has been internationally recognised for his work with moving images, creating projects across multiple platforms, and exploring the boundaries of cinematic forms that include: feature film, animation film, artists television, and large-scale projection in the gallery and live theatre.
His works focus on our experience of our bodies, and the many ways that our physical incarnations crucially form and texture our identities. The works consistently explore the possibilities of a human identity that willingly embraces the indivisibility of mind/brain and physical/spiritual in our behaviours and our desires.
ATLAS FOR ANIMATE BODIES 2008 - ongoing
Supported by a Harvard Film Study Center Fellowship 2008-2009
Supported by the Piet Zwart Institute of Post-Graduate Study and Research Lectorate, WdKA, Rotterdam University
ATLAS FOR ANIMATE BODIES is ongoing research, resulting in an open-ended series of projected moving-image works and artist books. ATLAS FOR ANIMATE BODIES integrates a number of the traditional techniques of both anatomical illustration and figure drawing with digital animation processes, to develop multi-layered moving drawings. Each moving drawing focuses on different gestures or actions, always emphasising the visceral, layered experience of living within our bodies.
The methods by which they are created are part of a sustained research project, into the extension of the grammars and procedures of drawing into digital moving images.
(COMBINING: FEATURE DOCUMENTARY FILM - GALLERY INSTALLATION - ONLINE CONTENT)
SHOCK HEAD SOUL Project due to be released fall 2011
A Submarine, Hot Property & Serious Film production for Wellcome Trust Major Arts Award UK, the Netherlands Film Fund and the Rotterdam Media Fund, with support from The Harvard Film Study Center.
Explores the relationship between society, psychosis and technology. Key images in the project are inspired by sexual and technological image repertoire of Daniel Paul Schreber’s late 19th century visionary/psychotic autobiographical writings.
Project includes: a feature length documentary SHOCK HEAD SOUL (using drama, animation and interviews), a gallery installation SPUTNIK EFFECT consisting of a large-scale 3D stereo anaglyph moving-image diptych, online content SHOCKHEAD.COM exploring the relationship between Daniel Paul Schreber's delusions and technological innovation of the period.
The project was developed in collaboration with psychoanalyst Helen Taylor-Robinson with the support of a Wellcome Trust Arts Award.
BODYSONG 35mm 86 mins.
Hot Property films for FilmFour and the UK Film Council 2003.
A feature documentary depiction of an archetypal life, told using found footage taken from across the last 100 years of cinema, scored by Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead.
Paired with a website that tells more than 600 stories of the individual archive clips within the film:
First presented as a demo in Interactive Stories, in Forum of Montreal Int’l Festival of New Cinema New Media, 15-18 October 2001.
British Independent Film Awards ‘Best Documentary Feature
BAFTA Interactive 2004 Winner
International FOCAL Award Best Entertainment 2004
Rotterdam Festival Tiger Award Nominated Film
Ivor Novello Award Nomination 2004
Pathé UK – United Kingdom
A film - Benelux
SPI - Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary
Hiqi Distribution - USA
DVD release details UK DVD release Pathé
US DVD release HiQi
Benelux release A film
2010 DVD Re-release British Film Institute collectors’ edition DVD & book
Selected Festival Screenings:
IFF Rotterdam: Tiger Award Nominated Film January 2003
Festival of Festivals, Russia June 2003
Vila do Conde festival in Curtas, Portugal July 2003
Karlovy Vary: Official Selection & ‘laurel’ July 2003
South African IDF: Official Selection & ‘laurel’ August 2003
Helsinki Int'l Film Festival September 2003
Dinard: Official Selection & ‘laurel’ October 2003
Cork Film Festival October 2003
AFI FEST 2003: Official Selection & ‘laurel’ November 2003
Gijon: Official Selection & ‘laurel’ November 2003
Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival: Official Selection & ‘laurel’ November 2003
BAFTA 'Choice Brits' Programme 2003
Jigsaw Circus (Benelux) February 2004
IFF Istanbul February 2004
FILMOTECA DE ALBACETE (Spain) February 2004
Festival NEMO (France) March 2004
NAT Film Festival (Denmark) March 2004
British Council - Spain April 2004
REAL Fest - Australia April 2004
Emden June 2004
Sonar (Spain) June 2004
Romania (British Council) October 2004
100.000 RETINAS (Barcelona and Madrid) November 2004
Selected Museum Screenings:
Boston Museum of Fine Art, January-February 2008
MuHKA (Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen) September 2009
THE ORDER OF THINGS 2: DE/CODING,
Poetics of Collage
STOP FOR A MINUTE Digi-Beta Tape 1 min.
