The first film programme curated as part of the Animate Materials Workshop is devoted to graphite. Artists featured in this programme embrace graphite as a vibrant collaborator that transforms the screen into a tactile surface. Through animation, graphite comes to life as a hard-edged medium of incisive social commentary and a fluid material for diving into the subconscious.

Gestures of sketching, tracing, and erasing become ways to explore the interplay of light and shadow, memory and forgetting. This programme is targeted to adult viewers with some mature themes. My introduction to the screening situates the films in relationship to graphite’s material and cultural history. A post-screening discussion welcomes audience impressions and reflections.

You Feel Soft (2022), Cameron Kletke, 2:00 min, Canada.

Glass Gardens (1982), Lisa Crafts, 5:30 min, USA.

Elo (Tie) (2020), Alexandra Ramires (Xá), 11:00 min, Portugal/France.

The Missing Pig (2018), Cecilia Corzo, 4:00 min. UK.

Driftless (2019), Jonah Primiano, 6:06 min. USA.

Impossible Figures and Other Stories II (2016), Marta Pajek, 14:30 min. Poland.

Azaletik Azalera (Skin to Skin) (2021), Mel Arranz, 7:00 min. Spain.

River Lethe (1985), Amy Kravitz, 7:12 min. USA.

Accident (1973), Jules Engel, 2:00 min. USA.
Restored and supplied courtesy of the Centre for Visual Music.

The programme had a wonderful first screening at the GIRAF animation festival in Calgary (Canada) in November 2022, as well as a warm reception at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in New Plymouth (New Zealand) in December 2022. Both screenings were supported by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Featured image is a still from Cameron Kletke’s You Feel Soft (2022), which they produced as part of their research-creation work in the Animate Materials Workshop.