Kathy Rose 10/12/16

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Kathy Rose’s work has evolved from her early drawn animated films of the 1970’s, through her unique, pioneering performance work combining dance with film in the 1980-90’s, to her current surreal performance video spectacles and installations, with influence from symbolist art and the Japanese Noh theater. Rose received a Guggenheim in Performance Art in 2003, and in 2005 was awarded a New York State Council on the Arts grant in Video (Media & New Technology).

Rose has toured extensively in live performance throughout the United States and Europe, giving performances at the Museum of Modern Art’s Cineprobe series, Kennedy Center, Serious Fun at Lincoln Center, Fondation Cartier pour l’art Contemporain, the Walker Art Center,The Kitchen, Institute of Contemporary Art in London, Danspace-St. Marks Church, Baltimore Art Museum, Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, Akademie die Kunst in Berlin, Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, etc. as well as performances in Geneva, Helsinki, Amsterdam, Hiroshima, etc.  Her video installation works have been exhibited at the Victoria & Albert Museum,  Aldrich Museum,  Cooper Union, etc.

Rose has received 6 grants from the National Endowment for the Arts,  4 grants from the New York State Council for the Arts, 3 grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts, as well as grants from Harvestworks Digital, the Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation, American Film Institute, Finishing Funds/Experimental Video Center.  Preceding grants were given in categories including  Film, Dance, Choregraphy, Interarts, Video. she is a Distinguished Alumni of the California Institute of the Arts.ritual8

Rose’s performance “The Cathedral of emptiness” premiered in July 2009 at INGENUITY, THE CLEVELAND FESTIVAL OF ART MUSIC AND TECHNOLOGY. Rose premiered a new piece “Opera of the Interior” at ANIMATOR 2015 in Poland. Rose’s recent videos have shown in Dance on Camera at Lincoln Center,  AMERICAN DANCE FESTIVAL, MONTAGE VIDEO DANCE /Johannesburg,  Black Maria Film festival,  Ann Arbor Film Festival,  INVIDEO 2008 Milan, São Carlos Videodance Festival, International Video Dance Festival – Le Breuil,  Internacional VideoDanzaBA, Buenas Aires,  DANSCAMDANSE Festival, Belgium, etc.    Her video “Rapture of the Petals” was selected for the East West Art Awards World Tour for winners’ videos starting from Tokyo – Berlin – London BFI – New York – Shanghai – Paris. Her video “Cubistimenco” is showing in the Hiroshima Animation Festival in the program “Best in the World”. “The Unpainted Woman” is showing in Rome, Italy in It’s Liquid Experimental Video and Performance Art Festival at the BAU International Academy, from July 16 to August 21, 2016.sleepers

Recent one-woman shows also include the Pompidou Center for  “A Shaded View of Fashion Film Festival”, and at the EPOS Film Art Festival  at the Tel Aviv Museum, etc.

Rose is a Master Lecturer in the Media Arts Department at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Her courses   include Image and Performance (an interdisciplinary workshop in which students make their own performance art works using costume, video, audio, etc.), Dance and Media, Japanese Media and Installation. She has also taught Autobiographical Art  in the Fine Arts Department, and  in the Pre-College Program, along with Art and Performance.

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34 thoughts on “Kathy Rose 10/12/16

  1. I am not a huge fan of experimental art; however I found her style of editing consistence throughout her later work. The rough edges in my opinion add a collage art aspect to it which is one of her inspiration. I thought her live performance/ projection mapping installation is extremely successful because since she doesn’t story board as much this is where her work is the strongest. The current videos are not as effective as the performances. Another reason why I find her performance more effective is because there is more emotion in the hand gestures.

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  2. Kathy Rose’s works really convey her desire to display an “eerie unreality”. This was particularly evident to me when viewing the documentation of her performances and when viewing her videos, as I saw said “eerie unreality” in the repeating motifs of her curated imagery and color palette. I also appreciated hearing about how her creative process has become more spontaneous and intuitive over time, as well as the difference in approach to her performances versus her videos. Unfortunately, as someone without a background in dance, I found it difficult to recognize Kathy Rose’s incorporation of Japanese dance. I did, however, see other aspects of Japanese culture in her works and was able to appreciate Kathy’s explanation of the Japanese belief that everything, animate and inanimate, has a soul.