FilmFour and Dazed and Confused Productions, 2001
A film for Web and TV looks at how long one minute lasts – for a newborn baby and his great grandmother.
Broadcast FilmFour Channel.
Streaming at www.stopforaminute.com
Screenings in Public space Large-scale screens in Leicester Square London & Time Square NYC
BLINDED BY LIGHT Digi-Beta Tape 7 mins.
Arts Council ANIMATE commission for Channel 4, 2000
A blind man is given his sight after fifty years, but sight can be an overwhelming experience.
Awards Best International Video, Visions Festival, Montreal
Broadcast Channel 4
RAY GUN FUN Digi-Beta Tape 11 mins.
Finetake & Hot Property for Channel 4, 1998
A little boy plays with a magical ray gun, and finds himself trapped in worlds within worlds. Digital FX in a live action world.
Awards Nominated British Animation Awards 2000
Broadcast Channel 4
Spanish Public Television
The British Short Film Festival, 18 September 1999
HEARTACHE 35mm 6 mins.
Hot Property for Queen Productions/British Film Institute, 1996
A short musical drama about love and tattoos.
Opening film 1996 Venice Film Festival
Promo for the Queen track Too Much Love Will Kill You
EVOLUTION 35mm 5 mins.
Hot Property for Queen Productions/British Film Institute, 1996
Portrait of the artist Stelarc & his robotic '3rd Hand' from a Japanese medical lab.
Promo for the Queen track This could be Heaven
'Maximum rotation' schedule MTV
BUTCHER'S HOOK Digi-Beta Tape 7 mins.
Koninck for Channel 4, 1996
A miniature horror film, which explores the imagery of medical and scientific experimentation to convey a nightmare vision.
Awards British Animation Award: Best Use of New Technology
Broadcast Channel4 series Digital Passions including a 'making of ‘ documentary
NPS Dutch Television: The best of European Computer films.
DIGITAL BABY Digi-Beta Tape 2 mins.
Channel 4/Arts Council, 1995
A Digital 3D animation. A group of perfect babies float in an infinite black space...
Broadcast C4 series Digital Passions including a 'making of the film'
ROSE RED 35mm 18 mins.
Koninck for British Film Institute, 1994
A science fiction short drama.
Broadcast Channel4 as part of The Shooting Gallery
Selected festivals Panorama Section Berlin Film Festival
London Film Festival, 1994
Brussels International Festival of Fantasy, Thriller & SciFi Films 1995
Tampere Film Festival, 1995
Distribution BFI Film and Video Distribution
TEMPTATION OF SAINTHOOD Digi-Beta Tape 14 mins.
Koninck for Channel 4/Arts Council, 1993
The story of Daniel Paul Schreber, the psychotic writer who wrote the book Denkwürdigkeiten eines Nervenkranken (Memoirs of My Nervous Illness –1903) and a famous case study of Sigmund Freud.
Awards Main Prize Oberhausen International Kurzfilmtage 1993
Jury Commendation British short film Festival
Prize for Best Short Fantasporto International Film Festival
Special Prize Mediopolis Berlin Videofest
Broadcast Channel 4 (as part of the series Out of the Blue)
Arte/La Sept France
Selected for The Tate Gallery Key video works of the 90s
3rd ICA Biennale of Independent Film and Video, London 94/5
European Media Art Tour 1994
Tate Gallery 1994 This Side of the Channel: British Video 1990-1993
CUPID Digi-Beta Tape 1 min.
Koninck for Title Sequence for MTV Europe, 1992
A Bird flies towards a beating heart. A plunge of its beak releases blood that gushes into a clear container... in the shape of MTV.
STAIN Digi-Beta Tape 1 min.
Koninck for BBC Late Show/Arts Council, 1992
One-Minute Television. Re-invented Medieval Dance of Death as safe sex infomercial.
Broadcast BBC Late Show
Arte/La Sept France
Selected for British Film Institute for the Centenary of Cinema
Festival do Minuto, Sao Paolo, 1993
Viper 92, Luzern
SECRET JOY OF FALLING ANGELS 35mm 11 mins.
Koninck for Channel 4, 1992
This film combines many different hand drawn and optical techniques into an 11 Minute version of the Annunciation.
