Translation abridged by Mandy McIntosh
Animator Mandy McIntosh
Composer Zeena Parkins
Narrator Aidan Moffat
Editor Mandy McIntosh
With thanks to primatologist Marina Vancatova who allowed access to her archive of ape drawings which she has collected for over twenty years
The text of the film is abridged from the original story The Animal Riot by Nikolay Ivanovich Kostomarov. Sometimes cited as an influence on Orwell's Animal Farm, the story of the riot was written towards the end of the 18th century, before the Russian Revolution. It has remained relatively obscure.
McIntosh's film is a process of reactivation as well as an exploration of aesthetics, symbols and the marks animals make. Here, a world drawn by primates is inhabited by 3D puppets. The narrative of an animal uprising provokes an existential debate on the nature of liberty and the choices we face to either embrace or refute it.
The animation was made in Strata 3D and composited against drawings made by apes. The faces and bodies of some of the puppets were hand drawn and scanned in to make maps.
Zeena Parkins, multi-instrumentalist, composer, improvisor, well-known as a pioneer of the electric harp, has also extended the language of the acoustic harp with the inventive use of unusual playing techniques, preparations, and layers of digital and analog processing.
She has blurred boundaries between improvised and composed, acoustic and electric, digital and analog, and processed and concrete sounds to create many of her pieces. She achieves this engagement of contrasts by using instrument blending and morphing, the recombination of cut-up sounds to form odd and breathtaking soundscapes, and scoring and formal constructions derived from extra-musical sources.
Zeena Parkins is a sought after collaborator who has performed with Jim O'Rourke, Nels Cline, Lee Renaldo, Kaffe Matthews, and has toured and recorded with Bjork.
Aidan Moffat is a solo artist who was previously the frontman for Arab Strap. In May 2011, he released a new album with Bill Wells on Chemical Underground entitled Everything is Getting Older.