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Steven Woloshen
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"Scratch. Crackle & Pop!

EXPLORE FILM!Plunge into the visceral, energetic world of handmade filmmaking with this unique, easy-to-read…Continue

Started Jul 1, 2015

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The films of Montréal-based filmmaker Steven Woloshen remind us what a pure pleasure animation can be, while at the same time opening the field up to ideas and methods that remain unexplored in most animation. Woloshen first made his presence known with a series of promising short 16mm films in the early 1980s. These introduced the fundamental techniques and stylistic traits that he would explore in later work: abstract “direct” or “cameraless” animation; a close parallel relationship between source music and image; the combination of abstract graphics with linguistic signs; the visual contrast of hard-edged shapes against more organic curvilinear forms; extremely brief visual phrases leading into longer, more stable ones; and intense splashes of color set against neutral black or white lines and shapes. (“Direct” or cameraless” animation, the field out of which Woloshen’s entire practice grows, encompasses an open-ended set of techniques in which an artist works directly on the film strip, adding to it with inks, paints or dyes, adhesive tapes or transparent objects, or etching into the emulsion with sharp implements.)
Following a hiatus of more than a decade, during which he worked in various capacities in the film industry, on-set and in the laboratory, Woloshen returned to his own filmmaking in the late 1990s. It’s clear that his years working in the commercial industry were far from wasted: Woloshen’s films “post-hiatus” are extraordinarily assured, showing enormous progress in aesthetics, graphic technique and understanding of lab processes. In a series of extraordinarily accomplished 35mm Cinemascope films that quickly became worldwide festival favorites – including Get Happy (1999), Ditty Dot Comma (2001) and Bru Ha Ha! (2002) – Woloshen showed that he had honed his basic tools to a fine point. These films express the joy of music, movement, color and shape, in the tradition of direct animation pioneered by Len Lye, Norman McLaren and Harry Smith.
Soon Woloshen began to explore new paths as well. Too restless and experimental a spirit to be satisfied solely with the creation of these delightful abstract entertainments, he began to develop hybrid forms combining his advanced direct animation techniques with other forms of filmmaking. Moving and mysterious films such as The Babble On Palms (2001) and Two Eastern Hair Lines (2004) marry animated graphics with traditional cinematographic images, while a recent “archaeological” series that includes Chronicle Re-Constructions (2008) explores the organic decay of film emulsion. The Cave (2001), a one-off experiment, attests to a conceptual interest in film as an object: unlike most films, The Cave exists only as a single hand-made original, subject to gradual deterioration through repeated projection. Phont Cycle (2006) returns to the use of arbitrary linguistic signs from early films such as Son of Dada (1982). Here, the Tibetan letter “AH” appears from a central point, the lines flowing down and outwards like lava flows, then retracting upwards to leave the screen black. This gesture, like breathing, is repeated over and over, but the colors and textures of the letter change with each iteration, so that the film’s insistent repetition is also inflected by differentiation.
As Steven Woloshen’s work has become more diverse, it has become clear that he is an artist concerned not only with abstraction and animation, but also with essential questions about different forms of representation and signification. To watch Woloshen’s films is, first, to experience the pleasure of filmmaking engaged in a virtuoso play with its most basic elements. But the range of his work, and the divergent paths along which it has moved, show an inquisitive mind, curious to see how fundamentally different modes of graphic expression can be brought into play, into meaningful tension, in a single work of art.
– Chris Gehman

Filmography (1977 - 2023):


Montreal born artist, Steven Woloshen (BFA, MFA Studio Arts) has been passionately creating short abstract films and time-based-art installation pieces since 1977. He has been invited to show his work, has lectured on the subject of handmade analogue film techniques and has been commissioned to create unique films for artist - run centers, international film festivals and galleries. In 2010, he published his first book on the subject of decay, archiving and handmade filmmaking techniques, titled “Recipes for Reconstruction: The Cookbook for the Frugal Filmmaker.”