Awards Grand Prize, Oberhausen International Kurzfilmtage 1992
Best Experimental Film, Internationales Trickfilmfestival Stuttgart1992
Nominated for the European Media Cartoon D'Or
Broadcast Dazzling Image Season Channel Four
Four-mations Secret Passions Channel Four
Selected Festivals Holland Animation Film Festival, Utrecht, 2002
Copenhagen Film and Video Workshop Festival, 1994
Leipzig International Documentary and Animation Festival, 1993
Pandemonium, Cardiff, 1994
Melbourne International Film Festival, June 1992
Selected for BFI Film and Video Distribution
Selected Museum Screenings London ICA Art and Animation Festival
Harvard University VES Carpenter Centre Visiting Faculty Show
SURFACE TENSION 16mm 27 mins.
Royal College of Art, 1986
A combination of animation and live-action explores an encouter around a man being drawn.
Awards Mari Kutna Best Animation Award, London Film Festival
Thames Television Supporting New Talent Bursary
Distribution BFI Film and Video Distribution
DVD 25 Years Royal College of Art, Best Graduation Films, 2010
SHARING THE SAME SHADE triple screen projection for the Holland Festival 2007 DV
A series of ultra-slow motion video portraits of the dancers Adi & Shani Kesten to counterpoint their performance as part of the Veenfabriek Music Theatre production Sharing the Same Shade directed by Paul Koek.
STORY BROWSER Interactive Gallery Installation Sint-Lukasgalerij Brussels 2000
Prototype interactive digital model of the deep structure of the Snow-White narrative that allows users to view many variations of the narrative. Result of Artist in Residence at the Hogeschool Sint-Lukas, Brussels (2000) in collaboration with students.
BLOND ECKBERT 35mm 15 mins
Projected within English National Opera production directed by Tim Hopkins, premiered in London on 21 April 1994.
A 15 minute animated film designed to allow a performer on stage and an animated version of herself to interact as the action develops. The film depicts Bertha, the heroine of Judith Weir's opera Blond Eckbert, making her way through a forest of woodcut style heavy black and white lines.
Fantoche '09, Baden/Schweiz - Der Mensch in der animation/Humans in Animation Sept 2009
Netherlands Institute for Animation - Masterclass and retrospective screening 2009
IO Projet festival Macchiagodena (IS), Italy 2008
Gijon International Film Festival, 2005 accompanied by a A Lifetime Achievement Award
International Film Festival Rotterdam - Retrospective Programme
British Animation Festival - Retrospective Programme
Holland Animation Festival - Retrospective Programme
UK National Film Theatre - Retrospective Programme
Image Forum Festival (Japan), Retrospective Programme, 2000
Locarno International Film Festival honoured him as the first short filmmaker to have a full retrospective for the Cinéastes du Présent section, 5-15 August 1998
Sao Paolo International Short Film Festival, August 1994
2009 - current: Course Director Lens-Based Masters in the Media Design & Communication Programme Piet Zwart Institute for Post-Graduate Studies & Research, Willem de Kooning Academy, Rotterdam University.
Fall 2007 – Jan 2009: Visiting Lecturer. Harvard University Department of VES.
2009: Finalist for the Harvard University Levenson Memorial Teaching Prize for excellence in undergraduate teaching.
2009: Supervising and nominating Professor for Harvard's Temple Hoopes Prize winner Tiffanie Hsu Three Beauties.
2008: Awarded Harvard University Derek Bok Center for Teaching & Learning Certificate of Distinction in Teaching.
2008: Jurymember Maaskantprijs 2008 Willem de Kooning Academie Rotterdam.
May 2007 – Jan 2009: Head of Department, Webster University's Leiden Media Communications Dept.
2000-2002: MEDIA funded ARISTA Story Editor Workshops, lecturing on screenwriting for animated and SFX films.
2000: Artist in Residence at the Hogeschool Sint-Lukas, Brussels, working with students during the year to create Story Browser: an interactive digital model of the deep structure of the Snow-White narrative that allows users to view many variations of the narrative. Exhibited as an installation at the Sint-Lukasgalerij.
1996- 1999: Chair of the Arts Council England Artist’s Film & Video Panel. Overseeing funding decisions and overall policy.
1995-1999: National Film and Television School (NFTVS), Beaconsfield, UK, Senior Tutor in the Animation Department, devising and writing the department’s curriculum for the 2 year MA course.
