Janeann Dill's BLOG: IIACI
Advancing the practice and study of the arts across the disciplines.
Janeann Dill's Blog


"While the cultural differences are enormous between the two, the love of learning and taking intellectual risks remains constant" is an iconic quote you wrote in your article "IIACI TRAVELS TO SAUDI ARABIA!" It is the doctrine for every knowledge scholar whatever his\her educational background. 


I cited your remarkable quotation in my lecture, "The Asfari Institution for Civil Society and Citizenship (AICC): A Realistic Approach towards the Future or Another Systematic Organization," trying to show the importance of knowledge for all countries and cultures.


تقارن الدكتورة جانيان ديل من "معهد الفن التخصصي والفكر الإبداعي" بعد زيارتها لدار الحكمة في المملكة العربية السعودية بين الشوق للتعلم في الغرب المتقدم ومحاولاتنا النهضوية العربية بقولها :"


Habib al-Badawi

Beirut, Lebanon

Historian and Author:

The Political History of Japan between the Two World Wars تـاريـخ اليـابـان السـياسـي بـين الحـربـين العـالمـيتـين

ISBN 9786144025550

To read full article, IIACI TRAVELS TO SAUDI ARABIA!, published March 2010, click on link that is to the left of this window, or go to this url:



Visualizing Art History: Experimental Animation and Its Mentor, Jules Engel

posted by Janeann Dill

A dictionary begins when it no longer gives the meaning of words, but their tasks.
--- Georges Bataille

It is most often the case when I refer to my work as experimental animation that I am met with the question, what is experimental animation? I am instantly reminded of a story about Louis Armstrong in conversation with Johnny Carson who asked Armstrong, “What is jazz?” Louis Armstrong enthusiastically responded, “Well if you don’t know what it is, I sure as hell can’t tell you!”

In some ways, Louis Armstrong’s response might be said to be universal for questions having to do with art, in that any attempt to offer definition tends to further confuse, bind, constrict and/or be irrelevant, rather than to clarify meaning. As a scholar and as an artist, I am most interested in the unanswerable. As I understand it, to ask the unanswerable is the beginning of an event … if you will, an event of language, timing and gesture, experimentation and conceptualizing. The more important consideration in a “what is ____?” question is not the answer, but the asking.. How is it we know so little about the art form?

The artist is a creative intellectual, not an inspired idiot. --- Brown Report, Harvard University, 1956

With an historical critical trajectory in mind, I would like to briefly consider the advent of Modernist artists who widely experimented with new concepts of time and movement in painting, dance, music, and theater, and the resulting art history generated across those disciplines.  (... continued ...)

Please see:  jules-engel.com

To Dr. Dill's complete article, go to THE PUBLIC HUMANIST
Published by the Massachusetts Humanities Council

LECTURES: Visiting Critic (MassArt) & Visiting Artist (SMFA)

2011 McLaren-Lambart Award for Animation Studies

ANNOUNCING 2011 McLAREN-LAMBART AWARD (Press Release from Tom Klein, SAS)

Pierre Floquet, the author of "Le langage comique de Tex Avery," is the recipient of the 2011 McLaren-Lambart Award for the Best Scholarly Book on animation. This book, published in French by CinémAnimationS, is a detailed analysis of the cinematic nuances at play in the cartoons directed by Tex Avery at MGM from 1942-1951. With remarkably complex insights into Avery's comic language, the author distills what at first glance might seem like a director's reliance on coarse gags and repetitive formulae into a sophisticated colloquy with moviegoers. The manner in which Avery engages viewers on the nature of cinema has always been disarming, played for laughs instead of reflection, but French film scholars recognized him as an important auteur as early as the 1960s. This recent book in many ways is a fulfillment of this earlier recognition, a culminating study of Tex Avery's influential body of work. Pierre Floquet's writing on the concept of distantiation, from Althusser and especially Brecht, is essential. It points to a genuine concern with the form of the language of cartoons that is just as vital in any consideration of modern animation as it is with Avery’s œuvre.

The McLaren-Lambart Award is given annually by the Society for Animation Studies. The selection committee is chaired by Tom Klein, with our judging panel comprised of Jean Detheux (NFB/visual music animator), Janeann Dill, Ph.D (Founder, IIACI/Institute for the Interdisciplinary Art and Creative Intelligence) and José García-Moreno (Chair, Animation/Loyola Marymount University). This award recognizes the finest contributions by international scholars to the advancement of animation studies. From a previous co-affiliation that it had with the National Film Board of Canada, this award is named in memory of Norman McLaren and Evelyn Lambart.