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  3. I have both mad respect for and mixed feelings about Kathy Rose.

    I feel as if Kathy’s work is what Lady Gaga daydreams about and attempts to become the personification of in the pop world. Kathy is a truly unique soul, and that she is still doing all she does (from performing to filming to editing) at her age is indeed admiration-worthy. The concepts she explores of fusing/abstracting/collaging reality and fantasy, the human form and nature, as well as her exploration of movement are interesting to me. However, while I was initially fascinated by her work, it gradually started feeling like a blur, with little evolution occurring over the years as it became harder to continue connecting with its execution. At first, I was tempted to be triggered by her blunt comment that “conceptualizing is stupid”, but I can find a learning opportunity for myself in her follow up statement to “just go with it” and “you can’t always plan for reality…it’s a balance between instinct and following the process…and accepting mistakes.” Letting go of control is sometimes an issue for me in my work, and I find when I’m able to relinquish some of that it opens opportunities for new magic moments to happen.

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  4. As an experimental animator, having artists whose works are more into the experimental side and less into the industry level is always interesting. Kathy’s relationship with dance is consistently evident during all her work. She grabs what she finds interesting of each discipline and mix it in a whole new concept. A so, she takes from dance what works for her, without feeling obligated to get everything from a particular music genre or kind of dance, and also that same approach appears in her videos where she works with composition without having to play totally by the rules of visual effects and mainstream concepts of how to. Is that same perspective that takes place when she says that the purpose of a Performance documentary is to convey the experience not to be totally faithful to real footage. In general I feel Kathy Rose is an artist whit an special ability to mix apparently distant concepts into a whole new product.

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  5. I really wish I could make it to Kathy’s performance this Friday as the experiences she presented documentation for looked remarkable.I particularly liked the piece in which she dances with a stiff pink skirt in the center of the projection (I think it may have been called “Primitive Movers?'”) . It looked as though she was transforming between amorphous form and human form. Very cool. The performance with the grass of green hands reminded me of some of Isabella Rosselini’s work too (her “Green Porno”). I really appreciate that she showed the many stages of work over her career as most artists I see lecture tend to self-edit. Seeing her persisting themes and evolution of thought was very interesting to me. While her early animation and performances really resonated with me, I didn’t find myself quite as drawn in to the video works. They didn’t cultivate the same level of feel and hypnosis for me. I think this may be because the After Effects use was so prominent. Overall, I’m really happy Kathy came in to talk to us! I loved her style and really appreciated the advice she gave us about loosening up and patiently putting a line with bait out when looking for ideas. I definitely plan to follow her advice of leaving something visually inspiring in my studio for every time I return…

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  6. I like how she works in two completely different methods but still was able to take advantage of the characteristic of both methods, in order to make her work come alive. My favourite one is she, it seems most interesting to me that both the video and the performance had many layers. Kathy mentioned she added a layer of veil in her performance to add depth, which is really successful. Another great thing is the veil created two layers of the same image, which made it looked much more like her videos, in which the repetitive elements over-lay on each other, and it creates the illusion that you can’t quite tell where they are in space. I like her comments on trying to move the visuals slowly in order to not break the illusion, I think the fact that she coming from a dancer background gives her an unique perspective on timing & rhythm to music. I will definitely try incorporate her methods of a slower movements and leaving exciting moments on the desk while taking a break from a project.

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  7. Kathy’s career has been long and varied. I was most interested in her installation work. She mentioned that some of her performances have been 30, 45 and even 75 minutes long! It takes a lot of content and focus to perform for that amount of time. I wonder what that experience is like, being in the middle of an installation with projection and lighting, performing in an altered state of mind for 75 minutes. Does time move faster? Does the audience get swept away in that time? What does Kathy want her audience to walk away with? I’m planning on attending her performance at Cal Arts tomorrow so maybe a few of these questions can be answered there.

