Run to Run – interactive animation

You’re running as fast as you can, trying in vain to stave off being crushed by a huge tractor. You’re crying out for your mother, wearing nothing but a small pair of pants, furniture flinging itself at you from all directions.

Animation still
Animation still

It’s the stuff of nightmares, but delivered by performance maker Hannah Millest, it’s a cute, surreal and fun animation-based installation piece that makes the viewer determine the artwork’s narrative.

Run to Run
Run to Run

Millest’s piece, Run to Run, is at its most basic an interactive flipbook, using a simple hand drawn animation and inviting the audience to make the little stickman star move by running on a platform. According to the artist, the piece ‘invites the audience to challenge themselves and playfully consider the futility of life.’

Run to Run
Run to Run

For a new show at south London’s CLF Art Café, Millest has expanded the piece into a series of installations. They all take the same principle, but in the new works the decidedly non-passive viewer must mirror the figure they see, for instance cycling in order to watch the animation of a bicycle.

The works blend digital and analogue, referencing animation techniques such as the Victorian zoetrope.

Run to Run
Run to Run

The Spin to Spin piece, for example, places the viewer in the place of the animation usually seen in the zoetrope (such as this jumping man at the V&A Museum of Childhood ), and they must spin in order for the animation to function.

Millest says, ‘I wanted to go back to basics to the mechanics of animation. It’s moving away from the original piece’s idea about survival of the fittest, and focussing on the animation.’

She adds, ‘I just really like bringing a playful element to all of my work, and finding stuff that people engage with and interact with’.

Run to Run is on show from 26 – 28 January at CLF Art Cafe, The Bussey Building, 133 Rye Lane Peckham, London, SE15. For more information on opening times and the work visit www.hannahmillest.com

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