Also lectured and/or given masterclasses at the Royal College of Art, the Netherlands Institute for Animation Film, the Mediafonds@Sandberg, the Rhode Island School of Design and the Cologne Academy of Media Arts, and numerous symposia such as: National Film Theatre UK Textures of Reality: Animating the Unconscious RCA/NFTS 2005.
2009 – current: Research Project Leader affiliated to the Research Group (Kenniskring) of the Piet Zwart Institute Research Project (Lectoraat) Communication in a Digital Age.
2008-2009: Harvard University Film Study Center Fellowship. The fellowship supported research and development of new techniques of 'digital drawing'.
2007/2008: UK SkillSet Training Development Bursary. Developed a multi-director film-training scheme.
2005-2006: UK National Endowment for Arts and Science; Dream Time Fellowship for ‘outstanding practitioners in the arts and science’. One year researching the possibilities of appropriating new media creative strategies for developing new visual approaches in digital feature films.
1995 Research Bursary Arts Council High-Tech Research Bursary for moving image work.
Pummell. S., ‘Transmedia - New Forms of Media and new Forms of Teaching’,
Rotterdam SIGGRAPH Chapter, (March 25, 2009) http://project.wdka.nl/studienet/siggraph/pages/pageid05.html
Pummell, S., ‘Sync Sound...’, Sight and Sound Special Film Music Edition (2004)
Pummell, S., ‘Travis & Betsy in a 'A Night to Remember'’, Time Out (17 December, 2003)
Pummell, S., ‘Best Scene/Worst Scene’, The Independent (November, 2003)
Pummell, S., ‘Francis Bacon and Walt Disney revisited’, in: Jayne Pilling (ed.), A Reader in Animation Studies, London 1997
Pummell, S., ‘Cut Off Their Tales With A Carving Knife’, in: John Boorman and Walter Donohue (eds.), Projections 5 - Film-makers on Film-Making, London 1996
Pummell, S., ‘Of Rats and Men: Simon Pummell on Ladislaw Starewicz’, Sight and Sound May 1995
Pummell, S., ‘Will the Monster eat the film? Or the re-definition of British animation 1980 – 1994’, in: Michael O’Pray (ed.), The British Avant Garde Film 1926-1995, London 1996
1983 - 86 Masters Degree in Film and Television Practice. The Royal College of Art, London.
1977 - 80 English Language and Literature MA (Oxon). Mansfield College, Oxford University.
BOOKS & BOOK CHAPTERS
Substantial sections on Pummell's work can be found in:
Carels, E., ‘The Anatomy of Desire: Simon Pummell - een oeuvre in wording’, Andere Sinema Magazine (March/April 1998)
Curtis, D., (ed.), British Film & Video Artists, Arts Council England 1996
Furniss, M., The Animation Bible: A Guide to Everything from Flipbooks to Flash, Laurence King 2008
Hanson, M., ‘The End of Celluloid: Film Futures in the Digital Age’, Rotovision 2004
Kitson, C., ‘British Animation: The Channel Four Factor’, Parliament Hill Press/ Indiana University Press 2008
Morley, S., ‘The Animation of Simon Pummell: Nothing but Monsters’, Art and Design: Art and Animation, 1997
Pilling, J., ‘Animation: 2D and Beyond’, Rotovision 2001
Wells, P., ‘The Animated Bestiary’, Rutgers University Press 2009
PRESS ARTICLES (SELECTED)
Andrew, G., 'Bodysong', Time Out, (December 3, 2003)
Bitel, A., 'Bodysong: Images that Stun, Dazzle and Amuse' Movie-Gazette [internet border=0> available from http://www.movie-gazette.com/578/bodysong (accessed June 2010)
'Bodysong', Movie Insider, Issue 4 (Jan 2003)
‘Bodysong: Interview with Simon Pummell’, de Volkskrant (16 January 2003)
Bradshaw, N., 'Body Conscious', Time Out (3 December 2003)
Cardilli, D., (2004) 'Singing the Body Electric' International Documentary (June, 2004)
Dawson, N., 'Bodysong', Empire (January, 2004)
Dowling, S. (2003) 'Film Charts Life to Death Journey' BBC News [internet border=0>, available from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/3307939.stm (accessed 4 June 2010)
Duguid, M., 'Bodysong Reviewed' SIGHT & SOUND (January, 2004)
French, P., ‘Bodysong’, The Observer, (7 December, 2003)
‘Interview with Simon Pummell and Simon Ings’, Starburst SF Magazine (December, 1996)
James, N., 'It's a wonderful life', SIGHT & SOUND, (December, 2003)
