Eyeworks Festival of Experimental Animation: Block Museum - Northwestern University
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Eyeworks Festival of Experimental Animation

Eyeworks Festival of Experimental Animation

Event Details

Date & Time:

Thu November 5, 2015 - Sat November 7, 2015


The Block Museum of Art
40 Arts Circle Drive
Evanston, IL 60208


Open to the public


Founded in 2010, the Eyeworks Festival of Experimental Animation is an invitational festival focused on abstract animation and unconventional character animation. Festival programs showcase outstanding experimental animation of all sorts, and include classic films and new works. Films presented cover an extremely broad range of animation techniques including stop-motion, computer animation, replacement animation, and a wide variety of hand-drawn methods. Concentrating on films made by individual artists, Eyeworks celebrates the enormous potential of the art of animation. This year’s festival features a historical tribute to Cecile Starr and Robert Russett’s influential book Experimental Animation (1976), a screening with visiting artist Takeshi Murata, and two programs of curated shorts from around the world.


Tribute to Experimental Animation

Thursday, November 5, 2015 7:00 PM
(16 and 35mm, approximately 100 min. )

Published in 1976, Robert Russett and Cecile Starr’s Experimental Animation was among the first texts to trace the trajectory of the kinetic art form by directly linking the abstract work of early pioneers to the technological breakthroughs of the 1960s and 70s. The book was a collaboration between Russett (1935-2015), an animator and scholar, and Starr (1921-2014), a critic, teacher and filmmaker, who combined their expertise of contemporary practices and early animation to compile this definitive volume. The program, curated by archivist John Klacsmann, highlights a selection of work featured in Experimental Animation including films by Walter Ruttmann, Mary Ellen Bute, Paul Sharits, Harry Smith, Adam Beckett, and Caroline Leaf. 

Archival prints courtesy of Academy Film Archive and Anthology Film Archives.


Melter: Films by Takeshi Murata

Friday, November 6, 2015 7:00 PM

Takeshi Murata’s work bridges the traditions of abstract psychedelic cinema with contemporary computer animation, glitch techniques, and uncanny realism. His optically-seductive, culturally-critical, and consciousness-lacerating animation straddles both the worlds of contemporary art and experimental cinema. Murata’s films are challenging, weird, humorous, self-aware, and impressively visionary. 

Introduction and post-screening Q&A with visiting artist Takeshi Murata. Sponsored by the Department of Art Theory & Practice.


Shorts Program 1

Saturday, November 7, 2015 1:00 PM
(Approximately 70 min.)

The first of two shorts programs features various works including a film from Robert Breer, who is considered to be the father of avant-garde animation in America, and a film from Jules Engel, who founded the influential Experimental Animation program at CalArts. This program is arranged in the Eyeworks Festival’s signature style, with classic and contemporary selections programmed together.


Shorts Program 2

Saturday, November 7, 2015 3:30 PM
(Approximately 70 min.)

This second program of short films includes a visionary computer animation from the 1970s by artist Ed Emshwiller and new work by contemporary animation star Yoriko Mizushiri, whose sensual and surrealist hand-drawn works have been audience favorites in previous festivals. This program features classic and contemporary works from around the world, and includes both abstract and figurative animation.

Contact The Block Museum of Art for more information: (847) 491-4000 or email us at block-museum@northwestern.edu