Conference & Festival
CONTEMPORARY CHARACTER DESIGN
4 – 8 MAY 2016
From May 4 to 8 Pictoplasma transforms Berlin into the world’s most vibrant meeting point for a diverse scene of artists and creatives, trailblazing the face of tomorrow’s visual culture. While international creators and producers meet for a central conference to exchange strategies for tomorrow’s figurative representation, the wider festival showcases latest trends in character design and art, cutting edge screenings bring the latest animation eye-candy to the big screen at Babylon, and 19+ exhibitions throughout Mitte and Neukölln invite you to experience original works and outstanding character craftsmanship.
In its 12th Berlin edition, the Festival’s focus zooms away from the stereotypical dot-dot-dash reduction of facial empathy to take a surprising wider look at the characters’ overall stature: What does their appearance reveal about their attitude? How does their posture communicate personality – and enable them to SHOW CHARACTER?
18 CONFERENCE LECTURES
Italian artist Agostino Iacurci creates huge murals, paintings and sculptures that play with rural folklore, and oscillate between innocence and artifice, serenity and catastrophe.
Aisha Franz has published several graphic novels, makes short comics and illustrations for various international publications and is a passionate self-publisher, moving from zinefest to zinefest with her handmade books.
Amélie Fléchais is a illustrator and visual development artist that has released several comics and children’s book. As well as exhibiting her own artwork worldwide, she produced concept art for the animation industry.
Becky & Joe are Becky Sloan and Joseph Pelling—directors on a mission to make the world more fun. Their immensely viral ‘Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared’ series takes the conventions of children’s television into new and nightmarish territory.
Ben Newman’s distinct aesthetic fusing bold shapes, bright colours and playful characters has been described as ‘bauhaus fuzzy felt.’ He spends most of his time collaborating on the ‚Professor Astro Cat’ children’s books with the scientist Dr Dominic Walliman.
Cécile Dormeau uses simple bold lines and bright colors to create illustrations and GIFs that explore body image and everyday issues faced by women.
Guillaume Kashima started his career as a graphic designer in advertising but later moved on to illustration ‘because it seemed more fun and I was a bad designer anyway.’
Jan De Coster grew up with a fascination for science and sci-fi, and soon started making interactive installations. In 2012 he was commissioned to build his first robot—and has continued to make robots ever since, exploring the boundaries of human-robot relations.
Jim Avignon is an illustrator, painter and conceptual artist and a singular figure in the German contemporary art scene. His affordably priced art has found its way onto airplane wings, watches and the Berlin Wall. He has no agent, no gallery and no works for sale online.
The work of animation director and media artist Jun seo Hahm focuses on the digital expression of biologically inspired life-forms in editable time and space.
Martina Paukova studied politics in Slovakia before switching to design at the London College of Communication. As an illustrator Martina creates humorous images in a trademark sunny palette and Memphis-inspired patterns for an impressive list of clients.
Visual artist and illustrator Merijn Hos is known for his chirpy characters and joyful, quirky illustrations. He divides his time between working as a commercial illustrator for clients such as Bose, Google, or The Guardian, and his own, very personal projects.
In 2011 Mr Bingo started his project Hate Mail, where strangers paid him to send an offensive hand-drawn postcard to a name and address of their choice. Like much of his work, the project started as a drunken idea, but ended up in galleries and the global press.
Dutch illustrator and collage artist Niels Kalk makes hand-cut collages from vintage photo books and shows his creations in exhibitions and events, selling his work in shops and markets throughout Berlin.
Having built up his skills while working on the ‘LittleBigPlanet‘ series with Media Molecule, game-designer and director Rex Crowle took on the role of creative lead for the ‘Tearaway‘ series.
Drawing predominantly in graphite and ink, Ugo Gattoni creates surreal and exquisitely detailed portraits, cityscapes, and strange, otherworldly objects and artefacts.
Wilfrid Wood is famed for his figurative sculptures: portraits of fictional personalities, famous people, friends, or strangers that he likes the look of – always getting as much character as possible out of the lump of clay he’s using.
CHARACTER LAB WORKSHOPS
5 – 7 MAY, 13:00 – 19:00/
10115 Berlin – MITTE
The Character Lab* accompanying the Conference engages attendees in hands-on workshops with various media, spontaneous art happenings and playful networking. Benefit from collaborating closely with Conference speakers and participating artists, meet new friends and build long lasting collaborations.
CHARACTER CRASH COURSE
with ACADEMY TUTORS
Pictoplasma Academy tutors Rilla Alexander and Nathan Jurevicius give a crash-course on all things character design, with an introduction on how to pin down the rich world of your imagination into a professional character bible…
Raw Robot Remix Session
with JAN DE COSTER
Jan de Coster invites you to assemble, remix and bring to life an army of robotic life-forms. Create autonomous micro-machines that behave according to their body restrictions and evoke a character, attitude and posture of their own.
