ATEC International Animation Day 2020 ASIFA

International Animation Day

International Animation Day is a series of events organized by the Association Internationale du Film d’Animation that happen around the world each October since 2002. It encourages the exchange of international films and discussions around the art of animation. For the first time in Texas last year, International Animation Day event was organized locally by ATEC Assistant Professor Christine Veras at UT Dallas.

As part of the celebration of International Animation Day this year, ATEC will host round-table panels with guest scholars and industry professionals to discuss pressing topics concerning the field of animation.

The first panel on Oct. 14, is a historical background about International Animation Day and the efforts of ASIFA (Association Internationale du Film d’Animation) in bringing animators together.

The second panel on Oct. 21, involves a collaboration between the Experimental Animation Lab directed by Assistant Professor Christine Veras, and The Studio for Mediating Play, co-directed by ATEC Assistant Professors Ann Wu and Josef Nguyen, to open critical conversation about the importance of representation and inclusion in Animation and Games. Taken together, these discussions feature panelists from different cultural backgrounds with varying industry experience and expertise to demonstrate the importance of diversity and the need for inclusive content in the fields of animation and games.

To send your questions for the panel discussion visit the Representation and Inclusion in Animation and Games event details.

By celebrating International Animation Day at UT Dallas,  ATEC expands networking opportunities for students, contributes to the School’s social justice initiatives, continues their practice of cutting edge research and development in games and animation, and brings awareness of this topic to the local Texas region.

Schedule of Events

Spiritus Mundi: Animating The World

October 28 @ 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Special Guests

Meagan Byrne profile IAD 2020

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Meagan Byrne is an Âpihtawikosisân (Métis) digital media artist and game designer born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario. She has been creating digital interactive works since 2014 and is heavily influenced by both RPG games and all the stories she heard growing up. Her designs incorporate narrative, game mechanics, sound and traditional art and are deeply rooted in Indigenous Futurisms, language and Indigenous feminist theory. She sees her work as a constant struggle to navigate the complexities of Indigenous identity within a deeply colonized system. Meagan uses her work to explore questions of cultural belonging, the Indigenization of media and the future of Indigenous language and culture. Meagan is the current Owner/Lead Game Designer of Achimostawinan Games, an Indigenous-run and staffed video game studio.

Deanna Morse profile IAD 2020

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Deanna Morse is an independent filmmaker who specializes in animation and personal short films and videos. Her work has won awards at festivals, been screened internationally and is represented in permanent collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her films for children have been broadcast on Sesame Street and her experimental films have been on PBS and cable. She has been cited in numerous articles and books on contemporary animators, some of which including Experimental Animation by Starr and Russett and Women In Animation edited by Jaden Pilling. Morse is currently a Vice-President for ASIFA. She has also continued to teach animation, although now to children, through Animation Workshop Educators. Most recently, Morse was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences where she will get to view films in her category, judge the student academy awards, and weigh in on the finalists for the Oscars.

Crescent Novell profile IAD 2020

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Crescent Imani Novell is a television, film, and theater writer who’s currently staffed on an unannounced animated show for Mattel. She recently worked on Disney’s Amphibia and has freelanced for Nickelodeon’s Rugrats. In 2018-2019, she won the Nickelodeon Writing Fellowship and her scripts have also placed in respected contests such as NBC’s Writers on the Verge, Austin Film Festival, and The Guy Hanks Screenwriting Program. In addition to animation, Crescent writes live-action and is currently pitching a live-action feature. Before breaking into the industry, Crescent was a certificated educator, facilitator, theater teacher, spoken word artist, and playwright who wrote, directed, and choreographed 7 original plays with a cast of over 350 k-8 students. Her preferred genre is comedy, fantasy, romance, and adventurous stories for kids, family, and female-driven projects.

Momo Pixel profile IAD 2020

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Momo Pixel is an award winning Indie Game Designer, Art Director, and Musician. She studied at Savannah College of Art and Design before starting her career as copywriter making commercials for Nintendo. Later in 2017 with the help of Wieden+Kennedy, she released Hair Nah, a video game to keep people from touching black women’s hair. It quickly became a global sensation featured on CNN, Rolling Stone, Essence, Vice UK and many more. Pixel continued incorporating game design into her work, creating Momoland, an interactive pixel-art exhibition that merges technology, art, and video games together. With her virtual Momoland game and other arts, her work has been featured in the Tate Modern, Victoria and Albert Museum, Museum of African Diaspora, and more. With a bright aesthetic and a niche for honesty, her work aims to address social issues around culture and expand the space for black creatives.

Joy Tien profile IAD 2020

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Joy Tien is a CG artist who specialized in look development and lighting in animation. She is best at translating visual design into vivid 3D characters and bringing them to life. Joy has worked on numerous projects with clients like Nike, Coca-Cola, Oreo, Rice Krispie Snacks, and etc. Her work with Sherwin Williams, “Safari”, was awarded as best commercial in 2017 at the Brass Awards. As an activist in the CG industry, Joy has been promoting art and technology domestically & internationally. She has traveled and shared her passion for look development at the University of Incarnate Word in San Antonio (2019), Pratt in New York (2019 – 2020), and Taipei National University of the Arts in Taiwan in (2018). Her personal story was published in InCG magazine and podcast in Taiwan ( 2018 & 2020). Outside of work, Joy loves hosting art shows, making risograph & punch needling!

