As part of the International Animation Film Festival in Stuttgart this year, Annegret Richter of DOK Leipzig will be presenting case studies of animated documentaries on Thursday 28th April. More information here: http://www.documentary-campus.com/event/id__20/
Ecstatic Truth: Defining the essence of an animated documentary
APGR* research symposium at the Royal College of Art
Date: Saturday 14th May, 2016
Location: Stevens building, Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore
According to Werner Herzog mere facts constitute an accountant’s reality, but it is the ecstatic truth (a poetic reality) that can capture more faithfully the nuances and depths of human experiences. Given that animation has the freedom to represent, stylize, or reimagine the world, it lends itself well to this aspirational form of a documentary.
To celebrate the launch of our new Animated Documentary pathway, Royal College of Art Animation warmly invites PhD research students to submit proposals for Ecstatic Truth: the 6th Animation PGR research symposium. We invite speakers to respond to the idea of “Ecstatic Truth” and reflect, speculate and imagine how animated form might elicitate the different facets of this poetic truth, through its unique language.
Proposals should be for either:
– a 20 minute conference paper;
– or an alternative discussion/presentation format as appropriate for practice-based research (this can include practice based work in a form of short films, images etc.)
Some of the proposed themes:
Showing the Invisible
Inner states, subjective states, forbidden places, ethical issues etc.
Memory, future, sci-fi, history etc.
Truth, Falsification and Poetry
Virtual reality, fictional elements, special effects, imagination, poetic truth etc.
Art and Science dialogue
Science visualization, role of poetry in science imagery etc.
social issues, society, social commentary, health and illness, conflict etc.
(We equally welcome fierce and creative opposition to Herzog’s statement…!)
Please note that the symposium is designed for MPhil / PhD students to present their work-in-progress to a friendly and well-informed audience of peers and supervisors.
The deadline for submissions is 14th April 2016.
To submit your proposal or any related questions please contact Dr Tereza Stehlikova: email@example.com
*The Animation Postgraduate Research Group was set up in 2011 by Dr Paul Ward of the Arts University College at Bournemouth as a safe and supportive network in which MPhil/PhD students in animation can network, exchange ideas and disseminate their research.
Animated Documentaries from the Royal College of Art
For inspiration, here are a number of different approaches to animated documentary created by students on MA Animation at the RCA:
The call for papers for CONFIA 2016: International Conference for Illustration and Animation has been extended to March 31st.
CONFIA is organised by the School of Design at the Polytechnic Institute of Cávado and Ave and endeavors to be:
“a pivotal contribution to the contemporary discussion of the areas referred above, which combine long traditions with pioneering roles in technological innovation. We intend to broadly explore the multidisciplinary space that includes illustration and the animated image, from the construction of the narrative to character development, from art theory to critical reflection on the objects that populate the market and the industry. The conference seeks quality original submissions from artists, the industry, the academic community and the market.”
This year CONFIA will be held in Barcelos on June 10, 11 and 12. The keynote speakers are Esther Leslie and Sophie Van Der Linden.
All accepted full papers will be published in the conference proceedings (with ISBN). Only original contributions will be accepted. Submitted papers will be reviewed on a double-blind review basis.
Recommended topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
1. Illustration/ Drawing
Illustration for children
Comics and graphic novels
Animation for video games
Animation for virtual or augmented reality
Animation in interactive media
Sound and animation
3. Art theory applied to illustration and animation
Narrative and non-narrative animation
Illustration and animation pedagogy
Authorship in animation or illustration
For more detailed information, please visit http://www.confia.ipca.pt/
Lethaby Gallery, Central Saint Martins 27/11/2015-11/12/2015
Last day today of this exhibition curated by Paul Goodwin as part of a curatorial project in which he examines the intersections between technology, subjectivity and contemporary art. In the exhibition introductory text, Goodwin writes:
“Ghosts specifically explores how artists in the UK are interrogating these complex relationships in the context of the current historical conjuncture of proliferating international migrations, global political-economic crises and scattered migrant communities in cities…
Another problematic that the Ghosts project seeks to address is in relation to the way that certain questions of history and memory, identity and power have been downplayed and left to hover and fester in the dark recesses and corners of contemporary art’s technological imaginary. … there has been massive proliferation of art historical and contemporary art discussion and research about the relationship between art and technology in the current techno-cultural conjuncture. However there has been less research and discussion about how these important questions of technology have been addressed within the context of problematics around migration, ‘race’, ‘post-colonialism’ and the proliferation of diasporic identities – including sexual and gendered identities, especially in the European context which presents itself in such urgent terms today. In many ways questions of diaspora, ‘race’ and post-colonial identities are like ‘ghostly’ presences or excesses haunting the technological utopias and techno-determinism that often pervades discussions around art and technology.”
In the exhibition, Roshini Kempadoo’s ‘About Face‘ explores the digital chatter we experience as we try to negotiate our diverse experiences of transition and migration through the city through multiple handheld devices.
