Pick of the week #72

Graphset‘s Tomten is a 3D animation film and part of a new exhibition at Centre des arts d’Enghien-les-Bains, Projections video dans l’espace public (Video Projections in Public Space).

Graphset, aka Mikkael Doczekalski, designed the excellent Alpha-ville logo for us in 2009 and has designed most of the festival images. His Paris based design studio breaks the norm in prints, video trailers, web design, and live stage installations.

21 films were entered into the competition under the theme “The city of a thousand lights, a Christmas story.” Tomten is one of the final three up to win the Audience Award. The soundtrack is by Ben Frost, taken from his album ‘By The Throat’.

Graphset describes Tomtem as “an adaptation of an 1881 poem called ‘Tomtem’, written by Viktor Rydberg, a Swedish writer. The poem is about Christmas night with, of course, a post modern vision of Christmas, using a traditional Scandivian figure. My idea was to link the traditional approach with digital tools.”

The spooky and atmospheric film has an icy feel to it, and as the poem reflects on the ambiguity and mysteries of life, in this sense Graphset explains; “I wanted to transcribe this feeling of losing control of what you’re about to see, and how what you have clearly identified can become something else very quickly. Digital tools are for me, a perfect way to express this.”

“With 3d, you’re able to create a whole world that seems similar to our reality. But in fact, in this new world something is missing : self-ruling. As 3d designer, you set the world but you also set the rules and then, you can pass the limit of physics and propose new behavior. In Tomten, and in my work in general, I start with a realistic base and give it an impossible behavior, trying this way to give it more and new expressiveness.”

He cites Hayao Miyazaki as one of Tomten’s main influences, “I love the way he can make a complex universe accessibly to anyone, especially with his characters.” Matthew Barney is also an inspiration;  ”the way he’s using mythologies in Cremaster, his aesthetic (the wax, the logos…) and of course Ben Frost’s music was one of my first inspirations for the project.”


Watch the full film below:

TOMTEN from graphset on Vimeo.

Graphset’s website can be found here

Vote for the video here

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