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Student animations light up the Flow Festival’s stages

The ‘Animated Maniacs’ series of experimental works make comprehensive use of different techniques from 3D computer animations to hand drawn pieces.
Work in progress picture from animation “Human and Posthuman / Embodiment and Materiality. Sensorium as the Self and Infusion of the Environment". Image: Ville Niemi.

The Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture students’ experimental animations will be seen on the screens of the Main Stage and Lapin Kulta Red Arena of this year’s Flow Festival, during the changeover of artists. The animations were chosen by competition during the spring of this year.

Ville Niemi, a student on the New Media Design and Production degree programme, has made a 3D model of his face in his animation, which fuses with the festival area of Helsinki’s Suvilahti. ‘I think it is interesting when something strange and unusual happens to familiar elements. In the animation, the character observes the festival and incorporates it into part of himself. The environment dissolves over the visitors and wraps itself round them. Through the rainbow of feelings and emotions, the festival itself becomes human’, is how Ville describes it.

Ville found the 3D model of Suvilahti on the internet, in the City of Helsinki’s open library of 3D models. ‘It is sensible to utilise material found on the internet, so that work done by someone else gets used and put into a new context. Perhaps what I hope for most of all, is that the people who produced the open 3D models see that they are being used for purposes like this’, he says.

Animations “Battle” (left) and “Is this real life” (right). Images: Jenna Seikkula; Aliina Kauranne and Joonas Vähäkallio.

Aliina Kauranne and Joonas Vähäkallio, who study Visual Communication Design, created an animation called “Is this real life” for the Flow Festival. ‘The ideas for the work spring from our own experience as students at Aalto University. We wanted to compress into the work all the feelings of anxiety and success that are experienced in the school. The main character in the animation goes through them in 30 seconds’, explain Aliina and Joonas.

‘We hope that during the Flow Festival, people will have the opportunity to stop in front of the animation and at the same time reflect on their own role in this interface between study, work and life’, continue Aliina and Joonas.

Jenna Seikkula’s colourful animation “Battle” shows a fight between two robots. ‘I want to create a childlike joy for the spectator. I am aiming for the feeling I had as a child when I switched on the television on a weekend morning and watched the cartoons’, explains Jenna about her animation.

‘The idea for the animation came as I was working on my thesis: The animation for my thesis is located in the same visual world. It was easy to continue with the same theme’, explains Jenna, who recently graduated with a masters in Visual Communication Design.

Students Bertta Österman, Hertta Lehtovirta, and Oona Järvinen are also producing animations for the Flow Festival.

The Flow Festival takes place 11–13 August in Suvilahti, Helsinki. Aalto University is one of the partners of the festival.

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