The Animation Pimp: It’s About Time - René Jodoin
“All time is a concept,” says Jodoin. “It doesn’t exist. Duration fits better because it doesn’t have a direction.” Paradoxically, duration requires time. “Duration is like a tempo. It’s melodic and almost has a rhythm. It’s almost like time de-activated.” Or time within time since time itself is timeless. Duration is our ruler of time. Remember the blank screen (see above)? Well once you’ve put something in it (on it?) you’ve already created laws (duration). The problem is where to go next. In Dance Squared, a briefly blank screen. A square tumbles then shatters. Infinite possibilities within seemingly limited options. Space/Time as flexible not restrictive. Let’s take Spheres (1969). Like a mime, McLaren made a movement (itself a moment), Jodoin imagined what the next movement (moment) would be. A guided temporal/spatial random (dis)placement that itself took two decades (in our time) to complete/abandon/guide.
Jodoin is out/in time. He loathes the myth of the artist as GOD. At the same time (actually, it’s not the same time, it’s later in the interview), he cautions the technical geeks. “Skill by itself is boring.” Skill alone is present minded. Problem of our time? Where is the individual? We are in a time(s) of the negation of the individual(s). Individual time(s?) is/are absorbed by large infrastructures and with it fade the individual/personality. People seek meaning through corporations. Sure the NFB was an infrastructure, but individuals like Jodoin, Grierson, McLaren, Dunning, Lambert, McKay, Ladouceur, and Munro (just to mention animation) defined the NFB. Corporations are not like that today. They are predefined spaces. Maybe this is why Canucks have always resisted definition. Always in-between, free-floating, always in the process of defining, refusing to be defined. This is our strength. We are neither “who are we?”whiners nor the beer drinking slugs that slur aloud “I yAM CA NA DeAN” before pukin up that swill (not ‘real’ Canadian beer).
Computers. Time’s discount? Time eater? Internal/ (over)External space. No more (need for) room. Corporate expansion (inspansion?) within us. With a computer, Jodoin works towards a new (? or ‘nother) way of creating/imagining. Computer artist as writer and/or adventurer. A re-balancing/thinking of time/space. “The computer offers you a mode of doing which relates to what it is. You can do what you’re saying. It’s like working your head vertically in time. It might not be good, but you don’t have to keep the material in your brain anymore.” The medium of the century is within the palms of the hands of those not too busy holding the monkey while downloading ‘the beast of the revelations’: mediocrity.com.
Jodoin is like a butterfly. A flurry of colours and movements in space with no seeming direction that always gets to the right place. Where? Dunno, but be a shame to see him there. Butterflies look better in process. In flux, he is, like, say jazz/sax man Albert Ayler, challenging the audience to think anew. In Vietnam, someone (Canadian) called Entre Temps a screen saver. He likes that, but it ain’t. It’s a new way of seeing. It’s another way of thinking. Maybe it’s better way of living. He tries to do something that continues. People always want an…