    I have mixed feelings about her creative advice. I found it super helpful when she explained her documentation process and methodology. The purpose of documentation is to capture the concept or the essence of the performance and if you need to cheat a little bit to get that across then all is fair. Also, the concept of not leaving your desk until you have something good to come back to is a great idea. I usually can’t leave my desk until I hit a snag but it is incredibly hard to come back to a project when I know there are huge problems facing me. I’ll have to give her approach a shot. The one comment I disagree with was when she said that you just need to start on a project without considering a concept. I can understand that the spirit of that statement is to shake those artists who struggle to get out of the concept phase but in my work, the concept is incredibly important and works as a creative catalyst for me, often determining the visual and direction of the work. Concept inspires, rather than inhibiting my work.

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  8. I really love Kathy’s hand drawing animation. They are bizarre characters but are really interesting to watch. They talk funny, too! I’m surprised that how well they can turn around in their own world, letting people believe they are actually there.

    I like the concepts and elements that she put in her installation works. The hands and color drops in water are my favorite. They bring up the elegant atmosphere in her weird world. The idea to put the woman’s head on birds, butterflies’ body is interesting as well. When she explained that those are about the believing that everything has their own sprite, everything suddenly make sense. It’s nice to find something which you really passion about and make your own art works for it.

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  9. I’m not a huge fan of Kathy Rose’s work. Experimental animation is already not exactly my cup of tea, and I have difficulty enjoying projection or performance work, especially when it incorporates flashing lights and loud sounds. That said, I did really enjoy her Cubistamenco piece. The choreography and composition with the hands in the beginning grabbed my attention, and I thought the editing combined with the snappy music created an entertaining and engaging pace to the film.

    Although it’s not the kind of work that I enjoy or do myself, I hope she continues to do the work that she loves!

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  10. Kathy Rose’s work is really something!! I enjoyed some of her video work. The combination of Adobe After Effects editing with her performance elements and still images was particularly strong in Cubistimenco. In Cubistimeno specifically, the hands were well choreographed, the cuts were deliberately timed to the sound, and overall the whole animation seemed like a very synchronized entertaining theatrical stage performance. I think Pencil Booklings was my favorite of the films Kathy shared, awesome idea!

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  11. It’s interesting to see how Kathy Rose’s work progress overtime. I saw Kathy’s “Pencil Bookling” animation in a separate talk and I wish she had shown the whole film during the seminar. In her early performance pieces she also projected her cell animation and I find those very mesmerizing. I personally enjoy her performance work bit more than her video work. Something about having physical lights projecting on the body seems more immersive to me. Kathy is constantly having exploration with her body movement and image making. I appreciate how she has an organic approach to her work, even having her performances loosely choreographed. She experiments not only in her video work but also dance, combining different styles of dance together.
    I really hope I can see her performance live in the future!

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  12. I feel a different point of view is emerging in my mind.Kathy Rose’s work is really a brand new thing to me and I guess it will take me some time to think about it. However, I’m impressed that the experimental path and different kinds of effort that she tried to go through. The colors and shapes in her work is not familiar by audience and it’s a fresh experience to see those things. The sounds are also very cutting edges and can lead to very strong emotions. What’s more, using a artist’s own skills, like dancing for Kathy, is very worth trying. The combination of art form is super fascinating. It inspired me to use all my skills in future art works. It also means that we should learn more and know more about life and this world and break the limit of a single area, to make a pieces that really touch people in their hearts.

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  13. Although I was not able to attend the animation seminar for Kathy Rose, I did manage to watch her animated pieces up on Vimeo. Her animations’ mixing of live performers with animations bolstered the surreal quality she aspires to. I do not know if she intended her animations to be creepy, but that’s the vibe I got from them. And that is not a bad thing necessarily! Sometimes you just got to be creepy to better show your vision.
    Now, I have only heard secondhand information from other classmates and the CTAN 522 blog posts about Kathy Rose’s views on animating. From what I understand, she believes that conceptualizing an animated piece is “stupid”. I think the gist she’s trying to get at with this advice is essentially “just let go and let the animation form on its own”. This advice is probably better for more artistic, less structured animated pieces, where the focus is more on abstractly encompassing a feeling or a general sensory experience. I do not think this advice would quite be as helpful for someone who prefers to do more structured, scripted stories in my animations. Then again, not all advice for animation has to be tailored to my specific situation. Some can be from a more experimental or abstract point of view in animating, or from a more “industry” point of view, depending on one’s preference.