Creature Collage Battle
with NIELS KALK
Grab a scalpel, choose from a mountain of magazines, newspapers and print material, and join collage expert Niels Kalk on an epic analog cut and paste battle to remix the existing, and create the new.
CHARACTER FORUM TALENT MARKET
5 MAY, 20:00 – 22:00/
10115 Berlin – MITTE
Attending talents and companies meet face-to-face: Set in an intimate, friendly atmosphere, registered Conference attendees get the unique chance to privately pitch their personal character based project or portfolio to a room full of industry professionals, exclusive makers and shakers and selected talent scouts.
ANIMATION SCREENING PROGRAMMES
5 – 7 MAY/
and storytelling genius
The Festival’s film section brings animated newborns to the Babylon big screen, whisking the audience around the world in three freshly curated programmes brimming with psychedelic eye-candy and storytelling genius. Feed your head with character-driven ‘Creative Strategies for Self-Enhancement’ on Thursday, follow us on a journey ‘From Planned Obsolesce to End of Days’ on Friday, and get your freaky fill ‘Of Outer Space and Inner Monsters’ on Saturday.
After their morning premiere for the registered conference attendees, with many of the international studios and filmmakers present for Q&A rounds, the programmes await the wider festival audience for their re-run in the evenings.
VIEW SCREENING PROGRAMMES [themify_button style=”black flat small” link=”https://conference.pictoplasma.com/berlin2016/screenings2016/” ]HERE >[/themify_button]
CHARACTER WALK EXHIBITIONS
MORE THAN 19
MAY 4 – 8,
12 – 20:00
The accompanying Festival exhibitions stage new work by an impressive line-up of participating artists – presenting sculptures, paintings, art editions and multiples – many of them for the first time in Berlin. One highlight is the vast group show by the 3rd Pictoplasma Academy Alumni, introducing the raw talent of our annual master-class and taking a fresh look at the upcoming faces of tomorrow.
Villa Elisabeth, the impressive heritage building with its spacious and historic atmosphere, is this year’s Festival Centre. It’s your go-to place for information, starting the exhibition walk, workshop watching, and snapping up exclusive art editions, books and gadgets by the festival’s artists and designers. On Thursday and Friday evening from 20-22h, immersive art happenings turn the Villa into a visionary playground that all revolves around the central bar.
Jan De Coster (BE)
Jan de Coster is a robot-maker, who explores the boundaries of human-robot relations. He knows how nervous people get in the presence of strangers, especially if those strangers are not only smarter and stronger than they are, but also have the potential to run the planet on their own. Robots are here to stay so we better get used to them. Let’s welcome them into our lives and teach them what it means to be human!
Wilfrid Wood (UK)
Wilfrid Wood is known for his sculptural portraits of personalities, celebs, and strangers he likes the look of – always extracting maximum character out of the lump of clay in his hands. Wilfrid does not just push about an abstract set of geometric forms trying to get expression out of them. He deals in eyes and mouths and noses — things with which we all have a primal connection.
Veteranenstr. 14a (corner of Fehrbelliner Str.)
KLUB7 is an artist collective from Berlin and Halle. With their early roots in graffiti and street art, the six friends then fleshed out their own styles at various art colleges. Working at the interface between the fine and applied arts, their supersize murals and site-specific installations are graphical, picturesque, abstract and figurative all at the same time. The trademark KLUB7 style comes alive when all six work together and their individual artistic identities merge.
Ugo Gattoni (FR)
Bold Room Berlin
Phantasmagoric black & white is an exhibition featuring Ugo Gattoni’s cityscapes from 2011 until today. A series of vast drawings, entirely rendered in black ink, these sprawling surrealist megalopolises invite you to lose yourself in elaborate daydreams.
The We Dance Like Monsters Collective are true believers in the power of the monster. Monsters exist all over the world, across the universe, they take on a multitude of forms. Some are inherently evil, others signal imbalance within the natural order or social and cultural discord. They can teach us alternative modes of being or act as a social conscience. As harbingers they warn of future disasters and issue prophetic guidance – so take heed and listen to the monsters…
Revaler Str. 99
In its third year, the annual masterclass for character design and art brought together 36 postgraduates from more than 20 countries. Under professional guidance participants were challenged to explore and develop their personal, character-driven projects. The Academy All Stars group show presents their diverse talents and features interactive installations, elaborate paintings, fragile drawings and a multitude of new character worlds. The next master class is scheduled for this fall – deadline for application is July 16.