Experimental short film and Installation titles: 1977 - 2019


Brushstrokes (1977)Line and Dot (1978) Son of Dada (1982)Cat’s Cradle (1982)Didre Novo (1983)You’re No Fun... (1983)Hey Papa Dey (1983)Pepper Steak (1984)Love Stinks (1984)Los Endos (1996)Get Happy (1999)MeMeMaMa (2000)Ditty Dot Comma (2001)The Cave (2001)The Babble On Palms (2002)Bru Ha Ha! (2002)Cameras Take Five (2003)Minuet (2003)Two Eastern Hair Lines(2004) Shaving Shania (2004)SNIP (2004)The Curse of the Voodoo Child (2005)Rebuttal (2005)Changing Evan (2006)Phont Cycle (2006)Shimmer Box Drive (2007)A step-by-step guide to... (2007)RH Factor (2008)Chronicle Reconstructions (2008)Scrapbook (2008)Optical Itzak (2008)La Dolce Vita (2008)Editorial (2009)The Homestead Act (2009)Fleeing Rotland (2009)Vista(2009) Zero Visibility (2009)Playtime (2009)Try to remain calm (2010)2010Melbourne Festival Trailer    The Rossetta Stone (2010) Fiesta Brava (2011) Visual Music for Ten Voices (2011)When the Sun Turns into Juice (2011)Free Speech (2012)Frobisher Bay (2012)Crossing Victoria (2013)Where The sidewalk Ends (2013)35 Below/Stars Above (2013) The Lost World (2013) 1000 Plateaus (2004 – 2014) (2014) VTIFF 2015 Signal Film (2015) Implosion( 2016) Apparent Wind (2016) VTIFF 2016  signal film (2016) Casino(2016) A National Tapestry (2017) This shadow, over each departure (2018) The Dead Sea Scrolls( 2018)    Objects Within (2018)Father Knows Father Best (2018) Rhythm in the Backstroke ( 2019) Organic ( 2019) Perf Dance ( 2022)

Galleries and Museums exhibitions:

@Gallery    Hamilton Media Arts Centre   Uxbridge Arts Festival Sudbury Art Gallery   Reina Sofia Museum Ed Video Media Arts Centre   Museum of Fine Arts Houston International House FOFA Gallery The Robert McLaughlin Gallery Christopher Cutts Gallery   Satellite Gallery   Saw Gallery   Art Mur The Barbican Gallery

Film Festivals screenings:

Oberhausen Short Film Festival Montreal World Film Festival Tampere Int’l Short Film Festival Annecy Animated Film Festival Images film Festival Arte TV  European Media arts Festival Rotterdam Int’l Film Festival     Ottawa International Animation Festival     Hamburg International Short Film Festival Zagreb international Animation Festival   Leipzig Film Festival 25 FPS Festival Nouveau Film et Media   Ann Arbor Film Festival   VIS Toronto International Film Festival



Awards and Recognition:

2016                            Conseil des arts et des lettres du Quebec – Travel grant

                                    2016 Prix René Jodoin Lifetime Achievement Award – Cinematheque Quebecoise/ Les sommets du cinema

                                    Canada Council for the Arts - research and creation grant

2015                            Conseil des arts et des lettres du Quebec – Travel grant

                                    2015 Wiesbaden Cultural Award Prize - lifetime achievement award.

                                    Canada Council for the Arts  - Travel Grant

                                    Animatou Animation Festival - Best Editing  -  "1000 Plateaus"

                                    Canada Council for the Arts  - Travel Grant

2014                            Audio Z award for best sound – Prends sa court/RCVQ - Crossing Victoria

                                    Artistic Director’s award – Festival Etuide & Anima _Poland – 1000 Plateaus

                                    Best abstract film in session  - Melbourne Int’l Animation Festival – 1000 Plateaus

