Here is ‘Expanding Animation and Other Queer Goings On’, my inaugural professorial lecture at the University for the Creative Arts in which I relate how I developed a post-medium approach to animation and much more besides.
Bob at 100
Expanding animation and other queer goings on
You are warmly invited to my inaugural professorial lecture at UCA on Tues 27th April at 18:00 (UK time). Free to join online. Book a place here: https://tinyurl.com/5r9apz4.
Performance Drawing: New Practices Since 1945
Authored by: Maryclare Foá, Jane Grisewood, Birgitta Hosea, Carali McCall
Published by: Bloomsbury Visual Arts, 2020
Preface written by: Anna Furse. Foreword written by: Bonnie Marranca
Part of the Drawing In series, edited by Russell Marshall, Marsha Meskimmon and Phil Sawdon.
The first book to be published on performance drawing, Performance Drawing: New Practices Since 1945 establishes a vibrant art movement that has been progressively burgeoning since 1945 and contextualises today’s contemporary approaches while questioning what is drawing and what is performance. Each chapter focuses on a different perspective of performance drawing. Embracing the different voices and various lenses, the authors combine individual yet critical methodologies. While embedded in ephemerality and immediacy, the themes encompass body and energy; time and motion; light and space; imagined and observed, demonstrating how drawing can act as a performative tool. The dynamic interaction leads to a collective understanding of the term performance drawing and addresses the key developments and future directions of this applied drawing process.
The book includes a consideration of drawing with a number of technologies; of live animation; of the lightning sketch stage act and recontextualises a number of expanded cinema works as acts of drawing.
“Performance Drawing represents a highly developed record of practice-based research, tracing the developments in contemporary drawing, building on precedents that have led to emerging trends. It analyzes the radical departure from the acceptance of drawing as a canonical medium based on mark-making on two-dimensional surfaces, into real space towards performance, light projections, film and the use of new technologies. The texts brilliantly place all these developments into a clearly articulated context.” – Therese Bolliger, artist, Canada
“While narrative forms of drawing have found favor through numerous exhibitions and publications world-wide, drawing as an inherently process-driven performative event is still lacking accessible comprehensive theoretical research. Bridging two centuries of contemporary practice, Performance Drawing will fill a huge gap for artists, teachers, scholars and art publics.” – François Morelli, Concordia University, Canada
“A valuable historical primer that examines key examples of performance drawing from the last half-century and challenges established definitions and categorisations. The authors draw a picture of the changing boundaries between art forms, showing how the blurred lines between artistic disciplines are the product of an active performative process. In addition to practitioners, this should be read by anyone interested in emerging art practices.” – Malcom Cook, Associate Professor in Film, University of Southampton
Ecstatic Truth V: The Age of the Absurd
[Image: George Grosz, ‘The Voice of the People is the Voice of God from The Face of the Ruling Class’ (1920)]
Well it has certainly been one crazy year! We planned this symposium to happen in April 2020, but it had to be postponed because of the pandemic. Despite many obstacles, we have decided to go ahead with a series of 3 webinars on Tues 15th – Weds 16th December 2020 in conjunction with our partners Under_the_Radar festival Vienna and the University of the Applied Arts Vienna.
Ecstatic Truth V: The Age of the Absurd
Ecstatic Truth is an annual symposium that explores issues arising from the interface between animation (in all its forms) and documentary (conceptualised very broadly as non-fiction), with a particular interest in the questions raised by experimental and practitioner perspectives. 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 (or manipulated moving image in all of its expanded forms) has the freedom to represent, stylize or reimagine the world, it lends itself well to this aspirational form of documentary filmmaking.
For this, our 5th symposium, held in collaboration with the Under_the_Radar Festival, Vienna, our theme is the Absurd. George Monbiot has described our contemporary age of increasing social and economic inequality, mass extinction and impending climate breakdown as deliberate disaster capitalism in which the ultra-rich benefit as institutions, systems of taxation and democratic processes implode. Everywhere the killer clowns and kleptocrats are taking over, he argues, with ludicrous strongmen dominating nations that would once have laughed them off stage. Absurdity is what they seek in order to take advantage. Chaos becomes the profit multiplier for the disaster capitalism on which they thrive. Every rupture is used to seize more of the assets on which our lives depend.
So how can we imaginatively and creatively respond to these killer clowns and the absurdity of a world being run to continuously make profit regardless of its sustainability? What is there to stand for if the world is perceived as meaningless and how to fight this complacency ? Can we use animation for activism, to re-animate our conscience? How can we creatively challenge all this doom and gloom, and use our creative practice to navigate and challenge the absurd of our everyday lives? What is the role of humour, surrealism, the historic strategies of the Absurd and Central European Existentialism? Why does animation matter?
 George Monbiot, ‘From Trump to Johnson, nationalists are the rise – backed by billionaire oligarchs’, The. Guardian, 26/07/19
For more details about the speakers and to watch recordings of the different Webinars: https://2020.under-radar.com/the-age-of-the-absurd.
DAY 1 Tues 15th December
Webinar 1: The Many Forms of Censorship
19.00 – 20.30 [Central European time]
- Andrijana Ruzic: Recurring Elements of Absurd in Several Films of Zagreb School of Animation (1958-1969)
- Gabriella Jutz: Animating Truth(s): Surveillance, Censorship and Journalistic Ethics
- Susan Young: Who is, or Was, Ms A
Presentations followed by discussion and Q&A hosted by Birgitta Hosea
DAY2 Weds 16th December
Webinar 2: Subversion and Resistance: Defying Oppressive Structures
10.30 – 12.00 [Central European time]
- Chunning Guo: Rethinking Injustice in the Age of Absurd: Re-Constructing Prisons as Narrative Spaces through Animated Memories
- Max Hattler: Abstract Animated Documentary? Moving-Image Abstraction and Meaning-Making in Hong Kong’s Age of the Absurd.