Kevin Spacey on Chris Matthews: SPEAK FOR THE ARTS!

Well articulated by Matthews and Spacey:

As an Artist, a Scholar, and an American, thank you.
Dr. Dill


THINK IIACI! (pronounced ee-ah'-chee)


"So excited for the next batch of interns to go to Cannes!

I just want to say again how valuable the experience was for me, and how grateful I was (and am) that there was someone like you to help us get there!  This week for Impact Alabama I conducted a live video feed in four locations simultaneously for a fundraising event -- something I wouldn't have been qualified or able to do without my experience on the video team at Cannes. 
Clayton (Collings) got hired to help with the camera work, too!
I hope you're doing well and you're psyched about returning to France!  I wish I could go again. 

Bon voyage!  
I hope you'll tell me all about this year's festival and what's bound to be another wonderful intern experience."

Read articles by the Interns on their blog and follow them on Twitter! 


Download full program in PDF

Panel Moderated by Dr. Janeann Dill

El Pasajero de la Noche

(The Passenger of the Night)

By Carlos Santa, 1989, 24:02 min

Where the eventful journey of Mr. Isaac Ink takes place and the vicissitudes that he encounters with his dead companion.


In Abyssus HumanÆ ConscientiÆ

By Juan Camilo González, 2011, 05:54 min

ReconoceR is a palindrome word in Spanish that means “to recognize.” The film is an abstract summary of the history of violence in Colombia, playing back and forth in an exercise to recognize its complexity. It is the first film within a series to be paired with the music composition In Abyssus HumanÆ ConscientiÆ by Colombian composer Rodolfo Acosta.


El Silencio Habita en tu Ventana

(Silence Lives within Your Window)

By Cecilia Traslaviña, 2011, 07:44 min

A journey through the profound silence of a mother.



By Diana Menestrey, 2009, 08:16 min

A line unwraps, builds and dissolves situations about two opposite sides. Two extremes, two edges, two knots, a here and a there.


Los Extraños Presagios de León Prozak

(The Strange Presages of León Prozak)

By Carlos Santa, 2010, 5 min excerpt of 67 min film

León Prozak decides to rent his head to Mephistopheles in order to pitch him some circus acts. Each act is conceived by an artist who expresses his vision of the world through animated paintings or drawings. The excerpts show Carlos Santa’s and David Manzur’s journey into mysticism, Adriana Espinoza’s politically engaged drawings of disappeared people and Raffael Dussan’s questions on eroticism.


Colombian Avant-Garde Animation

The USC School of Cinematic Arts, John C. Hench Division of Animation & Digital Arts, and Visions and Voices: The USC Arts & Humanities Initiative

Invite you to attend a screening, panel, and reception in honor of

Colombian Avant-Garde Animation

7:00 P.M. on Friday, February 4th, 2011

Eileen Norris Cinema Theatre
& SCA West Lobby

USC School of Cinematic Arts Complex

900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007

Free of charge and open to the public, no RSVP or reservations necessary.

Seating is first-come, first-serve.

About Colombian Avant-Garde Animation

Join us for a Visions & Voices event featuring rarely-seen animation by Colombia's foremost experimental animation pioneers, Carlos Santa and Cecilia Traslaviña, and two of their students, Diana Menestry and Juan Camilo González. Exploding with powerful metaphors, surreal landscapes, and haunting images, these imaginative animated films were created within a context of a country ravaged by war, illustrating the philosophical and mental struggles of its people in conflict. These innovative experimental animations utilize a range of techniques, from rotoscoping to under-the-camera animation, challenging concepts of traditional cinema.


The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with filmmakers Santa, Traslaviña, and their former student and current USC MFA student Juan Camilo González; international media scholar Dr. Cristina Venegas; and moderator Dr. Janeann Dill. The conversation will investigate artistic practice within the context of war and the role of the artist in politics.

Following the panel, a reception in the School of Cinematic Arts West Lobby will feature typical Colombian foods such as empanadas and buñuelos, and classic Colombian music.