                                    CFI award -Best Canadian short animation  - 1000 Plateaus

                                    Conseil des arts et des lettres du Quebec  - promotion grant

                                    Conseil des arts et des lettres du Quebec – Travel grant

                                    Canada Council for the Arts  - Travel Grant

2013                            Main Film  - Film Factory residency

                                    Conseil des arts et des lettres du Quebec  - Travel Grant

                                    Canada Council for the Arts  - Travel Grant

                                    Ottawa Animation festival - Honorable Mention Crossing Victoria

2012                            Sodec  - Travel Grant

2011                            Canada Council for the Arts – Research and Creation Grant

 Punto y Raya/Dot and Line festival – Honorable Mention – Visual Music for 10 Voices

                                    Canada Council for the Arts – Travel Grant

                                    Conseil des arts et des lettres du Quebec  - Travel Grant

                                    Vienna Independent Shorts Film Festival – Special Mention Playtime

2010                            Conseil des arts et des lettres du Quebec  - Research/Creation Grant

                                    Conseil des arts et des lettres du Quebec  - 2 Travel Grants

                                    Canada Council for the Arts – Travel Grant

                                    Ottawa Animation festival - Honorable Mention Playtime

                                    Jutra Nomination for best Animation: Playtime

2009                            Incendo Production Scholarship – Concordia University.

                                    Conseil des arts et des lettres du Quebec  - Travel Grant

                                    Toronto Animated Image Society Commission – Playtime

2008                            GBC Asset Management Scholarship - Concordia University

                                    Conseil des arts et des lettres du Quebec  - Research/Creation Grant

                                    Conseil des arts et des lettres du Quebec  - Travel Grant

2007                            Avi and Dora Morrow Fellowship Award - Concordia University

                                    Conseil des arts et des lettres du Quebec  - Travel Grant

                                    Main Film Commission  - A Step By Step Guide To...

2006                            Ottawa Animation festival - Honorable Mention Changing Evan

                          Jutra Nomination for best Animation: The Curse of the Voodoo Child

                                    Department of Foreign Affairs and Int’l Travel – Travel Grant

2005                            Canada Council for the Arts – Travel Grant

2004                            Jutra Nomination for best Animation: Two Eastern Hair Lines

Canada Council for the Arts – Completion Grant

Images film and Video Festival Commission – Shaving Shania

2003       I Castelli Animate Film Festival- Best Abstract Short Film: Cameras Take Five

Department of Foreign Affairs and Int’l Travel – Travel Grant

Canada Council for the Arts – Travel Grant

Images film and Video Festival Commission  - Minuet

2002 Montreal Jewish Student Film Festival: - Best Experimental film: Ditty Dot Comma


Sept 2016                    "Masterclass: Steven Woloshen" - 2016 Festival Animasivo  - Mexico City

July 2016                     "Profile: Steven Woloshen" -  2016 Fest Anča - Zilina, Slovakia

March 2016                "Absolutely Abstract in Lisbon" - 2016 Lisbon International Animation Festival

October 2015              “Scratch, Crackle and Pop” 2015 Weisbaden Weekend of Animation- Germany

September 2015          “Scratch, Crackle and Pop” 2015 Anima Cordoba Animation Festival  - Argentina

October 2014              “Scratch, Crackle and Pop” 2014 London Int’l Animation Festival

August 2014                “The Mechanical Paradise: The Films of Steven Woloshen”  - Cine Cycle, Toronto.

July 2014                     “Scratchatopia in Poznan” – Animator: The International Festival of Animation  -Poznan

March 2014                 “Abstractions and Light in North Africa  - 2014 FICAM animation Festival, Meknes, Morocco.

March 2013                “Light Tripping: The Films of Steven Woloshen” – U. of Western Ontario/McIntosh Gallery

November 2012          “From McLaren to Woloshen”- 2012 Sommets du cinema d’animation  -Montreal

March 2012                “From McLaren to Woloshen” – 2012 Fete L’Amin – Lille, France

March 2012                “Scratchatopia” – Lightcone projection, Paris

October 2011              “Jury Program” – Steven Woloshen – Anim’est, Bucharest, Romania

August 2010                “Technical Focus: Steven Woloshen” – 2010 London Int’l Animation Festival

June      2010               “Technical Focus: Steven Woloshen” – 2010 Melbourne Animation Festival

Feb.      2009               “Steven Woloshen” – 2009 Brussels Animation and Cartoon Festival.

