with animation and it’s a big part of digital cinema, of course. I like what Lev Manovich wrote about how digital cinema is now a particular form of animation – with live action as just one of its elements!

The Evolution of Puppetry by Mariano Melman

I think that’s a view Animate Projects would share, of course. I remember how, when we did the Animate Residencies in the Animate Department, and you suggested we work with the Kubrick Archives at LCC, and that led to Jane and Louise Wilson’s project that ‘animated’ them, albeit conceptually.

But how did you come to teach at LCC? What was your own motivation to work in animation?

I did the diploma course at LCC, quite a few years ago, as a mature student – I’d been a pre-digital graphic designer and illustrator – and that got me a place at the Royal College of Art. I got two film commissions straight after I graduated – an experimental animation for Channel 4 Wales,  and an artist’s film called Cabinet funded by Film London.  I joined LCC to work as part of a job share in 2004.

My personal interest and practice is more from an experimental, art kind of approach. I’d say I use animation in my work, rather than that I make animation films. People that have influenced me come from all kinds of places – the World’s Fair design and technology films by Charles & Ray Eames, Powers of Ten, Peter Tscherkassky and title sequences by Saul Bass and Kyle Cooper.

The Old Tale by Paul Girault

The Old Tale by Paul Girault

What’s distinct about Animation at LCC?

For a start, we’re in central London, and being part of University of the Arts means we’re able to develop connections with others – our students collaborate with sound arts students, for example, but also there’s a lot of common ground with Photography, Design, and Film and Television.

As far as the actual student experience goes, teamwork is very important. I thought what Saint John Walker from Skillset said in his APEngine interview was really interesting – about how internationally that’s the emphasis, and it’s what equips students for the reality of the industry, or industries they will work in.

Working in teams can be hard. It’s a real discipline, but it’s essential and students get experience of working on live projects. For example, we’ve collaborated with MTV and with Channel 4 – our students also made films in response to the Kubrick Archives, which are held at LCC. Those films are on APEngine as it happens! We’re currently working with the National Trust on a project that’s part of the London 2012 cultural programme. (see below)

I think we take a less traditional approach. We want to offer students a space for development, research and experiment. But in tandem with that, help students to understand how skills and experience gained on the course can be applied in the real world.

The courses offer a range of perspectives, and opportunities for different kinds of investigation. We are looking for students who have a drive to experiment and innovate. Artists with different ways of telling stories or making documentary. People who are interested in ways of applying animation beyond its genre constraints – who recognise and respond to animation’s new found centrality and manifestation in disciplines like science, imaging, theatre, and of course mainstream filmmaking, to name a few.

Animation at LCC provides a real space to develop ideas and practice, and to explore and establish new connections. Development space is important – a supported lab for creative development – not just facilities, but time, editorial and curatorial support: a ‘playful’ space in which to take risks and make discoveries.

  1. jotta says:

    jotta and Intel are glad to present a DIY Filmmaking Workshop, which will take place in London, at the Design Museum, on Saturday 4 June. It will be inspired to Marcel Duchamp’s Anemic Cinema. Want to go?

    Team jotta

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