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Monday, 12 March 2007

Mark & John Lycette

I first encountered the Australian Lycette brothers, Mark and John, from their “self promotional” series, Not My Type. This witty series is notable for being formed entirely from the key symbols, letters and numbers, on the keyboard. Thus in my particular favourite, Not My Type 3, the figure arrives on screen to the accompanying click of the keyboard letter by letter, until he is formed. Then he glides to the side as the space bar is pressed. The artwork is very clever. For example, the apostrophe shape moves on the forehead to register changing expression, and the mouths are formed from the “o” or the “i “ letters. The story too is fun as our hero attempts to gain the affections of the typist but is beaten by the better man, with a more stylish mobile ‘phone. Mark and John also have lots of commercial work and their website repays scrutiny. Their witty use of text seems to have paid dividends with their work for telephone companies. I particularly like I Ride Over Alphabet Town with its continuation of alphabet images and the use of a tightrope cyclist above the blue rooftops. The Modern Compendium of Miniature Automata is unlike anything I have seen before as the books can be opened in Flash and all sorts of interesting uses made of the devices.
And these are the scenes my year 10 students are working on as I write: Lewiss Needham is getting to work in his kitchen, Nicola Bland is nursing a baby, Steven Szollosi is playing with a mobile phone despite rules to the contrary, Sam Stafford/Stephen Turner/Rhys Fowler struck matches and weaved in and out of traffic and finally, Jack Whitmore has his caveman being given a headache. Meanwhile Richard Dickinson and Connor Adams have been creating lots of movie clips and only now is their animation taking shape – this one is a rather weird figure.

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