“If you make things that move, DEMO is the festival for you”: Take your last chance to submit to the world’s largest motion festival

The one of a kind motion festival has extended its deadline for entries. Here a group of its previous exhibitors tell us the impact it had on their careers.

The art of motion design is a practice often only viewed in digital spaces. However DEMO, a design and motion festival organised by Studio Dumbar (part of DEPT*), is an event dramatically changing the way in which we view this ever-growing practice. Taking over 5000 screens across the whole of the Netherlands for one day only (6 October 2022), the festival will digitally transform “major public areas in a country to a living / moving exhibition,” as organiser and creative director at Dumbar, Liza Enebeis, tells It’s Nice That. “Outdoor screens and displays stand like modern statues in places where there is a lot of public movement. However, the character of the creative products on display is always commercial,” yet DEMO will change all this for 24 hours of pure creativity.

DEMO is a festival of huge digital impact due to its key involvement of the creative community. Up until 10 July its organisers are encouraging motion designers of all levels to send in their work, offering the beyond unique opportunity to have their work displayed across the entirety of one country. The effects such exposure can have on a creative’s career is difficult to categorise due to this magnitude, but for two of this year’s curators, the last iteration of the festival offered confidence to pursue their passion of experimental motion design in new ways.

For Connor Campbell, who runs his own experimental motion design practice with clients from Jamie XX to Apple and MTV, having his work displayed at the last iteration of DEMO is “a really special one for me,” he tells us. Back in 2019 Connor was “still very much learning animation in my spare time after work, at weekends, in my bedroom late at night.” Toying with the idea of concentrating on the medium in a freelance capacity, Conor recounts: “seeing my submitted piece on a huge screening in front of thousands of people walking through Centraal Station in Amsterdam was a bit of a wake-up call that this is a really exciting field, giving me that push to finally make that leap to freelance three months later.”

The festival had a similar effect on the practice of Yonk, led by Niels van der Donk and Victoria Young. Also applying at the very beginning of their partnership, which concentrates largely on VR sculpting, DEMO offered “the perfect opportunity for us to make something in our newfound style, have a limitation with the 1080x1920 format and launch our work into the public eye for all to see,” says Victoria. “DEMO 2019 was a huge success, not only for us but in celebrating and giving a platform to all things motion!”

Back this year as curators of the festival, alongside art director and designer Koos Breen, creative coder and designer Tim Rodenbröke and Studio Dumbar’s Liza, the group are keen to see a variety of motion design work that showcases possibilities, rather than specific stylistic qualities. “What I’m looking for personally is something that makes me stop and think ‘how did they do that?!’” adds Connor. “I love it when I see a piece of motion that pushes the limits of the software/hardware in unexpected places.” For Yonk, an element of wonder is also what it’s after: “We are looking for anything a little strange, something that will surprise us, make us laugh, excite us and leave us wondering… what have we just watched?”

Whether you’re well versed in the world of motion or making your first experimental steps into the medium, DEMO is open to all. Submissions can be thoroughly developed concepts or the beginning of an idea. “Don’t overthink it!” Connor advises. “It could be some abstract loop you’ve made, some Touchdesigner test, an off-cut from a project that you didn’t end up using… we want to seem them all, just hit send!” Or as Yonk encourages: “We submitted when we were just at the very start of our careers, had no motion experience and had only just figured out our style, [DEMO] truly kicked off our studio into what it is today. If you make things that move, DEMO is the festival for you.”

Submissions for DEMO will close on 10 July (you can submit directly here). Individuals are allowed to send in a maximum of ten pieces of work, but one piece per submission. Work should be existing or new work and non-commercial, but most of all it should be motion design “that intrigues, inspires, [and] explores all aspects of motion and pushes the limits of the screen.” Final works will be curated by the aforementioned practitioners and take over screens in never-before-seen ways. “By using the screens in an alternative way we hope to inspire designers, the public, brands to use the screens in an even more creative way and with respect to the public space,” concludes Liza. “And above all, supporting and bringing the design community together and showing their work to the world will hopefully be a unique experience to everyone that attends and participates.”

Share Article

About the Author

Lucy Bourton

Lucy (she/her) is the senior editor at Insights, a research-driven department with It's Nice That. Get in contact with her for potential Insights collaborations or to discuss Insights' fortnightly column, POV. Lucy has been a part of the team at It's Nice That since 2016, first joining as a staff writer after graduating from Chelsea College of Art with a degree in Graphic Design Communication.


It's Nice That Newsletters

Fancy a bit of It's Nice That in your inbox? Sign up to our newsletters and we'll keep you in the loop with everything good going on in the creative world.