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A ring of black text on a transparent background, reading 'Monday Short'.

Caleb Wood's ANON MATION (2016)

It's a unique form of collaboration, with each artist building on, altering or subverting the last.

screenshot of the title screen for Caleb Wood's "ANON MATION". The background is green, and there are various scribbles with small tags for "guest" around the screen

NOTE: This Monday short was originally posted on June 25, 2019. We are re-uploading some of Peter Hemminger's amazing Monday Shorts until further notice.

Late Night Work Club is a loose-knit animation collective that, to date, has released two compilations organized around very general themes. The first was ghosts, with results ranging from cute and charming to at least slightly spooky.

The second compilation was titled "Strangers," and while some of the films got more attention (Kirsten Lepore's "Hi Stranger" became something of a phenomenon; Nicolas Menard's odd, philosophical Wednesday with Goddard racked up the awards), none were quite as creative or as literal as Caleb Wood's ANON MATION.

Wood is one of the most consistently exciting animators working right now, and a huge part of that comes down to his playfulness with the medium itself. He's as technically impressive an animator as it gets when he wants to be, but he's also willing to throw out the rules for the sake of a sharpied installation, or a cross-disciplinary experiment.

With ANON MATION he takes the "stranger" theme and applies it to the process of creation instead of the finished film. Through an online platform, dozens of mostly anonymous artists share the drawing surface, with no way to communicate other than the actual act of drawing. It's a unique form of collaboration, with each artist building on, altering or subverting the last. The results aren't what you'd call coherent, but that's not the point. The fact that any semi-stable image can come out of a process like this is a testament to a spirit of community among the artists, a  desire to create something just because it seems fun to do it. Whether they're shifting almost at random or falling into sync in a few glorious moments, the artists may be strangers, but they're united in the spirit of creation.

dir: Caleb Wood

syn: Online live community animation experiment, strangers animating together over the internet in real time.
Created for the second anthology of Late Night Work Club, "Strangers".

Music: Oswald Skillbard

In the future, we will be able to create imagined movement together seamlessly from anywhere in the world, completely integrated into our environments, with our minds. Today, we can use an online drawing chat-room and make time-lapse screen recordings.

Thank you to all those who participated.