I was particularly interested in the work of Keith Piper, an artist whose work in digital technologies I have been following since the 1990s. His work in this show combines animation and video to deconstruct the racialised metaphors that haunt science fiction and space age technology. His thought provoking installation contrasts robots, androids and cyborgs with different types of identities to reveal social fears about race and difference. Piper says, “This project is part of a body of research expanding the scrutiny of popular science fiction into the fields of post-colonial studies and developing discources around ‘Afro-futurism’, encoding and ‘CyberEbonics’.”
This is made especially apparent in a video that comments on the robotic pathfinder that tirelessly explored Mars for three months in 1997 until communication was lost. It was named Sojourner, after the former slave and anti-abolitionist and women’s rights campaigner, Sojourner Truth. Here’s a clip of the actual Mars rover:
You can see an artist commentary by Keith Piper on his work here:
The Expanded Animation blog has migrated to this new site on http://expandedanimation.net.
The reason for this is that I no longer have access to myblog.arts since I have left Central Saint Martins to take up a new position as Head of Animation at the RCA. Press release here
I was given the opportunity to reflect on some of the projects I have set up on MA Character Animation at CSM over the years at the recent Adobe Education Summit in London:
I am very sad to leave CSM after 15 years as Course Director of MA Character Animation and will miss my colleagues and students. However, I am looking forward to the challenge of a new role and am excited about starting at the RCA!
Discovering Collections, Discovering Communities conference, Manchester, 12-14 October 2015
At this year’s National Archives and Research Libraries UK conference, Alison Green and Birgitta Hosea will be presenting a collaborative project between four organisations: MA Culture, Criticism and Curation and MA Character Animation at Central Saint Martins, the Guildhall School of Music and the Old Operating Theatre Museum.
With a conference theme of exploring new digital destinations for the heritage sector, Discovering Collections, Discovering Communities, will examine methods for meaningful and innovative digital engagement with museums and archives. Reflecting on the CUT! exhibition created for the Old Operating Theatre Museum, Green and Hosea will demonstrate a case study of the use of animation in museums and archives.
How can digital media augment old spaces and things? Using the exhibition, CUT! (Old Operating Theatre Museum, London, 2014) as a case-study, we will present a project that juxtaposed original, auratic objects with reinterpretations in the form of short digital animations. CUT! was a collaboration between the Museum and students from two courses at Central Saint Martins, MA Character Animation and MA Culture, Criticism and Curation.
The aim of the exhibition was to bring back a sense of the people who had once worked or been treated in a space now filled with glass cases and curious objects. Animations inspired by the museum’s quirky range of artefacts from medical history were created by students from MA Character Animation. The forty films were curated by students from MA Culture, Criticism and Curation, placed as interventions into the museum’s permanent collection, like a haunting or re-animation of the historic objects.
The exhibition, conceived as an experiment and which proved popular with visitors, raised issues about how audiences relate differently to ‘history’ versus ‘the present’ and how different people engage with different types of objects and technology. The paper will theorise these results through discussions of animation and haunting (Cholodenko, 2007 & 2011) and memory as speech versus memory as object (Derrida, 1996). Both presenters have led several collaborative projects with students working with museums. We are interested in exploring what such projects mean for our respective fields—digital animation and curating—and, further, reflecting upon these partnerships as forms of pedagogy.
Link to presentation slides:
Animated Landscapes: History, Form and Function, a new anthology edited by Chris Pallant is now available from Bloomsbury Academic.
Chris Pallant will Chair a panel at Fantasy / Animation: A Conference on Media, Medium and Genre at Kings College London on Friday 4th September 2015 featuring papers by chapter authors Malcolm Cook, Birgitta Hosea and James Newton.
Chapter 9: Off the Rails: Animating Train Journeys by Birgitta Hosea
Landscape is often thought of as eternal and unchanging, but in reality it is changing all the time due to variations in habitation, agriculture, industry and climate change. The mobility paradigm in urban geography and sociology proposes that cities and society can be studied in terms of travel rather than stasis – through the movement of peoples, resources, data, finance – in order to understand the formation of identity, ideology, power and society. Indeed, in 2012 the average resident of the UK spent 361 hours travelling a total of 6,691 miles. 11 % of this travel was done by public transport. During their travels, the experience that these average residents had of landscape was of passing through places before arriving at their final destination.
In accord with these ideas about mobility, rather than considering landscape as a static entity, this chapter focuses on animations that move between locations and are concerned with trajectory and locomotion. After noting the connections between early cinema and the train, I examine a body of works that are all thematically linked through their association with animated train journeys, although they represent a range of practices that might be considered pre-cinematic animation, cinematic animation and post-cinematic animation. Imagined landscape in animation – from the pre-filmic phantom rides and moving panoramas, to Ivor the Engine, Thomas the Tank Engine, Madame Tutli~Putli, transport information films, post-filmic subway zoetropes and railway simulation games – is considered in terms of the implications of the mobility paradigm for animation, not just in terms of visual content or subject matter, but in terms of animation as a concept and the politics of animation. To conclude, it will be argued that the animated railway journey can be read as a metaphor for the transience and flux at the root of contemporary society that Zygmunt Bauman has termed liquid modernity.