Participating artists: Gangpol & Mit (FR), DokiDoki (FR), ShoboShobo (FR), Pictoplasma (DE), Turbocomix&Studio Strip(RS), Team Burton (RS) and Igor Stangliczky (RS)
Photos by: Luka Knežević Strika, Igor Gligorov, Sylvie Astie and KidsPatch
Some parts of the text by Lars Danicke (one of the curators at Pictoplasma) about the KidsPatch Belgrade 2009 edition.
(...) The program was set over the duration of two days, in a multi-functional space with two rooms. In the entrance lobby, the KidsPatch team had built a custom white box designed by Mehdi Hercberg. He is well-known as Shoboshobo, his persona which focuses on an immense output of (collaborative) drawings, music installations and performances. Mehdi had told me before that he would invite the children to draw onto the black walls inside the box with glow-in-the-dark markers. When I saw the box at first, I was slightly disappointed. I had expected it to be much bigger! But crawling into the box through its tunnel, I realized how wrong I had been. While I felt as if being Swift's Gulliver in the land of the dwarfs, I realized this was their space, where I could only feel as an invader. Outside, Mehdi was busy channeling the creative output of about fifteen kids. They were basically doing what they were best at: releasing their creative energy on paper, with no constraints. The presence of an adult instantly made them ask about which direction to take, but Mehdi did a great job in encouraging them, while applying minor modifications to make their works more to the point. The result was a neat decoration of the outside walls of the box with surrealist faces, animals and plants, cut out and glued from color paper.
Meanwhile, in the other room Gangpol & Mit taught serious lessons in applied media technology. The project of Sylvain Quément and Guillaume Castagné is well known for its unique combination of music and visuals. Both of them experiment with an unconventional usage of the media they work with and this is exactly what they showed to their group of children. They built robot-costumes out of boxes, colored cardboard and other materials. Everything was photographed and imported to a computer, when Guillaume showed the children how to use the software to crop and animate the characters with simple movements. In the next step, the kids recorded their own sounds for each of their characters with the instruments and sound effects Sylvain brought along. It all finally came together in a short movie strip. This workshop was more demanding for the children, as the use of technology influenced the work flow, but they still learned a great deal about contemporary media production, about the flow of sampling and remixing, the process of layering multiple elements until the final result.
To truly understand what was going on, I was lucky enough to have it all explained to me by the kids themselves! Even though I did not understand any Serbian, they did so in a short documentary film they have made together with Sylvie Astié of the Doki Doki collective. The young reporters had interviewed the participants, filmed the work process and edited it all into a 5-minute film. Such documentation is highly valuable, as it helps the children to understand and realize what they have been involved in the last few days. The fact that they themselves had done this documentation made the effect even stronger. Inspired by what I had seen, I was happy to follow the final animation program we had brought along, and to observe the kids being absorbed into the weird, surrealist worlds they were exposed to on the screen...