Since its inception in 1999, Pictoplasma serves as an unique forum for a growing international scene of artists, theorists and creatives, redefining the boundaries of contemporary character representation. The main focus of the project remains firmly on the emphatic quality of images to create a direct emotional bond with the viewer, communicate globally and push anthropomorphic appeal to new limits. THE CHARACTER FILES gather thoughts, texts, essays, interviews and case studies of Pictoplasma’s ongoing research – in no particular order – while it closely accompanies the scene as it moves towards a completely new understanding of character…
…SO LET’S TALK CHARACTER!
Mark Moget and Taco Sipma form the artist duo Sauerkids, based in Rotterdam. With day jobs as graphic designers at Dutch design agency Enchilada, the Sauerkids label is the perfect outlet for their personal, non-client based work.
Although the Sauerkids artists have been accused of “being on medication”, their work is probably better described as a mash-up of innocent childhood imagery and the mental confusion of everyday life. We talked to them about their recent move into more abstract forms of action painting.
Eduardo Navas is the author of the book “Remix Theory: The Aesthetics of Sampling” (New York, Springer Wien, 2012), an analysis of remix in art, music and new media and currently researches and teaches Remix Studies and Principles of Cultural Analytics at Pennsylvania State University’s School of Visual Arts. We asked Eduardo Navas questions on how remix functions in art practice – character design specifically – and if there is a difference between visual remix and sampling – or if everyone is simply stealing from another in the golden days of digital copy / paste production.
Erik Willer is the founder of Pictopsychology, a scientific discipline that has set out to quantitively measure the effect images – and especially characters – have on us. With his methods Willer is revolutionising the very code that still today defines the boundaries between image and subject, object and viewer – and demonstrates how physically close images actually come to us.
Kirsten Anderson has been the owner of Roq La Rue Gallery in Seattle, WA since 1998 – one of the pioneering galleries to pave the way for Pop Surrealism. In this essay, she reflects on the emergence simplified yet graphically bold images in art and makes her point about how important it is to design characters with an aura of empathy.