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Desktop film-making may never be as ubiquitous as desktop publishing, but as the tools and techniques increasingly overlap, there are immense creative opportunities opening up to people in design to make moving images. The fusion of these two areas is creating a resurgence in graphic and abstract cinema, as evidenced by onedotzero.

Onedotzero is a digital creativity festival, established to explore new forms and hybrids of moving image. Gathering work for the first festival from those working across media with these desktop digital tools, we quickly realised that those active within graphic design, illustration, and new media were making the really dynamic films. In a few years, the number of people making a range of graphic moving images has exploded from a handful to hundreds. This has much to do with the cross-media climate in this country and the way agencies have colonised creative areas.

Tomato was one of the first groups to translate its distinct style between print and time-based media successfully, and the group’s impact on a new generation of designers cannot be underestimated. Antirom has also followed the duel path of client-based and artistic work, but from a new media focus. Linear moving work made for onedotzero2 came out of its interactive style and concerns. Similarly, new media group Digit has developed a Digital Experiences project to deliberately fuse its interactive work with short films while engaging with installation concerns. The proliferation of small design groups has been conducive to a more collaborative environment.

No one believes they have to be constrained to just one area any more. Creative groups, such as Intro Design, are developing personal work to showcase at events like ours. The new on-screen identity for Channel 4 was developed by Spin out of ideas it explored initially in its graphic film, Urban Hiker, a remix of which is included in the onedottv series.

Milk Projects is best known for Sneakers: Size isn’t Everything, a book on the cult of the trainer, yet its main grounding is in broadcast design, and the book has been converted to a work-in-progress documentary for onedotzero3. As a result of these projects broadcast design has become incredibly vibrant and sophisticated.

This freeform approach to project development has allowed the creative domain to grow. Dominant cultural forms such as music and film cross-pollinate and club visual groups like the Light Surgeons and Hexstatic appropriate from these, taking their cue from diverse influences. Every track on Hexstatic’s forthcoming Rewind album is both audio and visual.

Fluid changes in context and media are a challenge which groups are taking on to refresh and redirect their signature styles. Miles Murray Sorrell Fuel has translated its restrained print form to film. Distinct graphic motifs were explored in its early typographic films such as Can You Read It? and used in the commercial context of the Heathrow Express TV campaign. Photographic aspects of its design were incorporated into sections of the short film Original Copies and appear in the recent Cellnet First commercials. Digital effects boutique Lost in Space, while not producing special effects for TV or feature films, has worked on photoshoot collaborations for Dazed & Confused magazine, and infographics for director Chris Cunningham’s Squarepusher promo, Come on My Selector. This has helped Lost In Space to develop its distinctive aesthetic.

The onedotzero festival exists in a special cultural climate in the UK at the moment, with a wealth of design and wider creative talent which is breaking down boundaries, and reinventing a new graphic style of moving image. This merging of the commercial and cultural landscapes by the groups and individuals who originate this work marks a tidal shift in the way we can create.

Onedotzero3 is on from 30 April – 9 May at the ICA, The Mall

London SW1. onedottv is on Channel 4 on 20 April


What’s on at onedotzero

Miles Murray Sorrell Fuel

Sunday, 2 May, 3pm

Includes a screening of Original Copies, which features a Jurgen Teller collaboration piece starring Kate Moss.

Intro Design

Sunday, 9 May, 2pm

Talk by Adrian Shaughnessy, whose eclectic range of client work includes Roni Size, Depeche Mode and Primal Scream.

Future Film-making Aesthetics

Saturday, 1 May, 2pm

Panel discussion with Grant Gee, Rob Pepperell, Jake Knight and Chris Reilly. Chaired by John Wyver of Illuminations TV.

Cross Media Fusion

Saturday, 8 May, 2pm

New ways of working between media are explored with the help of members of Tomato, Digit and the Attik.

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