Carnegie Mellon Press Release: March 1, 2004
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Press Release

Eric Sloss

For immediate release:
March 1, 2004

Carnegie Mellon Professor's Animated Short Film "Tender Bodies" Gets MOMA Preview on March 22

PITTSBURGH—"Tender Bodies," a computer-animated short by Carnegie Mellon's Associate Professor of Art James Duesing, will open the "Outstanding Short Films from International Festivals" program at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) at the Gramercy Theatre on March 22. This is Duesing's fifth animation to screen at MOMA in New York City.

"Tender Bodies" imagines a world of genetically altered animated characters created with sophisticated animation that Duesing says play on basic human emotions and fears. The animated short is produced without dialogue and concentrates on universal human visual expressions that transcend language. The film takes its viewers on a visual journey, following characters on an exploratory voyage of complex relationships.

Duesing says the 35mm film has high production values, including three-dimensional animation and Dolby Digital surround sound. He adds that its unusual characters and fragmented storyline are a counterpoint to a broadly exposed Hollywood feature animation.

"Visually it is playfully constructed with environments that constantly shift and morph into each other," said Duesing, who has been an independent animator working with computer animation since the mid-1980s. "When I was making "Tender Bodies" I was thinking about a future where there could be all kinds of creatures that are the results of genetic testing and how genetic experimentation could become an elite hobby or type of entertainment. In the production I really wanted to react against the musical tracks and simplistic storylines that dominate so much animation today. So I tried to make a project that is a lot like a cartoon but is also enigmatic with stark audio and a resolution that isn't fully spelled out," he added.

"Tender Bodies" is on tour throughout the country as one of the featured films with the Black Maria Film Festival, which will end this summer at the Los Angeles Art Association. Duesing is also touring with "Tender Bodies" around the world, bringing it to venues including France's Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival. In April he travels to Germany to show the film at the 12th Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film.

For more information contact Eric Sloss at 412-268-5765 or by email at


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