About the Films

  • El Pasajero de la Noche (The Passenger of the Night) by Carlos Santa, 1989, 24:02min
  • In Abyssus HumanÆ ConscientiÆ by Juan Camilo González, 2011, 05:54min
  • El Silencio habita en tu Ventana (Silence Lives Within your Window) by Cecilia Traslaviña, 2011, 07:44min
  • Dist-Ansiando by Diana Menestrey, 2009, 08:16min
  • Los Extraños Presagios de León Prozak (The Strange Presages of León Prozak) by Carlos Santa, 2010, 5 min excerpt of 67min film

About the Participants

Carlos Santa, Filmmaker and Panelist:

Carlos Santa is the pioneer of experimental animation in Colombia and mentor of many young Colombian artists today. His film work begins with a magical encounter between the fine arts and time. His works are painting, drawings, engravings and sculptures that seduce us for their beauty, but finally shocking for revealing the complex role of contemporary man immersed in his own tragedies. In 1988 with the support of FOCINE he published his film El pasajero de la noche, and in 1994 he exhibited La selva oscura at the Caracas film festival. Both films received critical recognition for their artistic and narrative merits. In 2003 the animated full-length film Bolivar the Hero was released.


Cecilia Traslaviña, Filmmaker and Panelist:

Cecilia Traslaviña was born in Bogotá, Colombia in 1960.  She has worked at the Javeriana University since 2000 in the Visual Arts Department, as animation teacher, director of undergraduate works on animation and coordinator of the Experimental Animation course. She had been jury member in international short film festivals in Colombia and gave a lecture about Colombian Animation at the Animamundi Animation Festival in Brazil in 2004. Her last work Almas Santas Almas Pacientes ('Holy Souls Patient Souls') was selected in several international film festivals and also was included in the Colombian Experimental Animation program at the 6th IAFF ReAnimacja in Poland.


Juan Camilo González, Filmmaker and Panelist:

USC John C. Hench Division of Animation and Digital Arts, MFA-2
Born in Manizales, Colombia, Juan Camilo González studied Visual Arts at the Javeriana University of Bogotá under the mentorship of Carlos Santa and Cecilia Traslaviña. There he produced his first animated short film "Los Tres Errantes." With the support of the Annenberg Fellowship, he is now pursuing his MFA at the John C. Hench Animation & Digital Arts division at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. In LA he has directed and animated two short films and is currently developing his thesis project. Co-creator of the group, "Moebius Animación" is dedicated to promote and exhibit artists, films, and research around experimental animation in Colombia and Latin America.

Diana Menestrey Schwieger, Filmmaker: 
Diana Menestrey Schwieger graduated in 2009 from the fine arts program of the National University of Colombia in Bogotá. She developed her first animation piece "Dist-Ansiando" during 2008 as her thesis film while participating in the exchange program with KHM (Academy of Media Arts) in Cologne, Germany. Her work illustrates complex human internal struggles, its contradictions and reinterpretations, through the use of minimalistic imagery.


Dr. Cristina Venegas, Panelist:

Cristina Venegas, who received her Ph.D. in Critical Studies from USC, is Associate Professor in Film and Media Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her teaching and writing focus on Latin American media, Spanish-language media in the U.S., digital media, international cinema, and cultural studies. She is the author ofDigital Dilemmas: The State, the Individual, and Digital Media in Cuba (Rutgers, 2010). She has written about film and political culture, revolutionary imagination in the Americas, telenovelas, contemporary Latin American cinema, co-productions and a monograph dealing with cyberculture in Cuba. She has curated numerous film programs on Latin American and Indigenous film in the US and Canada, and is Co-founder and Artistic Director (since 2004) of the Latino CineMedia International Film Festival in Santa Barbara that is now co-presented with the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. curator of numerous film programs on Latin American, Latino, and Indigenous film throughout the U.S


Dr. Janeann Dill, Panel Moderator:

An artist, author and scholar, Dr. Dill earned her Ph.D. (2006) in Media Philosophy and Communications from the Europäische Universität für Interdisziplinare Studien Eufis. Presently in revision of a forthcoming book, Thought and Timing, Philosophy of Experimental Animation, Dill earned her M.F.A. (1994) from the Experimental Animation Department at California Institute of the Arts in the School of Film and Video. Dill has presented papers in numerous national and international conferences as a panelist and speaker.  Of interest to Dill is the rise of an international avant-garde in time-based media, i.e., experimental animation, as a nascent interdisciplinary art form borne of cultural isolation, war, or an art historical predicament. Awarded an Ahmanson Foundationgrant, an Annenberg Foundation Independent Media Grant, a James Irvine Foundationgrant, three Artist-In-the-Schools Grants from the National Endowment for the Artsand a Mary Lou Boone Grant for Performance in Experimental Animation and Choreography, her Ph.D. is in Media Philosophy, her MFA is in Experimental Animation, and her M.A. and B.A. are in Fine Arts (Painting, Printmaking, Drawing).  Her film, "Paris Is A Woman" has been screened internationally and was awarded "Best Experimental Short Film" and "Best Directorial Debut in Short Film Category. Dr. Dill is Director and Faculty in the Honors College, Capstone International Study Abroad, at the University of Alabama, and Founding Institute Director ofThe Institute for Interdisciplinary Art and Creative Intelligence (IIACI).

Address and Parking Information

The Eileen Norris Cinema Theatre is located at 3507 Trousdale Pkwy. 

The USC School of Cinematic Arts Complex is located at 900 W. 34th St., Los Angeles, CA 90007. 

Parking passes may be purchased for $8.00 at USC Entrance Gate #5, located at the intersection of W. Jefferson Blvd. & McClintock Avenue. We recommend parking in outdoor Lot M or V, or Parking Structure D, at the far end of 34th Street. Please note that Parking Structure D cannot accommodate tall vehicles such as SUVs. Metered street parking is also available along Jefferson Blvd.

For a map of the USC University Park Campus, click here.

This event is organized by Animation & Digital Arts Associate Professor Sheila Sofian, Instructor of Cinema Practice Lisa Mann, and MFA-2 Juan Camilo González.



Contact: Dr. Janeann Dill, Institute Founder-Director
THINK IIACI! (pronounced ee-ah’-chee)
Advancing the creative practice and study of the global arts across the disciplines.

The chilled air is a delight as the sun rises over the Mediterranean and the yachts begin to dock for the CANNES FILM FESTIVAL ... all quite exciting as the IIACI Institute prepares for its launch party in partnership with the Capstone International Study Abroad Program at the University of Alabama on May 19th at the AMERICAN PAVILION to celebrate the first IIACI ACADEMIC INTERNSHIP PROGRAM and IIACI INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS PROGRAM at Cannes! Twenty-one academic students were selected  by the Institute Director, Dr. Janeann Dill, and the Director of the AMPAV Student Program, Walter Harris, to be IIACI ACADEMIC INTERNS when the American Pavilion opens its 22nd year as the hospitality center to the American production companies at Cannes in 2010.  Exciting days ahead for IIACI INTERNS!

The IIACI launch event  will be held at the American Pavilion and will focus on the Institute of Interdisciplinary Art's ACADEMIC INTERNSHIPS with a program of Dr. Dill's experimental shorts and documentary feature in-progress and films by students she has mentored and guests: Laura Godorecci (Cambridge, M.Phil. candidate in Screen Studies), Anna Brenner (Oxford, M.A. candidate, Aesthetic Studies), and Courtney Marr (entering NYU, Steinhardt School, M.A. Candidate in Arts Administration). Jens Blank (guest presenter from the National Film School, United Kingdom) is showing his film, "Cooked," at the Cinefondation Short Film Competition and will present a brief talk about his work and screen another of his films not in competition. Ryan Davis, IIACI INTERN, debut in a live performance his HipHop song, IIACI MISSION STATEMENT (composed by Davis and published by MississippiBlueMusic, ASCAP).

Don't miss this if you are at the Cannes Film Festival: May 19th, 7:30pm, American Pavilion!

Dr. Dill's short film of excerpted, rare footage, “Jules Engel: An Artist For All Seasons,” will screen in non-competition at the SHORT FILM CORNER alongside the "Behind the Scenes of Ourselves" short documentary directed by Hallie Carroll. Carroll is an IIACI INTERN and former student who filmed the making of Dr. Dill's experimental film, “MAH: Moving Around Heidegger,“ a collaboration employing a unique sound track of poetry by Dr. Hank Lazer, and another of Dill's students who choreographed to Dill's monumental drawings and arrangement of Lazer’s sound track, Courtney Marr. Marr is presently the IIACI Program Administrative Assistant for the academic internships.

