Connected Ink 2023 feature image

Connected Ink Recap: The PAR Lab’s innovative climate change animation project

November 15, 2023

The Penn Animation as Research Lab, co-directed by Simon Richter and Joshua Mosley, is an innovative project at the University of Pennsylvania that combines science and art to communicate emerging research related to climate and the environment in a uniquely engaging way. UPenn students have a unique opportunity to bring together interests too often kept separate in university environments, in order to both engage in meaningful scientific inquiry as well as create projects that can communicate that research to the masses.

As part of the Lab, the Penn Climate Animation and Research Studio brings six students together into a mobile animation studio to both conduct research and work on an animation project on location. As part of the project, students traveled to the Netherlands to learn more, meet experts, and “critically reflect on emerging adaptation strategies with the intent of producing works of art that inform and influence policymakers and communities.” To learn more about the PAR Lab and Wacom, check out the previous blog post we published about them here.

Wacom was proud to have Joshua Mosley and two of the student Animator Researchers as part of our 2023 Connected Ink event. A recording of that event is below, as well as an embed of the animation they shared during the event.

The project

In the Netherlands, students spent a month on location observing areas affected by climate change, meeting experts as well as local artists, and beginning work on their animation project, which will become a part of Project Poldergeist.

UPenn Event 1
Students storyboarding their animation project in a farmhouse in Haastrecht, Netherlands

Project Poldergeist, also co-directed by Richter and Mosley, is an online animation experiment combining video animation and climate science in an attempt to make climate research more engaging and easier to understand. Students in the Penn Climate Action in Research Studio are currently hard at work on two animations based on the research done during their trip. They shared one of them during the Connected Ink presentation, and the second one is still in development. Here’s the first one:

Upcoming Wacom Connected Ink Presentations

Connected Ink is Wacom’s celebration of art, technology and creative chaos. It creates a space for continuous exploration about the future of human creativity by bringing imaginative and curious people from all walks of life together to ask questions, exchange ideas, and inspire each other about new and alternative ideas at the convergence of art, education, science, and technology.

The Penn Climate Animation and Research Studio presented on Wednesday, November 1st, but theirs is just one of a slate of engaging Connected Ink sessions exploring technology and creativity. The event is almost over, but there are a few sessions left:

Connected ink 2023

November 15, 2023: The Art of Panchita!!: How Unsaid Studio made an animated film from scratch

Unsaid Studio created an animated short film called Panchita!!, based on the true story of a South American girl with dreams of tap dancing. The film was made in collaboration with TECHO, an NGO that builds homes for people in need. Unsaid Studio used 3D animation software and Wacom hardware to create the world of Panchita!!, and worked closely with TECHO to ensure the film accurately represented the lives of people living in informal settlements. The film is more than just a movie; it is also a way to raise awareness and fight poverty.

Doug Bello // Unsaid Studio Co-founder, Panchita!! Director
Keka Petrich // Unsaid Studio EP, Panchita!! Lead Producer

Wednesday, November 15, 2023, 2:30pm PST
Attend or bookmark the webinar: YouTube Livestream Link

WIA and

November 16, 2023: The mentorship balance: Navigating mentorship rewards and challenges

While mentorship is widely acknowledged as a driving force behind career advancement and industry innovation, the mentor’s perspective is often overlooked. The investment of a mentor’s time and expertise is invaluable, yet it requires a significant commitment that can impact other areas of life. In this discussion, Kate Menz and Aydrea Walden of Women in Animation will delve into the nuanced experiences of mentors with the aim of equipping mentors with the strategies they need to empower both themselves and their mentees. Join us to gain insights into how mentorship can be both enriching for the industry and sustainable for mentors themselves.

Kate Menz // Program Manager, Women in Animation
Aydrea Walden // Mentor and Mentor coach, Women in Animation

Thursday, November 16, 2023, 12:00pm PST
Attend or bookmark the webinar: YouTube Livestream Link

December 7, 2023: ‘Back to the Forest’ themed Drink & Draw @ the Wacom Experience Center PDX

Join us in celebrating Connected Ink in-person at our December Drink & Draw event. Draw along with fellow artists and our amazing creative community in Portland, Oregon.

Thursday, December 7, 2023, 6:00pm – 9:00pm PST
Address: 1455 NW Irving St. Portland, Oregon 97209
Google Maps:

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