AnimationCaroline Robert Discusses Her New Interactive Internet Mission 'Brainstream'

Caroline Robert Discusses Her New Interactive Internet Mission ‘Brainstream’


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Brainstream’s animation and design are comparatively, and appropriately, easy. Reminiscent in components of Peter Foldes’s basic NFB movie Starvation (1974), the uncooked, scribbly look aptly matches the best way many individuals draw (whereas channeling one thing of their inside chaos). Viewers — we’re led to consider we’re amongst many simultaneous members — are requested by D to make use of their pc mouse to therapeutic massage her.

The massaging triggers completely different components of her mind, distorts and generates new photos. Through the expertise (which we select to take part in for both 5 or 20 minutes), we see D’s reminiscences, from which we study her household, associates, and college life, her assorted menial actions (slicing her hair herself, unclogging a bathroom, educating her little sister how farts work), and her demons of disgrace, guilt, and nervousness.


“I needed to experiment with second animation and create some type of residing matter that would react in actual time to the touch. We did some experiments like this in previous initiatives for the NFB,” says Robert, who continuously collaborates along with her AATOAA (and Brainstream) colleagues Vincent Morisset and coder Édouard Lanctôt-Benoit; the group beforehand made the interactive work BLA bla for the NFB. “I additionally needed to make use of animation to morph at any time with out a timeline,” she provides.

It’s an enchanting thought. On the one hand, we be taught extra about social nervousness, self-loathing, and the unpredictability of the mind. D addresses her points in a humorous, self-deprecating method that takes the sting off them, for her and us. As viewers, we discover consolation in D’s openness. She humanizes her experiences, making them relatable, humorous, and fixable.

“I needed to create characters that have been annoying, however that grow to be cute in a manner in order that we are able to distance ourselves from them and never take them so significantly,” provides Robert. “We might be so intense with ourselves and say issues to ourselves which can be actually imply.”


Brainstream is relatable for any age group, however youngsters will little question join strongly. The selection of a teenage feminine protagonist aptly displays the prevalence of tension amongst younger folks rising up within the age of social media and the web. They’re being bombarded with info, photos, and fixed bs. Many don’t but have the instruments to type the nice from the nonsense.

“I’ve a lot of associates with children who’ve lots of nervousness,” says Robert. “It wasn’t my unique intention to make one thing for younger women or younger folks typically, however many children have extra nervousness than ever.”

Brainstream can also be subtly subversive in that it encourages viewers to make use of their mouse for a goal with extra which means than scrolling via social media feeds. “We spend a lot time and power simply shifting our fingers or mouse, and I believed that possibly I might do one thing to benefit from this power, to translate it into one thing that would assist somebody,” says Robert. “This was the premise of the mind therapeutic massage thought. A tiny gesture could possibly be gratifying and significant not directly. You’ll be serving to somebody simply by touching your display screen.”


At instances, Brainstream feels too facile. Lots of the points it addresses are linked to our society. We live in a hyper-consumerist, capitalist system that doesn’t go well with us. The system is making us sick and to know that, we have to transcend a person’s mind and discover the social and financial situations triggering these psychological well being points. Granted, that’s a giant, messy, difficult problem with no in a single day cures.

However as viewers, we really feel higher from listening to D. Hers is sort of a protected, pleasant voice in our head (enhanced by Mathieu Charbonneau’s delicate, nearly ASMR-like soundscape). We really feel we’ve helped her, and in doing so we really feel a bit higher about ourselves.

Brainstream reminds us that human connection — with the ability to pay attention and have interaction with one another — is essential to discovering some inside concord. After we see that we’re on this shit collectively, it will possibly make the demons much more manageable, and even laughable.

Expertise “Brainstream” right here.

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