La Guardia, F. 'Bodysong' , High Angle [internet border=0> Available from www.highangle.co.uk/reviews/bodysong (accessed August 2003)
Macnab, G., ‘Let’s get physical’, Rotterdam Film Festival Daily Tiger, (27 January, 2003)
McLean, C., 'Greenwood's film score taps into the rhythm of life', The Scotsman (31 October, 2003)
Norman, N., 'All human life is here', London Evening Standard (4 December, 2003)
'Not Dumb anymore', I.D. Magazine, January (2004)
Piscaer, L., ‘Een einde aan de beeldenstorm’, Rotterdam Film Festival Daily Tiger (27 January, 2003)
‘Ray Gun Fun’, Televisual 6 (1998)
Richards, J., 'A Radio Head's fine retuning', The Times Screen Section (4 December, 2003)
Selkokari, A., ‘Ruumistaan ei pakene kukaan’, Aamulehti (25 September, 2003)
‘Simon Pummell’, X<FUNS> Creative & Design Magazine No. 11 (April/May 2004)
Sinisalo, K., ‘Bodysong soi valkokankaalla, internet kertoo kuvientaustat’, Helsingin Sanomat (23 September, 2003)
Stigter, B., ‘De oogst van een eeuw filmbeelden’, NRC handelsblad (24 January, 2003)
Stubbs, D., 'Bodysong', Uncut (January, 2004)
Sunier, J. 'Extraordinary wordless collage film of great power' Audiophile Audition [internet border=0> available from http://www.audaud.com/article.php?ArticleID=431 (accessed June 2010)
Teenman, T., ‘Moving Picture’, The Times, Weekend Review (December 6, 2003)
‘Temptation of Sainthood’, XYZ: Design and Technology (May, 1993)
Thrift, J. ‘Butcher’s Hook’, Wired (November, 1996)
Turunen, S., ‘Tosi palaa elokuvaan’, Kainuun Sanomat (23 September, 2003)
‘Waking Dreams: The Multiple Worlds of Independent Film’, Entropy, (summer 1998)
Young, D., ‘Bodysong’, Variety (24 March, 2003)
Reviews on internet sites (Accessed June 2010):
Vines, C. I. (2003), 'Composing the Body Cinematic' [Internet border=0> http://www.subsystence.net/volume1/index.php?go=article2.htm
http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/collective/A1932239 (review soundtrack)
A beautiful, hypnotic experience that will show all audiences something they have never seen before. Even the most hardened cynic will be filled with a sense of wonder about human existence.”
Rated **** Empire
“This is a wonderful unique movie that must be seen.” Evening Standard
“The film provokes emotions aplenty: sadness, sympathy, anger…amazement and awe. Fascinating.”
“An impressive compilation film…a unique labor of love…a dazzling natural ballet.” Variety
“Extraordinary movie/montage featuring a soundtrack by Radiohead guitarist (Jonny Greenwood)…Overall, a powerful and prodigious achievement on the part of all concerned. Rated **** Uncut
“Extraordinary piece of cinema magic… a dizzying succession of scenes that will have you laughing, gasping, shuddering and gaping. To be seen, pure and simple.” Rated ***** Movie-Gazette
“Bodysong is an utterly mesmerizing and humbling portrait of humanity.” TIME Europe
“In particular Simon Pummell’s Temptation of Sainthood shines. Dramatising Freud’s famous case study of Daniel Paul Schreber, it is a rattling foray into the grotesque. At their best, shorts can grab the imagination in a way that features rarely do.” The Guardian
“The heritage of Peter Greenaway’s idiosyncratic short films of the 70s and 80s can be found a decade later in the dazzling works of Simon Pummell – intelligent, perverse and visually thrilling films which combine arcane or ancient elements with new technologies.” National Film Theatre
“Simon Pummell, whose animated and short fiction films have with an extra-ordinary imagination embraced both an alliance and conflict with the new technology, is one of the younger generation of film-makers who will inevitably become an acrobat on the high-wire of the new electronic networks.” Vertigo
“Simon Pummell’s award winning short film Butchers Hook is simple macabre and transfixing…told through astonishingly eerie effects. Post produced at the Mill, a top London effects house, it’s a combination of low-tech, moody, stop-frame animation and subtle digital effects. Pummell’s work consistently spans the divisions between old methods and new”.