Dec.      2007              “Retrospektiva Stevena Woloshena” - Animateka, Ljubljana.                                             

April     2006               “Steven Woloshen in Person” - Ontario Cinematheque.                                      

Nov.     2005               “Framings, Fluxes” - Canadian Film Institute.

Feb.      2005               Montreal Children’s Film Festival.                                                                                          

Oct.      2002               “Scratchatopia” - Toronto Animated Image Society.                                                          

Oct.      2002               “Unsung Heroes of Animation” - Ottawa International Animation Festival.                                         

Feb.      2002               “Carte Blanche a Steven Woloshen” - Cinematheque Quebecois.                   

Filmmaking Workshops/Artists Talks:

06/2011                       Paint and Scratch on Film- Main Film Co-op

10/ 2010                        Master class: Steven Woloshen – OIAF

08 /2010                       scratch and paint on film - London Int’l Animation Festival

06/ 2010                        scratch and paint on film – 2010 Melbourne Animation Festival

05/ 2010                        Paint and Scratch on Film - Main Film Co-op.

02/ 2010                        Go Big or Go Home:  “Strategies of the Medium” – LIFT

06/ 2008                        Les Salon Rencontres  - Main Film Co – Op.

12/ 2007                        Scratchatopia in Ljubljana, Slovenia.           

06/ 2006                        Scratchatopia at the South West Alternative Media Project.        

04/ 2006                        Scratchatopia at the Toronto Animated Image Society.              

11/ 2005                        IFCO Film Co-op.                                     

06/ 2003                        Annecy International Animation Festival.           

10/ 2002                        Toronto Animated Image Society.                          

1984 - present                John Abbott College - Mel Hoppenhiem School of Cinema          

DVD Compilations and Publishing:

Recipes for Reconstruction – Scratchatopia Books. Montreal. 2010.

Eleven In Motion – DVD: “Playtime”. Toronto Animated Image Society. Toronto. 2010

Volatile Materials - DVD National Film Board of Canada – “Cameras Take Five” 

Best of the 2008 London Int’l Animation Fest  - DVD– “Changing Evan” London. 2008

Made by Hand – DVD Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre – “Two Eastern Hair Lines”

Spotlight Series: Steven Woloshen –DVD Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre

The Sharpest Point: Animation at the End of Cinema ed. Chris Gehman, p.175. 256 -258

Animation Show of Shows- DVD vol. 6, Acme Filmworks. Los Angeles. 2005.


Permanent Collections:

Concordia University Quickdraw Animation Society    Netherlands Filmmuseum     New Zealand School of Art and Design    The Squeaky Wheel Collective     Art Institute of Chicago     The Center for Visual Music Duke University Library   Cinematheque Quebecoise     Animation Journal     Pixar Animation Studios      Animation World Network      Lightcone     University of Waikato, New Zealand     Emily Carr School of Art and Design     York University



2011                        Romanian, Balkanimation &Student competition – Anim’est, Romania

2010                         Australian competition- Melbourne International Animation Festival

2010                         International competition- London International Animation Festival

2006                         Genie Nomination Committee

2006                         Montreal Super -8 Film Festival                       

2005                         Genie Nomination Committee

2004                         Montreal Super -8 Film Festival           

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Steven Woloshen's Blog

Scratch, Crackle and Pop!

The Indiegogo financing campaign for my second book has officially begun. Here is the contribution link:

thank you my friends.
Steven Woloshen

Posted on April 2, 2013 at 8:33am

The new "Scratchatopia" site

Posted on February 17, 2012 at 6:06am

Recipes For Reconstruction



************* NOW IN IT’S 3RD PRESSING************************************

Veteran animator and filmmaker, Steven Woloshen is pleased to announce the publication of the second edition of “Recipes for Reconstruction: The Cookbook for the Frugal Filmmaker.” This book introduces a variety of simple artistic strategies…


Posted on November 20, 2011 at 7:00am

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