Brad Yarhouse profile IAD 2020

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R. Brad Yarhouse is a practicing animator, artist, and professor at Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids, Michigan in the Digital Art and Design undergraduate program and Visual and Critical Studies MFA program. As an animator, he worked on “Beyond Freedom,” which was nominated in 2006 for best short of the year at the Berlin Film Festival. In 2013 his short film “The Box” was selected as part of the Best Animation from ASIFA at the Canlandiranlar Animators Festival in Istanbul, Turkey. His essays on contemporary animation and comics have been included in a number of publications including the Journal of Animation History and Theory and the International Journal of Comic Art. He speaks regularly on these topics at conferences around the world, including in 2015 for the Society for Animation Studies in Canterbury, England and The Comics Electric: A Digital Comics Symposium in Hertfordshire, England.

About ATEC, Header

ATEC International Animation Day Planning Commitee

Christine Veras feature IAD 2020

Christine Veras

Dr. Christine Veras is a scholar and artist, originally from Brazil, researching the integration of physical and digital technologies to explore the multimedia possibilities of animation. She has completed her PhD at the School of Art, Design, and Media at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

Among her works, Christine has invented a new international prize-winning and now patented animated illusion device called Silhouette Zoetrope, which is now part of the permanent collection of the Children’s Museum in Dresden, Germany and of the Swiss Science Center Technorama in Winterthur, Switzerland.

Her fields of expertise combine theory and practice, including disciplines related to History of Animation, Cinema and New Media, as well as Experimental Animation, Interactive installations, and Graphic Design. Dr. Veras is currently an Assistant Professor in the Animation and Games area at ATEC.

Josef Nguyen feature IAD 2020

Josef Nguyen

Dr. Josef Nguyen’s research engages science and technology studies, media studies, and feminist and queer game studies. He is currently working on a book manuscript, The Makings of Digital Youth and Creativity in Early Twenty-First-Century America. This book examines contemporary debates regarding youth and digital media within the context of precarious creative economy discourses. Additionally, he is interested in digital technologies of play and the politics of consent. He has published work in ConfigurationsCultural Politics, and Transformative Works and Cultures.

In his teaching, Nguyen foregrounds critically and politically-oriented approaches to the study and production of digital media and culture. He has taught courses including “Experimental Game Design,” “Political Economy of Digital Media,” and “Critical Game Studies.”

Nguyen previously earned a PhD in English from the University of California, Davis as well as an MS in Information and Computer Science from the University of California, Irvine. Dr. Nguyen is currently an Assistant Professor in the Animation and Games area at ATEC.

Ann Wu feature IAD 2020

Ann Wu

Hong-An (Ann) Wu is a community-based educator, new media artist, and interdisciplinary researcher who investigates the intersection of critical pedagogy and play. Her research interests also include game and play studies, games and learning, feminist science and technology studies and new media arts education.

Specifically, Wu’s work focuses on developing pedagogical approaches that activate civic engagement through the creation and use of digital and interactive technologies, such as video games, for social justice. In addition, she has presented her research at regional, national, and international conferences, such as Games+Learning+Society, and has been published in Visual Arts Research, among others.

Wu received her PhD in Art Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where her action research dissertation challenged existing games as cultural systems with youth through prosumer development and critical play in community-based settings. Dr. Wu is currently an Assistant Professor in the Animation and Games area at ATEC.

Featured ATEC Research Labs and Studios

  • Experimental Animation Lab Logo
  • Experimental Animation Lab - Visual Music
  • Experimental Animation - Visual Music 3


The Experimenta.l. Animation Lab, is a new collaborative space for creative research and critical practices in animation that welcomes the participation of undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and external collaborators. We encourage experimentation via a variety of techniques, tools, and interfaces. We introduce and invite collaborators to exchange ideas that challenge traditional understandings of animation to open discussion of alternative possibilities that will inform and challenge current practices in the field. This includes, though is not limited to, the remixing of old and new technologies and uncovering creative connections through the understanding of the applications and implications of more experimental and material processes of animation.

Faculty Advisor(s) – Christine Veras

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Studio for Mediating Play

The Studio for Mediating Play integrates critical research and creative practices with intersectional feminist theory and criticism to address pressing social and material issues through engagements with and about play. The studio treats play both as a significant cultural phenomena of study as well as grounding for critical research and practice, exploring how play is shaped by and can probe existing systems of power. The Studio for Mediating Play draws inspiration from art, performance, and other studio-based practices. From designing experimental games to examining fandom and reception practices, The Studio for Mediating Play investigates how play both mediates and is mediated by cultural and material forces.

Faculty Advisor(s) – Josef Nguyen, Hong-An Wu

  • The Studio for Mediating Play logo
  • Student playing game at Experimental Entertainment Expo
  • Students conversing around project at Experimental Entertainment Expo
  • Student playing game at Experimental Entertainment Expo