SchoolArts Magazine

APR 2014

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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Pull-out Resource Looking & Learning Producing In media arts, producing can be considered the act of combining a variet f elements into a single digital product. I n media arts, producing can be considered the act of combining a variety of elements into a single digital product, such as a digital video, interactive website, ani - mation, or digital artwork. Because media arts is a newly defined and growing field, we can expect to see new types of artwork and interactive products emerging rapidly, keeping pace with the explosive growth of digital technology. However, not everything media arts-related is new. In fact, the roots of media arts go all the way back to the early About the Artists/Artworks Lotte Reiniger (1899–1981) Lotte Reiniger was a pioneer exponent of silhouette ani- mation films. She was the director of the world's first ani- mated feature, a fantasy culled from The Arabian Nights called, The Adventures of Prince Achmed. Reiniger's pro- cess was painstakingly detailed, so the movie took three years to produce. Reiniger cut the characters out of paper, connected their body parts with wire hinges, then photo- graphed the silhouettes on a horizontal glass plate lit from underneath. After photographing one frame, she slightly modified the figures' positions, then exposed the next frame. For the majority of her career, Reiniger produced short silhouette films, many of which were made for television and were adaptations of a variety of fairy tales. Her work was recognized in the short television film category in the 1955 Venice Biennale. Ben Jones (b. 1977) The son of a software engineer, Ben Jones is a founding member of the artists' group, Paper Rad, which produces comics, cartoons, videos, DVDs, Internet art, music, and installations. Jones has worked with traditional media like painting, sculpture, installation, and drawing. He has morphed an interest in flat, non-modulated brilliant color into projections, videos, and installations that re-examine the relationship between two-dimensional and electronic media. He also combines traditional and digital art-making techniques in new and inventive ways. Jones's most recent works include video paintings, which are digital videos projected directly onto a tradi- tionally painted surface. His forms have a neo-pop feel, although they explore nostalgic images from his childhood in digital form. Lotte Reiniger, stills from The Adventures of Prince Achmed, 1926. Courtesy of Milestone Film & Video. days of cinema and film, when directors and cinematogra- phers first began experimenting with media-arts products. For this month's media arts theme, we'll explore the work of Lotte Reiniger, a highly influential, yet often overlooked animation pioneer; and Ben Jones, a contem- porary artist, animator, and producer of experimental digital media works. Although many decades separate their careers, Jones and Reiniger are similar in their single- minded pursuit of a unique personal vision. schoolartsonline.com 27 A_pages_4_14.indd 27 2/25/14 10:42 AM

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