Aisha Franz (DE)
FUNCK [ ] RAUM
‘Reality often seems as fragile as a feeling. Especially in times when the worlds are shifting rapidly and you don’t know which one you’re in or which role you’re playing within it.’ Aisha Franz shows drawings and objects related to her latest comic book ‘Shit Is Real’ and the strange universe that surrounds it.
#cat #desert #aquarium #saturn #fish #friendship #neighbour #stalking #identity
Jim Avignon (DE)
Jim Avignon is an illustrator, painter, conceptual artist and one of contemporary Germany’s most unusual art figures. ‘Black Market’ is a mashup of cartoonish figuration, expressionist composition and statement titles: it is hi, lo and everything in-between, it’s on the laptop, on the wall, it sucks you in to Arduino mayhem, it is blinkytapes gone bonkers and it’s nicely philosophical too. The show also features works produced in collaboration with Julio from the notorious 44Flavours.
Johan Potma (NL)
The Cheese Mountain Tragedy
What Happens in the Cheese Mountain, Smells Like the Cheese Mountain! The Cheese Mountain Tragedy is a wunderkammer filled with freaky old things and a multitude of monsters by artist Johan Potma. Visit the artist in his studio and immerse yourself in his latest works and quirks.
Skallywag, the gallery of artist Mateo Dineen, is crawling with misfit monsters and other lovable souls painted with acrylic and collage on vintage wooden boxes and doors. The artist has his private studio in the back, where visitors are granted a rare glimpse into his working process.
Cécile Dormeau (FR)
Sassy, classy, vulgar, frustrated, shy, idealised, sad, happy, overexcited, funny, serious, angry, hungry, bad, pissed, depressed, chilled, ashamed, hung up, proud, confident, generous, caring, selfish, outgoing, impatient, flirty, introverted, resilient, hardworking, anxious, cool, lazy, brave, ambitious, superficial, solitary, dumb, creative, smart, natural, mouthy, warriors, friends, lovers, bitches, moms, flawed, beautiful, GREAT. Girls in 2016, just as they are.
Gio Pistone (IT)
The installation investigates images and emotions produced by a high fever — all based on anecdotal evidence collected over a number of years. High fever makes you forget who you are, it breaks your body apart and then brings you back to yourself and to a fresh view of the world.
Niels Kalk (NL)
UP Gallery Berlin
After working in digital design and illustration for a decade, Niels Kalk rediscovered the very sticky medium of good ol’ collage, whose world he is currently exploding. Alongside a selection of his more surreal explorations, Niels will show new pieces that provide a peek into his creative process.
Amélie Fléchais (FR)
UP Gallery Berlin
Amelie Fléchais is a children’s book illustrator and visual development artist. Inspired by Japanese and European folklore, she creates a mystical watercolour world full of fearless kids, outlandish vegetable beings, fearsome ogres and freaky little ghosts. Welcome to the wood!
Julian Glander (USA)
Julian Glander’s work vibrates, buzzes and oscillates wildly around the digital world. He is best known for his oddball, infinitely loopable and Claymation-inspired animated GIFs. In this exhibition, he brings his 3D work into the original third dimension – real life – in a series of lenticular prints.
Martina Paukova (SK)
Illustrator Martina Paukova creates brimful, tongue-in-cheek images in her trademark sunny palette. This selection of editorial pieces features everyday scenes filled with lanky, perplexed characters with outdated hairstyles, sitting at computers or on sofas, sipping coffee and just doing their thing. A life-affirming celebration of all things flat and banal.
Jun seo Hahm (KR)
For more than a decade, Jun seo Hahm has been making biologically-inspired characters and creatures. He is interested in the way design restrictions can enhance expression from beneath the surface. The exhibition presents new prints, animations and 3D printed objects – featuring characters that are cute, sexy, and creepy rolled into one.
PARTIES, PERFORMANCES & ART HAPPENINGS
May 4, 21h
ACUD MACHT NEU
After the stampede through 14+ Character Walk exhibitions, lean back and get some festival feelgood with a drink at ACUD MACHT NEU. Hook up with familiar faces, make new buddies and get into character to the understated funkiness of Fog Puma (Abendlandung).
The trashpuzzle collective sets up their conveyor belt and video cameras – throw in your visuals or draw on the rotating paper reel to transform the upstairs studio into an ever-changing character kaleidoscope.
May 5+6, 20 – 22h
On Thursday and Friday evening from 20-22h, immersive art happenings and jam sessions turn the Villa Elisabeth into a visionary playground that all revolves around the central bar.
Character Club Night
May 7, 22h
Revaler Str. 99
Shake off your visual overload at the closing party at Urban Spree, with live performances by Gelbart, Neoangin and Debmaster and DJ sets by Plastique de Rève and Petula Black Sperm.