Two more IIACI INTERNS, Alan Lazer and Nick Mahone, both students at the University of Alabama, will screen their student films with the American Pavilion's program at the SHORT FILM CORNER. This will be a memorable inauguration of the IIACI INTERNSHIPS in collaboration with the AMERICAN PAVILION and CAPSTONE INTERNATIONAL STUDY ABROAD at University of Alabama!

To learn more about the IIACI ACADEMIC INTERNSHIPS,
read Interns’ BLOG, & follow on twitter:





WHAT A JOY TO VISIT DAR AL-HEKMA WOMAN'S COLLEGE                                         


You may have become aware of this woman's college recently because

Dar Al-Hekma is the woman's college in Saudi Arabia where our Secretary of State

Hillary Clinton held a Town Hall Meeting a few weeks ago.  Dr. Salfeha Abdein

is the Vice-Dean in charge of Institutional Development at Dar Al-Hekma and 

is the person who slated the college as Secretary Clinton's site for her Town Hall 

meeting while in Saudi Arabia. And I understand why! Like Secretary Clinton, 

these are  a m a z i n g  women who administrate this university as brilliant scholars 

and thinkers in their own right; such as Dr. Abedin who earned her Ph.D. at 

Cambridge in Sociology. What a pleasure to meet Dr. Abedin and to have the 

privilege of spending time with her.

My positive impressions didn't stop with Dr. Abedin however! This invitation

to present my work and to teach Experimental Animation to the girls at

Dar Al-Hekma came from an impressive Chair of the Design Department,

Professor Dima Schneider. Professor Schneider came to Dar Al-Hekma from

the American University in Beruit, Lebanon five years ago where she had taught

for thirteen years and since taking the reins in Jeddah, she has led

the Department of Design into a School of Design that is internationally

accredited through the UK/London.  Yet another brilliant woman whose

background prior to Dar Al-Hekma was as a 3-D computer animation artist.

The faculty! A widely diverse and highly educated international faculty of artists,

graphic designers, and scholars from Poland, Lithuania, Portugal, America, and

Saudi Arabia. Do not misunderstand me here: not only highly educated, but

warm, inviting, humorous and supportive women who ROCK! 

And the girls: twenty-one lovely young women in their black abayas who

impressed me with their intelligence and authentic desire to be introduced to

the history of experimental animation and to the creative practice of

experimental animation outside the digital environment: in this case,

an 'analogue' art of experimenting with animation that leaves the marks of

the artist's hands on the drawn images. These girls are the brightest of

undergrads, not unlike my terrific students in America! While the cultural

differences are enormous between the two, the love of learning and taking

intellectual risks remains constant.

Are you beginning to get the sense of this now? Of how delighted I was

to find myself invited to present in this cultural environment?

Finally (until I return to share photos with you), I presented the IIACI Institute

alongside my paintings, drawings, scholarship, and film, PARIS IS A WOMAN,

the final evening of the TAWASUL II Conference. The two keynote speakers

presented: myself and Monsieur Phillipe Jalladeau, a French filmmaker and

Film Festival Director who was the first film scholar to bring a Middle Eastern

Film Program to Europe many years ago. Jalladeau was educated in France

and majored in Oceanography as an undergrad but found himself at Princeton

for his graduate work in film with a post-grad stint at Stanford Film Institute

where he produced award winning films world-wide. Every morning while there

I delighted in his company while eating the absolutely delicious breakfasts at

the Hotel Intercontinental ... yummy fresh figs, salmon, and hummus.

While I am not speaking here specifically about the challenges of a Kingdom

that prohibits women from driving or from going out in public without covering

themselves or for even going out in public alone, I was not unaware of those

prohibitions. I was given a lovely abaya to wear while there and I wore it in

respect for a culture I, as a Westerner, was visiting.  In this short visit to Saudi

Arabia, these prohibitions didn't deter from my sense of purpose towards

my academic colleagues and my students. IIACI and I were there to advance

the artist as a philosopher of creative intelligence, one whose necessity is to

access the intuitive and the intellectual simultaneously.

How longer visits to such a diverse international culture will challenge me

in the future remains to be seen, but I am quite clear on this visit:

an absolute delight!

Dr. Janeann Dill

IIACI: Institute Founder-Director