The Department of Digital Arts Lecture Series is a seasonal series organized by the Department of Digital Arts in the School of Art at Pratt Institute. The series features critics, artists, and curators of digital art. The guests include both emerging talent and established pioneers in the fields of digital animation, motion arts, interactive artwork, and digital imaging. Please see below for this semester's full line-up, followed by more information on each of these acclaimed guests:  

February 7, 2018 - Patricia Beckmann Wells
February 21, 2018 - Joy Buran and Noelle Melody
February 28, 2018 - Bill Plympton
March 28, 2018 - Tona Wilson
April 4, 2018 - Antoine Catala

Pratt Institute's Department of Digital Arts will present lectures by five guests as part of its Spring 2018 lecture series, Wednesdays from 12:45 PM to 1:45 PM in Myrtle Hall, Lecture Room 4E-3, on Pratt's Brooklyn campus.

This lecture series is free and open to the public; however, seating is limited.


Wednesday, February 7, 2018,  12:45 PM, Myrtle Hall 4E-3

Patricia Beckmann Wells, EdD.  is an independent animator, author, and professor. She teaches animation, game/toy design, and emerging technologies at Irvine Valley College in Irvine, California. Her film Family Tale was selected as one of nine films created by women filmmakers for the 2017 Lunafest (sponsored by Luna Bars), and travelled the country raising money for breast cancer. Her latest film Baby Don’t Cry, a collaboration with the Ska Punk band Big D and the Kids table is currently on the festival circuit. Both films have competed in Academy Award qualifying festivals around the world.

Patricia worked on several movies as an animator for Warner Brothers Digital and other film companies. She was the Manager of Shorts Development at Film Roman, and while there three of her entries won the Playboy Animation Festival. This experience lead her to develop content for Oxygen Media, the Romp, and Playboy. Patricia was an executive in charge of training for Walt Disney Animation studios and Dreamworks SKG, assisting Dreamworks to build production studios in India. She has also authored several publications on 3D software and art. Most recently she published Face It: A Visual Reference for Multi-Ethnic Modeling, an art book on how to use forensic evidence provided by skulls from around the world to model ethnically accurate facial features using 3D software. She is currently developing for virtual and augmented reality, as well as creating more short films. 

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Wednesday, February 21, 12:45 PM, Myrtle Hall 4E-3

Joy + Noelle is a NY based animation and design duo Joy Buran and Noelle Melody. They are illustrators, animators, and, as it happens, twins. Joy and Noelle studied Media Art at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn; their thesis film was their first collaboration. They now direct and animate short films, commercial videos and in 2015, partnered with writer Kelly Sharp, illustrating her children's books as TRIPLE DOG PRESS.

Joy and Noelle have done animation work for A+E Digital, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, TED, Cartuna, Amazon Studios and Sesame Studios, among others. Joy lives in Queens and Noelle lives in Kingston, NY; they keep rooms in each other’s house and nooks in each other’s brain. Each also keeps an exquisite collection of charming objects and charming pets, from which they draw inspiration.

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Wednesday, February 28,  12:45 PM, Myrtle Hall 4E-3

Bill Plympton is an animator, cartoonist, screenwriter, director, and producer. His illustrations and cartoons have been published in many magazines, including the New York Times, Vogue, Rolling Stone, etc. Bill Plympton has been called the King of Indie Animation! He is famous for drawing every frame of the animated movies he creates. He has created seven animated features along with more than 40 animated shorts. His awards include Cartoonist of the Year (MoCCA Art Festival), two Oscar nominations for Short Animation, Grand Prix in the Annecy Animation Festival and a jury Prize at Cannes and he won the ASIFA/East Award in 2017 for Cop Dog and many more.

Bill Plympton is considered the King of Indie Animation, and is the first person to hand draw an entire animated feature film. Bill moved to New York City in 1968 and began his career creating cartoons for publications such as the New York Times, National Lampoon, Playboy, and Screw. In 1987, he was nominated for an Oscar® for his animated short Your Face. In 2005, Bill received another Oscar® nomination, this time for his short Guard Dog. Push Comes to Shove won the prestigious Cannes 1991 Palme d'Or; and in 2001, another short film, Eat, won the Grand Prize for Short Films in Cannes Critics' Week. After producing many shorts that appeared on MTV and Spike and Mike's, he turned his talent to feature films. Since 1991, he's made twelve feature films. Eight of them, The Tune, Mondo Plympton, I Married A Strange Person, Mutant Aliens, Hair High, Idiots and Angels, Cheatin', and Revengeance are all animated features. Bill Plympton has also collaborated with Madonna, Kanye West, and Weird Al Yankovic in a number of music videos and book projects. In 2006, he received the Winsor McCay Lifetime Achievement Award from The Annie Awards.

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Wednesday, March 28,  12:45 PM, Myrtle Hall 4E-3

Tona Wilson works in animation, painting, video, and artist’s books. She has shown video as part of the O+ Festival in Kingston, at Paper City Studios, and at CHRCH Project Space as part of Kate Hamilton’s “It’s a Big World in There,” among other places. She began working in multi-channel video in 2013 and her four-channel stop-motion animated video, Crossing Paths, which was previously screened in Seattle, Washington, and Great Barrington, Massachusetts, is now showing at the Dorsky Museum in New Paltz, as part of “The Stories We Tell: Hudson Valley Artists.”

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Wednesday, April 4, 12:45 PM, Myrtle Hall 4E-3

Antoine Catala’s work endows technology with physicality and considers how artificial renderings of forms behind a screen might change our feelings toward them. His video works and internet projects, such as “Distant Feel,” use humor to reveal the ways in which images on the web can be neutralized by way of insincere sentiments or nostalgia. Catala is interested in this underlying structure of his medium—in the collective assumptions we make of images in digital forms, and the ways they can or cannot provoke emotion in scenarios we might encounter. His installation at 2015 Triennial: Surround Audience, for example, rendered a professionally-developed logo for "empathy" out of a living coral reef—an animated, inanimate signifier, grounded in branding that simplifies in order to market an emotion you can’t fake. Accidents in technology, either in its use or production, are departure points for Catala’s practice. The artist seeks to discover the ways in which images might demand emotion or thwart them as they “travel virtual and physical distances via the internet.”

Catala has exhibited at the Dallas Museum of Art, Texas, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Kunsthalle Wien, Austria, Sculpture Center, New York, Espai d’art Contemporani de Castelló, Spain, Fridericianum, Kassel, MoMA PS 1, New York, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Russia, New Museum, New York, among many other international galleries. He participated in the 12th Lyon Biennale and 2015 Triennial: Surround Audience at the New Museum in New York.

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Linda Lauro-Lazin
Digital Art Lecture Series Coordinator, Pratt Institute