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Every Anvil

Every Anvil breaks down shot by shot 100 episodes of Looney Toons cartoons and catalogs the shot according to categories of violence and physical extremism.


US artists Jennifer and Kevin McCoy make multimedia artworks exploring and indexing the genres and conventions of filmmaking. Their piece for Cartooney, ‘Every Anvil’, is made up from episodes of the Looney Tunes cartoon (1930-1969) which was shown regularly on broadcast TV for decades. the artists have isolated individual shots and identify these by keywords given to each instance of violence or physical action: ‘every explosion’, ‘every singed fur or hair’ and every anvil. There are 120 categories and each is archived on a video CD; the CDs and an accompanying player make up the installation, which is housed in a smart travelling case. Visitors can play back the CD and view it on the screen. Watching ‘every anvil’ from Looney Tunes played back is an unnerving and fully entertaining experience. The work highlights the violence but also negates it, showing just how unreal the cartoons are, as well as revealing the craft of the cartoon itself.

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