Hobo Lobo of Hamelin: The Inverted Pied Piper

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I am ecstatic that Katherine chose Hobo Lobo of Hamelin for her presentation because this is such a dynamic piece. I did not come across this piece in my search of the three volumes when looking for the work that I would present, but I am glad that I had the chance to experience it. I was immediately pulled in by the sterling description of the piece because it captures the very essence within the work in that it can be “flat yet 3D, still yet animated, linear yet temporally scrubbable”. The very feel and appearance of Hobo Lobo of Hamelin embodies this sort of inverted child-like nature that’s hard to look away from, and too intriguing to not continue through. Every aspect of the work is particularly placed right down to the names that portray the characters they are bestowed upon (e.g. Hobo Lobo, which literally means homeless timber wolf or Dick Mayor seeing as how the mayor is exactly what his first name implies, or at least I thought so).

I feel that there is something to be said about motion in digital contexts with this piece alone: the way in which it can work or may not work, and the affordances it brings to the field. Hobo Lobo of Hamelin definitely confirms the ways in which motion, or rather the illusion of it, can defy what traditional electronic pieces offer. Now, this piece did not emphasize sound, but when sound was used it was important. If I can recall correctly, only a couple of the “pages” used sound effects, but I think they effectively evoked a particular emotion in the audience to go along with where the story was at the time. In addition, I did, at first, have some reservations about the way items kept moving and changing as I read on some of the pages, but I quickly realized that I could pause that particular changing reel, which helped me to focus on what I was reading a little better.

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Moving along, I would like to say that I took note of the description before entering this digital pop-up book. Stevan Živadinovic´’s work, as the description points out, is inspired by the work of Jaques Tati. In my research of this French filmmaker, actor, and screenwriter, it was interesting to find that his first three films (name them all here) possessed this recurring theme of western society’s fixation on material goods. This concept speaks heavily to the way Hobo Lobo looks for wealth and bragging rights for the job he is hired to do in taking care of the rats in Hamelin. The mayor does not follow through in paying Hobo Lobo, so essentially Hobo Lobo loses out on what he wanted, but maybe his intentions in securing wealth and gaining bragging rights for his deed (as if it would improve the quality of his life) is what harmed him more and left him in an even worse position than when he started. I was saddened that the story was not completely finished, but it only gives readers that much more to look forward to when this piece is finally finished. I thoroughly enjoyed navigating through this work. Hats off to Stevan Živadinovic´!

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