Lorelei Pepi is an animation artist who has utilized the body, optical printing, projection, paint and pencil, digital tools and software to create work ranging from the highly experimental, lyrical and personal (Grace) to the socio-politically motivated narrative cartoon (Happy & Gay). She has been the recipient of a MacDowell Fellowship, Harvard Film Study Production Grant & Fellowship, LEF Moving Image Fund, the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Fellowship Award and numerous other grants. Her work has screened at venues and festivals such as Sundance, Rotterdam, Ann Arbor, SXSW, Ottawa Animation, OUT LA and NY, the Portland Museum of Art and the ICA Boston. Her work exists in the collections of the Canadian National Film Archives and the UCLA Film Archives. Her additional research moves into exploring the use of animation in installation, performance and responsive technologies.
Docile Bodies is the first of series of animation installations using sensors and a gaming engine system to craft an immersive, interactive narrative environment. The narrative examines a viewer and their viewed subject’s potential agency, or lack of it. Video gaming culture, fairy tales and queer narrative provide a storytelling frame with which to examine representation of body, gender, power, the gaze, and sexuality. The project asks for the involvement of the viewer’s physical, mental and emotional states, using their own body, processing and decision making, and empathy for another being in distress. If the viewer can determine what the subject needs, and is willing to commit to the effort, they can help. Using technology to track the viewer’s engagement through body and gaze location, the media they are viewing is affected and responds, as narratives come to life, skins speak and bodies transform.