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  14. Kathy’s works really open my mind. Her early stage work is so interesting, like the one that she paints and create vivid animation character in the air and let them to compose as a word. That is so cute and full of imagination. Also her performance show and animation done in those recent years gives me a really strong impression with its unique style. To be honest, the style is little bit scary, but the strong color beautiful shape of the images and the rhythmic sound really generates a powerful scene. Kathy really like use the human’s body as her material to express. Which brings many mystique into the film, because it almost built a bridge to connect the real and imagination to let us better get feeling for her film by seeing those hands and heads which is kindly like real but also has some special change by Kathy. That’s so interesting and I would like to try it when doing my own film. Thanks for sharing! Kathy~

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  15. I really enjoyed Kathy’s early work using rotoscoping to merge her hand drawn animation. It was as if those little characters were beckoning her to go down the rabbit hole of experimental performance…at least that’s what I felt when they were squeaking out sentences. Kathy was a good presenter and very open with showing her work and explaining her process to us which I appreciate. Her methods of diving into a project and letting her artistic process drive her work is something that I also value and practice as an artist. I believe that art comes from within and talent is something that no after effect plugin or special effect generated within 3D programming can generate.

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  16. Kathy Rose presented three different stages of her works. Her student works were fairly innovative and entertaining. I can’t judge about the performance pieces because the video recording of a performance does not show much about the work. About video works I can say her works suffered from lack of technique. Let say she had the best concepts in her works, fine! but she had no respect for me as an audience by showing her rehearsals on After Effects on screen. Her After Effects works where so rough and amateur and the sad thing is she is doing it for years and she has not tried to improve her AE abilities. Technique is coming from ancient Greek word Techne which means art. So technique and art are tied together. I understand avant-garde but I think an artist work could be considered avant-garde as he or she breaks the rules not just use them poorly.

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  17. I enjoyed her hand-drawn animation, and the document of performance the most. The works are beautifully done, and very fun to watch. I’d love to go and watch her performance in person when I have a chance.
    However, I had mixed feeling of her video works – I like the concept and idea but hard to say that I enjoyed her films as I did for her previous works. And I also disagree with her opinion regarding conceptualizing, having a concept and trying to achieve it are pretty important process for my work – it’s impossible to plan everything ahead, but I believe that artists need to have a very clear vision that what they want to say through the piece, and making it is the process of problem-solving to meet that concept and vision.
    Thank you Kathy for coming and sharing your experience and thoughts. It’s always interesting to hear different aspects and opinions about the arts!

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  18. I have to say I am a little scared about her film. Because most of my animation films are cute style. However, this is a opportunity to realize a new style of animation. Her works is unique and leave us deep impress. I post a few picture of her works on my Facebook and my friends said they like it and discussing happily. I like the rhythm of the background music. And the screen match the music perfect. At last, thanks for sharing!

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  19. I really loved Katy’s early projection works, especially ones where she would move very slowly behind clothes with a patterned projection. I think those were very successful. You can really see her later explained technique of moving very carefully and slowly, thus not separating the performance from the projections. Some of the projection performances she showed looked almost like an optical illusion which I found very mesmerizing.
    For me, it is especially difficult to animate without a clear plan. I think her advice that one only needs a loose idea of what will be presented is difficult for me to follow through with. Perhaps it is more natural for live performances than animations that need to be pre-timed very tediously. Overall, I think her art was really interesting to watch and I liked the experimental color schemes she used.

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  20. Kathy’s works are incredibly strong in term of style and concept. I really love her traditional 2D hand drawn rotoscoping animation. All of her characters look great and interesting. The voice work is hilarious. It is a truly fun piece. As she moved on to her experimental stuff, I can feel a huge contrast in both style and emotion. Her experimental performance videos are unique and fascinating. It is hard to describe the feeling that I have while watching those works. I was impressed by how powerful they are. I feel that they were trying to communicate something and they visually expressed it in some kind of strange and disturbing way, along with the beauty of hand movements. Each piece has a very strong concept and thoughts behind it. The music is also her powerful material. She paid attention to the sound work in her every piece and it really help supporting her works in every way.

