Avant-garde are people whose work are experimental and innovatory for the field that they work on, especially in arts, culture, politics and some other respects.
There are many avant-garde in the respect of animation and film, they do experiments in different ways and different aspects of their field in order to find new and interesting way of animating and filming.
Michel Klöfkorn has been creating music videos, commercials and experimental films in Germany since the 1990s. He’s a relentless experimenter whose animation techniques look familiar bur foreign at the same time. Here are two of his work.
Available at: https://vimeo.com/9788397
‘Using scalpel, I cut moving geographical/ geological contour lines into photo and art books.
Every movement of the cut out masks points simultaneously to the future and the past, while the photographic moment liquefies.’
From Michel Klöfkorn
So basically he just made this animation with scalpel, books and photos. He says that the movement of the cut out masks points simultaneously to the future and the past because a book is combined of pages, and when he cuts one of the pages, then turns the page, movement happens on both upper pages. And also, images in different pages of the book are entirely different, that also creates a feeling of movement.
The simultaneous movements of the contiguous pages is really amazing, it shows how two movements is done with only one cutting.And because each shot is done in the same book, the previous cut in the book can also be seen in the following shots, which impresses me a lot.
I Ride to the Edge of the Atmosphere in a Half Hour on My Bicycle
Available at: https://vimeo.com/19987591
“I try to understand society, I try to understand economy, I try to understand the nation, militarism, history… I ride to the edge of the atmosphere in a half hour on my bicycle- it’s only 8.6 miles.”
Form: I Ride to the Edge of the Atmosphere in a Half Hour on My Bicycle
Hovering between psychoanalysis, economics, astronomy and bicycle rides, this film bridged the scientific with the imaginary in a very strong and powerful way.
Michel Klöfkorn well combined sound art and visual art in this animation. For example, in the shot of a crowd of flying insects, he drew dense lines together and made them movable, then combined them with the sound of flying insects, like the sound made by their wings. Although there is no insects in the screen, I can literally feel the insects, and it really makes me feel dysphoric. Except of the insects,there are many shots which use groups of lines or spots along with specific sounds to create different feelings in this video.
There are many close shots of the bicycle wheel in this animation instead of the whole bicycle, and it always appears with the sound of the bicycle wheel when it is rotating. I think it conveys the audience a stronger and more direct feeling of ‘driving bicycle’ than showing the whole bicycle.
The black and white shots have strong contrast and well exaggerate the complex and fretful atmosphere because the main characters, no matter they are in white or black, the background colour would be the other one, and the character’s colour is the minority one in the scene so that they can jump out easily. And the atmosphere is even stronger when the director makes the scene flicker.
There are also scenes that are created by overlapping random pictures which are also moving, they compose to convey diverse information and stronger confused and fretful emotions.
Available at: https://vimeo.com/69111794
A short animation movie done by Nicolas Mahler basing on the comic book with the same title.
“A series of cinematic miniatures of the essence of music and the process of their reception. Music is first excreted, and then received. Sausage or spherical. The subsequently resulting sound is not the actual sound of the instruments shown, but the perceived timbre of abstract music representation.”
Description From http://dokufest.com/2014/movie/mystery-music/
The animation show sounds with actual shapes, sausages or spherical. And the process how sounds made by different musical instruments get to the audience is different. Some weave, and then perceived by the audience. Some roll like balls and gather together in front of the audience and create massive sound. Some don’t even actually get to the audience, they are too ephemeral.
It’s unusual but also really funny to represent sounds in a visual way, and it even has characters inside the video, which makes it more visually narrative. The audience can really feel the peculiarity of the sounds with its shape and motions in the animation, the motions endow the shapes of sounds with real sensation.
Available at: https://vimeo.com/116264038
“A film combining the mythology of the Hollywood/ Spaghetti western, Tarot, magic, occult, Jungian psychology, and mysticism with falmboyant, multi-layered, supersaturated imagery.
Multiple narratives conflict and adhere. Meanings emerge and contradict. Music and dialog tell another layered story, sometimes agreeing with the image, sometimes trying to subvert them.
A film should be a container for the psychic unconscious energy of its creator. That is what this is.”
Layered stories are presented with overlapping soundtracks and videos or images in this video, which is a little bit massive but also endows the video with diverse administration levels. And the videos that are showing in the same shot in different layers have different styles, the atmosphere or main tones are quite different, but each scene has different combinations of videos and images, which makes the video miraculous. And it is amazing that even there are videos showing on the same scene at the same time, it does not look weird, they seem to be harmonious to be with each others.
Avant-garde mentioned or not mentioned in this article are all working hard to find new and exciting way to work on their fields. Some might concentrate on the technical part, and some might be interested in the connection of senses and visual part. They are the ones who try to excavate a new way for their peer and add new elements to the fields that they work on. They are who we called avant-garde.