Center for Book and Paper Arts Artist Wins Major Award

A short animated film uniquely created with a letterpress printing process at the Center for Book and Paper Arts has received the Canadian Film Institute Best Canadian Animation Award for 2013. During a two week residency at the Center in 2012, Montreal-based designer/artist Judith Poirier printed Two Weeks—Two Minutes, an integrated film + book, simultaneously on clear 35mm film stock and paper. With an abstract soundtrack generated also by the printing process, the animation/book explores the notion of time in both media. “Judith’s project was extremely surprising and innovative,” said Brad Freeman, the Center’s Studio Coordinator, “unlike anything we’ve seen before.”


Working with graduate student assistant Boo Gilder and studio staff, Poirier employed a time-based practice for generating content. Every hour during her time in the studio, she systematically wrote down what she was seeing, hearing, or doing, trying to capture a snapshot of time. These observations were set directly on the press, at the rhythm of a spread a day, using the CBPA’s collection of metal and wood type. Each spread of the 24-page book produces 10 seconds of film for a total of 120 seconds (two minutes).


For the digital transfer of the printed celluloid, the frame was turned 90 degrees, recreating the vertical format of a book and the horizontal movement of reading. Edited as two vertical screens side by side, the film mimics the format of its book companion and suggests a different reading experience. Studio support for the creation of this work was provided in the summer of 2012 under and artist in residence program supported by the Illinois Arts Council. For more information about the artist, click here.