    Personally, I don’t have much experience in this kind of experimental works but it is really great to see an artist who successfully expresses herself through her works, which eventually become her signature. Thank you for sharing Kathy.

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  21. I was enlightened by Kathy Rose’s presentation, I like how she combines manipulated video, performance, costume, and dance in her work. I really like her perform piece, dancers move in lines along the border of the screen, both right side up and occasionally upside down. The camera worked really well, have close shot focus on different part of body, sometimes in slow motion. The camera occasionally jumps from move to move, cutting the natural transitions and producing the effect of animation. Ms. Rose’s art piece play with shapes, patterns and film clearly delighted the audience, I like her surreal environments, some adorned with forests of human arms, glistening waters, and floating moon faces and layered invented landscapes, and shape poetic alternate universes inspired by Noh Theater. Wish to see more of her performance piece.

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  22. Kathy’s works are very unique and beautiful.
    And I’m happy that she mentioned about Japan and Noh 能.
    Her works also reminds me of butoh 舞踏 in Japan. Atmosphere of her works are very peculiar, and original. I also like that she uses a lot of hands in her works,

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  23. Kathy’s work are so unique! I like how she input her earlier dancing experiences into her work. That’s also the reason why her work has a certain rhythm both visually and musically. This combination of performance ,dance, music and film really impressed me a lot. The lighting of her work is another thing l like most, the way she lit her work visually makes the vibe super bizarre. I see so many aspects of Japanese culture in her work. Thank you for sharing, and looking forward to see her work in the future.

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  24. Kathy’s presentation showed her passion about experimental animation. I like her concepts in her projects. There are so many interesting idea she bring up to us and inspire me a lot. Artists’s work is always like a mirror to reflect what they have experienced. She showed some unique art style and the the water, the hands, the color she used are making sense that she has some dance experience. I really respect people who always pursue what they really love. Thanks a lot!

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  25. Although I was not able to attend the animation seminar for Kathy Rose, I did manage to watch her animated pieces up on Vimeo. Her animations’ mixing of live performers with animations bolstered the surreal quality she aspires to. I do not know if she intended her animations to be creepy, but that’s the vibe I got from them. And that is not a bad thing necessarily! Sometimes you just got to be creepy to better show your vision.
    Now, I have only heard secondhand information from other classmates and the CTAN 522 blog posts about Kathy Rose’s views on animating. From what I understand, she believes that conceptualizing an animated piece is “stupid”. I think the gist she’s trying to get at with this advice is essentially “just let go and let the animation form on its own”. This advice is probably better for more artistic, less structured animated pieces, where the focus is more on abstractly encompassing a feeling or a general sensory experience. I do not think this advice would quite be as helpful for someone who prefers to do more structured, scripted stories in my animations. Then again, not all advice for animation has to be tailored to my specific situation. Some can be from a more experimental or abstract point of view in animating, or from a more “industry” point of view, depending on one’s preference.

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  26. I must honestly say that it was difficult to watch Kathy Rose’s later work. However, I did enjoy her hand drawn animation very much. It was difficult to watch her collage work in After Effects because of the flashing lights. That effect is effective when it is used sparingly and not meant to blind the audience. To quote the film, “Amadeus”: “Too many notes.” In all honesty, I could not see a difference from work to work. It all looked the same to me.

    I do greatly appreciate her creativity in composing her own soundtracks. I actually enjoyed that quite a bit. I do respect her enthusiasm and her passion for her work, but not her advice on how to go about producing art and animation. There has to be some level of planning for your work otherwise it will just look unorganized and not have a point.

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  27. I found it interesting to see how Kathy Rose’s work went from traditionally animated films, like ‘Pencil Booklings’, to the dance/projection pieces, and now her current works that include more of the After Effects elements. I really liked seeing her dance/projection pieces, and how she combined the animation with the dance/movement. Two pieces stuck out to me – when she was wearing the stiff pink skirt, and then the one where she had flames coming up from the ground. I liked how freeing and expressive those pieces were. They were odd, and probably made some people uncomfortable, but that’s what I liked about them. They were almost trance-like.

