Alfe in “Gone Cabin Carzy”
Alfe in “Gone Cabin Carzy” is an animated short by the collective group of Paper Rad. In a style of a tv show pilot the animation follows three characters Alfe, Horace, and Roba as they sit in their home and contemplate the apparent end of the world with seemingly random conversations. As events continue unfold the trio discover the source of the noise they thought to be the apocalypse. This ends in the group making a cardboard car and remembering a weird rave filled rendition of Muppet babies aptly named “Alfe Babies” that had played out of a bear's stomach.
The colorful palette of the short animation and the overall style of the video has a strange retro feel to it, almost as if it's a show from the past that was just never discovered until recently. This overhaul of older cartoons and styles added with new characters and concepts makes a new and entirely unique sense of animation style and experience.Liz Ohanesian describes the art style that Paper Rad uses, saying it
“ Is a careful balancing act between the familiar and whimsical. There are references to a past you know, but it's never nostalgic.” Ohanesian, Liz(2011, December 1)The Problem Solverz Creator Ben Jones: Using Video Games 'Like Religion'
One member of the collective group wrote about their works stating
“In the '70s and '80s cartoons and consumer electronics were bigger and trashier than ever and freaked kids out... Now these kids are getting older and are freaking everybody else out by using this same throw-away trash.” Ciocci, Jacob(2002, December 5) Electronic Arts Intermix
The first time experiencing the short, it is absorbing with it’s visual style and peculiar characters and overall design. So much so that the conversations and events on screen almost only played a background part to the engulfing art style. One can see that the agenda of the piece is more to present the distinctive animation and art style and less about the story. The elaborate juxtaposition of recycled pop art and the basic colorful world show how even things seen as basic can be taken to another level of creation with some artistic distortion and adaptation. The quote from Jacob Ciocci really captures what the piece is about as the creators set out to create entertaining art that reflects and mimics the absurdity of cartoons of their childhood, while bringing in their own art style making fantastic animated shorts.
The style is similar to other works by Paper Rad, specifically the kids show that had a short run on Cartoon Network called Problem Solverz(http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1893088/ ). The cartoon network show was actually spawned from the same characters in Alfe in “Gone Cabin Carzy” , however, the original short is much more artistic as the creators were not limited by the parameters of a kid friendly show. The fact that the focus is on the art and creation of the world made it so the artists could put their characters into any situation that came with the kid friendly adventures of the show regardless of the limitations, while still maintaining the style and purpose behind the art. The work of Paper Rad brings to mind Noah Lyon and his work as both have colorful minimalism that combines to create a unique sensory experience. Using popular and well known characters in some of his work Lyon has a similar style to Paper Rads when using familiar characters in an imaginative manner. The piece below showcases the style well as it uses pop characters and brightly colored minimalism to explore real issues such as the economy and the overall style and message provide a social critique on the world.
Alfe in “Gone Cabin Carzy” has been featured in the following exhibitions.
Other resources about artists and works