18th Pictoplasma Conference

18th Pictoplasma Conference

Whose Community?

Author: Vicky Blake

This September, the 18th Pictoplasma Conference returns to Berlin to present an all-new selection of trailblazing, trendsetting character design, and art. The conference will provide a platform for artists to share ideation processes and working methodologies in focused presentations. International creators and producers from illustration and animation, design and interactive, and urban and graphic arts will exchange strategies for the future of figurative aesthetics.

Cutting-edge programs showcasing animated short films will light up the big screen, and the conference will expand its accompanying Character Lab; the playground / networking zone for all conference attendees. Alongside daily creative workshops inviting participants to channel inspiration and get hands-on with a multitude of materials and analog media, the Character Lab will feature extended panel discussions, participatory formats, networking sessions, and portfolio reviews, collective art activities and a bustling marketplace atmosphere where everyone is encouraged to share projects and ideas. In the glorious finale, everyone’s welcome to participate in a special flea market and zine fest, putting all things character on display and inviting the Berlin audience to discover the cutting-edge of illustration and graphic arts.

This year’s focus: Whose Community?
Over the last two decades we have witnessed the evolution of creative networks and spaces. The ways in which artists collaborate and share work have changed, often quite dramatically! What does it mean to exhibit at a physical gallery while NFTs are dropping online to a global audience? Do you have to move to London or L.A. to work on international productions, or is “remote” the new reality? Is Instagram the new Myspace? Is it still important to premier your animation at a key festival or should you simply upload it to YouTube or Vimeo? The conference will reflect on what it means to measure work in likes and followers when for millennia, the economy of friendship and affection has been gauged in quality rather than quantity. The 18th Pictoplasma Conference will zone in on the current state of these networks, exploring the ways in which creators and character creations navigate between multiple communities—or try to foster their own. We want to encourage an open exchange of ideas and experience, doubts and hopes, disappointments and successes.

The conference will throw the doors wide open for this exchange in the Character Lab, located in the historic cupola at Silent Green; a former crematorium now turned vibrant cultural centre whose fascinating buildings will host an array of all other conference activity. Daily panel discussions will focus on different aspects of our networked lives, such as the long-term effects of dislocated work, home office and migration, or the arithmetic and vocabulary of social media and online platforms. Some of these discussions will take on the fishbowl format, inviting attendees to join in and contribute. In addition, there’ll be a speakers’ corner, where participants, contributing artists and friends are offered a stage to present projects to an audience or take part in focused, one-to-one sessions. More information on how to apply and get involved will be sent out in the summer to all registered attendees. The third element of the Character Lab, which takes place at the end of each day, includes social games and playful forms of personal exchange, from speed-pitching to creative jam sessions to portfolio reviews.

Finally, 18th Pictoplasma Conference are introducing daily hands-on workshops led by conference speakers, with one already announced!—a creative session on how to conceptualize and design your own character-driven boardgames, led by illustrator and game designer Viviane Schwarz.

Participating Artists
Confirmed conference speakers include: Daisy Collingridge (UK), whose Squishies or flesh suits are an exploration of fabric, form, and corporeality; French illustrator and animator Simon Landrein, who has a bold, minimalist, and irreverent style inspired by Pop Art; Shir Pakman, a 3D artist and animator based in Tel Aviv who explores the transition between 2D and 3D, bringing human imperfections to the virtual space; Belgian animation artist Emma De Swaef, who specializes in stop-motion and doll-making, most recently as director of the first chapter of critically acclaimed anthology film The House for Netflix; Júlia Farkas, from Budapest, who is renowned for her animated GIFs and has 2.1 billion views on Giphy; and Jordan Coelho, a digital artist who gained independence through his success with NFTs, allowing him to focus on his art rather than clients. The full line-up will be confirmed in June.

18th Pictoplasma Conference

September 14th–18th, 2022

Silent Green
Gerichtstraße 35
13347 Berlin

Participation in the three-day Pictoplasma Conference: 320.– Euro  
Student and group discounts are available: 210.– Euro

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18th Pictoplasma Conference

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