    I think her advice regarding conceptualizing might work better for experimental animation and performance pieces. There is a bit of raw energy that goes into those, and I don’t think that is something that necessarily works with traditional animation or techniques. It is a nice reminder to not take yourself so seriously and to just let the work flow, but I think a big part of creating good artwork and animation is in the planning. You can’t execute something wonderful without planning it out first (at least, that’s in my opinion.)

    I hope to be able to see one of her live performances at some point, it would be very interesting to see that in person and to get the full experience of her work.

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  28. It’s really amazing to have Kathy Rose to give us wonderful presentation of her works. Her works demonstrate the concept about supernatural power and very strong rhythm with exaggerated and surreal movements. Something really fascinating and intriguing in her pieces is that she alloyed diverse elements from Japanese culture, Turkish patterns and performances into one strong and vivid personal style and expression. And I think the hardest part is that how to put so many distinct components into one film which won’t conflict with each other. Instead of describing the way she constructed works as avoiding conflicts between different elements, it is better to say that she balanced all conflicts like colors, shapes and patterns with well-designed dynamics, cuts and sounds. So from the twelve pieces she showed us, I can really see her effort in experimenting with diverse technique and challenges. From earlier real-time performances to later cut-out editing in After Effect, she kept capturing the charm of her main concept and break cliché and habits by infusing new methods. Everything attached to her spirits and concept break apart from time to time but the base of statement from artist is very linear in a way of piling up layers and layers.

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  29. It was a good chance to meet different type of experimental media. She has a strong and unique power to tell her inner section of her mind. When I watched her works, I felt she kept appealing what she has in mind. it kind gave me motivation to be brave about my work which I do not always have to be understood by people. Sometimes I need to focus on myself.
    However, there is difficulties to watch her later work. Since, my eyes are sensitive with light, I could not watch some works when it shows flashing light.

    but, as I said it was unique time.

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  30. Kathy Rose presented some work to our seminar. We saw a glimpse of her performances, which I think must have been great to watch and experience in person. The rest of her work I have to be honest I could not watch. Work that uses excessive strobing light really is to difficult to watch for me personally.

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  31. Kathy’s work was truly unique, and somewhat surprising experience. I appreciated the idea that her aim was more for creating an experience than creating an artwork or a video that could be replayed and re-experienced. The happening is a one time thing, and while it can be documented it can’t be remade. I think this is a bold approach to art, especially in the current era. So much of the way we approach experience and memory is through documentation, reliving, and even polishing the memory with filters and hashtags.

    I found it interesting how Kathy seems to have certain muses in her work that inspire her. Of course the idea of the muse is ancient, but often times in the past it was romanticized and was between a man and a woman he found attractive. For Kathy it was often her students, and that new dynamic was interesting to me. I couldn’t say if it was due to projecting something of herself onto the images of these younger women or something more, but I found it an interesting dynamic. Her image and physical presence is a major part of most of her work, which is not something most animators consider. We hide behind our work in a way, acting through our drawings, puppets, rigs, etc. Kathy puts herself front in center of the work, and even dares to dance along with it. I think this shows how Kathy’s work is meant to challenge, not just the norms of experience, time, memory but also the medium itself.

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  32. I like how she works in two completely different methods but still was able to take advantage of the characteristic of both methods, in order to make her work come alive.We saw a glimpse of her performances, which I think must have been great to watch and experience in person. I see so many aspects of Japanese culture in her work. Thank you for sharing, and looking forward to see her work in the future.

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  33. After seeing Kathy’s works, I was really inspired by the way she express. It’s good to watch experiment art in seminar. I saw lots of different type of arts. What really catch my eyes is the color she use. She used really strong and light color in each work. And that’s what make she unique!

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  34. Kathy Rose works very avant-garde style, very stylish. You know, I am a person who likes “business style” very much, but Kathy’s works moved my other side. I believe there is a way to distinguish between “experimental style” or “business style”, and Kathy did it. Her work is not “art for art”, but really convey some feeling, I hope to use this feeling in my work.

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