Erodium Thunk Erodium Thunk

In this ongoing series, we profile the most interesting independent animation filmmakers working today — the artists who, through short films and other projects, change our ideas of what the medium can do.

This week’s subject is Canadian collage and stop-motion animator Winston Hacking.

In a sentence: Manic, anarchistic collage hallucinations, Hacking’s work is freewheeling chaos – mind-twirling wonders that seep inside you before you even have a clue why or how.

Where to start: Erodium Thunk (2017). A mindbending piece that feels like you’ve wandered into the mind and memory of a child from the 1970s or 1980s, a broken soul littered with fragments of magazine ads and tv commercials. Each ad image is disrupted by pieces of other ads, creating a warped and surreal imagery that combines nostalgia and satire. Hacking takes the safe, familiar images and savagely alters them with all sorts of strange and surreal interruptions.

What to watch next: Animal Collective’s “We Go Back” (2022, co-directed with Michael Enzbrunner). Another extraordinary piece of collage work made mostly on a phone, with an assortment of found materials.

Other key works: Soupcans’s “Siamese Beauty” (2015), Flying Lotus’s “Post-Requisite” (2017), Washed Out’s “Burn out Blues” (2017)

Influences: Being traumatized and simultaneously entranced by the Bernard Lodge designed Doctor Who intro that would come onto the television early in the morning when I was a child. Seeing experimental animation or “experitainment” in music videos via Much Music’s The Wedge in the late 1990s. Living with noise musicians in Toronto and being exposed to DIY music packaging from Beniffer Editions. Working for music video director Christopher Mills and embracing all things wrinkled, torn, and shiny. Sharing a studio in Montreal with Seripop (Chloe Lum and Yannick Desranleau).”

Says: “It’s a certain type of person that wants to deconstruct and mess with things. Some people are more serious about collages than others, but I’m definitely not one of those. I’m doing it for myself and I’m trying to discover a new process. There’s so much more for collage, in terms of coming up with processes and discovering things and that’s what keeps me going.”

Currently working on: Upcoming projects include a short film with Michael Enzbrunner and commissioned experimental animations for biotech company Silent Labs.

Pictured at top: Erodium Thunk


Chris Robinson

Chris Robinson is a writer and Artistic Director of the Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF). Robinson has authored thirteen books including Between Genius and Utter Illiteracy: A Story of Estonian Animation (2006), Ballad of a Thin Man: In Search of Ryan Larkin (2008), and Japanese Animation: Time Out of Mind (2010). He also wrote the screenplay for the award-winning animation short, Lipsett Diaries.