Last night saw the return of our monthly curated event, Nicer Tuesdays — and what a banger it was. As we all attempted to fill the Love Island shaped hole in our hearts, August’s line-up – Flat-e, Nadine Redlich, Vicki King and Sophie Koko Gate – provided the perfect remedy. As usual, the crowd at Oval Space were treated to a down-right bonkers mixture of stuff, from clever in-camera visual distortions to a live set from Sophie’s band John Daker. Find out what we learnt at this month’s Nicer Tuesdays below.
Making animations “real” is important
First up was Rob Slater, one half of Flat-e, a London-based studio he founded alongside Matt Bateman. The duo have garnered a reputation as the go-to guys for producing visuals to accompany dance music and, last night, Rob talked us through the visuals they recently made for Daniel Avery’s album Song For Alpha. Created using “natural degradation”, Rob revealed the secrets of their mesmerising work which is the result of “sitting in a room and messing around with things”. Song for Alpha, for example, features a series of complex and fast-paced edits made with physical robots. This physical manifestation of animation – making things “real” – is an important facet of their practice, he explained. The resulting work explores how it’s possible to create a cohesive set of visuals, building on previous work, which can be viewed individually or cut up and used together.
Sometimes it’s good to leave your work to the last minute
No stranger to regular readers of It’s Nice That, Nadine Redlich proved herself to be as funny in person as she is across her comic strips. Joining us from Düsseldorf, Nadine gave us a live reading of some of her ambient comics, talked us through her publication Paniktotem before finally giving an insight into her most recent work, I Hate You, You Just Don’t Know It Yet (all accompanied by some very cool Keynote effects). Inspired by a single idea – of a couple lying in bed, one fast asleep and the other, wide awake, whispering “I hate you, you just don’t know it yet,” into their partner’s ear – the book is a hilarious exploration of the experience of being in a relationship. She also talked us through her process from “a vague idea” to “confidence that it will only take a few weeks” to having the “I’m a stable genius” excitement replaced by the fear of disappointing others to finally “delivering the work at the last minute to the annoyance of everyone else”. Ultimately, however, this process allows her to let ideas settle and grow – like planting a seed.
Photography is a total lie
London-based photographer Vicki King was up next and she provided us with a glimpse behind how she actually creates her other-worldly images. “I became obsessed with light,” she explained of the moment she discovered photography, “it became a higher power in my images, a spiritual entity that photography is literally made of.” Preferring to spend her time in a “fantasy place”, she told us how photography allows her to do so, creating fictional worlds which elevate life, as opposed to just documenting it. A particular highlight came in the form of a behind-the-scenes look at how she captured one particularly dreamy image of her and a friend submerged in water. The reality: a Finding Nemo paddling pool in her living room. With further anecdotes from her trips to Iceland and the Shetland Islands earlier this year, Vicki concluded by using her talk as “evidence that photography is a total lie”.
Your characters can change and develop with you
Rounding off the evening was animation director Sophie Koko Gate. With a focus on her recent short film for Adult Swim’s “graveyard slot” series Off the Air, Sophie introduced us to her favourite characters including Darcy, Marcy, CC and Jane who crop up in her work again and again, and who have significantly changed over the years. “My personal work all lives in this apocalyptic, dream world,” she explained, “I have these characters and they live alongside me, so it feels quite natural for me to use them now.” For her latest film, she created Darcy, a manifestation of all the disgusting things she finds equally attractive and disgusting in men. Throughout the short, Darcy shows off his best qualities, attempting to woo the ladies, accompanied by his sultry, deep-voiced and slightly creepy narrations. Truly finishing off her talk with a bang, Sophie was joined on stage by her band John Daker, proving how important the production of music is to her animation practice: “I always start with the music,” she told us.
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