- Zeynep Akcay: Dance, drawing and repetition: an absurd manifesto about female body
Presentations followed by discussion and Q&A hosted by Birgitta Hosea
Webinar 3: Hidden Force: Celebrating the Invisible Labours
19.00 – 20.30 [Central European time]
- Orla McHardy: x‘C: Maintenance Animation is a drag: it takes all the fucking time’
- Sally Pearce: Shades of Invisibility. A case study in animation activism.
- Oliver Gingrich / Sara Choudhrey: AYAH – Sign: Collaborative Digital Art with the Grenfell Communities
Presentations followed by discussion and Q&A hosted by Tereza Stehlikova.
Ecstatic Truth is organised by: Birgitta Hosea, Animation Research Centre, UCA Farnham, UK; Pedro Serrazina, Universidade Lusófona, Lisbon, Portugal; Tereza Stehlikova, CREAM, University of Westminster, UK
With thanks to Under_the_Radar: Barnaby Dicker, Martina Tritthart, Holger Lang
Cartoon Animation: Satire and Subversion – presentations online!
All presentations from this one-day symposium that drew upon the legacy of acclaimed animator, Bob Godfrey, to examine the politics of comedy in cartoon animation are now online and publicly available to view free of charge!
We were also thrilled with this review of the day’s events by Dr Christopher Holliday for the Fantasy Animation blog
Opening Remarks: Tom Lowe / Dr Birgitta Hosea
Keynote 1: Dr Sharon Lockyer, Brunel University London, ‘Contextualizing Comedy Studies’
Panel 1: Performing Satire (whole panel chaired by Professor Paul Ward includes the presentations by Dr Maggie Gray, Pierre Floquet and Kate Jessop plus Q&A)
Dr Maggie Gray, Kingston School of Art, ‘Cartooning and Performance: Cartoon Style Alternative Theatre’
Kate Jessop, University of Brighton, ‘The Politics of Comedy: How has adult animation used satire as a vehicle for feminist cultural commentary’
Pierre Floquet, Bordeaux INP, France, ‘Tex Avery as the Noah Webster of Cartoon’
Panel 2. Absurdity and the Destabilisation of Authority (whole panel chaired by Jim Walker includes presentations by Professor Fran Lloyd, Sarah Tehan and David Wischer plus Q&A)
Sarah Tehan, Belfast School of Art, Ulster University, ‘Captain Phineas May. War Cartoons 1940-1946′
Prof. Fran Lloyd, Kingston School of Art, ‘Humour and the Subversion of Authority. The Animated Internment Drawings of Peter Sachs’
David Wischer, University of Kentucky, USA, ‘Prints in Motion: Amplified Absurdity’
Keynote 2: Steve Bell, The Guardian
Panel 3. Politics and Propaganda from Print to Pixel (whole panel chaired by Dr Birgitta Hosea includes presentations by Professor Paul ward and Dr José L. Valhondo-Crego plus Q&A)
Professor Paul Ward, Arts University Bournemouth, ‘Satire and Subversion in the work of Han Hoogerbrugge’
Dr José L. Valhondo-Crego, Universidad de Extremadura, Spain, ‘Subverting the myths of Francoism in the Spanish satirical press’
Thanks to the University for the Creative Arts for supporting this event
Animation Research Centre: https://www.uca.ac.uk/research/arc
Synaesthetic Syntax ‘Watch Party’ at IKLEKTIK London
[All of the events from this year’s Expanded Animation strand at Ars Electronica are now available to view online on their You Tube Channel.]
Come together on Sun 13th Sept for a Synaesthetic Syntax ‘Watch Party’ at IKLEKTIK London. At this socially distanced event, a small group of attendees can watch the online symposium from the final day of the Expanded Animation events for Ars Electronica on a big screen together. The presentations explore the interrelationships between audio and animation, between sound and vision. It is hosted by co-organiser Birgitta Hosea of the Animation Research Centre and a few of the UK speakers will be in attendance. This event is supported by the University for the Creative Arts. For more information and to book a free place, go to: https://synaesthetic-syntax-watchparty.eventbrite.co.uk.
Synaesthetic Syntax: Sounding Animation / Visualising Audio is a one-day symposium that brings together animators, musicians, artists, technologists and academics to discuss the interrelationships between audio and animation. Papers cover topics such as synaesthetic connections between sound and image, the role of gesture, improvisation and presence in live performance and the creative use of geometric and algorithmic patterns.
Our Keynote speaker is media artist, Rose Bond, who produces work at the juncture of cinema, animation and experiential design. She will be presenting her latest animated collaboration with the Oregon Symphony Orchestra on a live performance of Luciano Berio’s Sinfonia.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ars Electronica festival is mainly taking place online this year with a number of small events taking place at different associated venues around the world. The Expanded Animation strand will have a series of small, socially distanced Watch Parties in Linz, London and Portland.
Synaesthetic Syntax Symposium Schedule:
10:15–10:45 Keynote: Rose Bond (CA/US), Sounding Together – Choreographing the Unpredictable
11:00–11:05 Welcome: Birgitta Hosea (UK), Juergen Hagler (AT), Harry Whalley (UK)
11:05–12:40 Panel I: Hearing Colour Seeing Sound
11:05–11:10 Introduction: Birgitta Hosea (UK)
11:10–11:30 Vicky Smith (UK), Expanded Cinema and Para Animation: More than Audio and Visual
11:30–11:50 Alexander Stublic (DE), Presence and interaction in synaesthetic space
11:50–12:10 Sama Mara (UK), A Hidden Order – Revealing connections between geometry and music through harmony and mathematics
12:10–12:40 Panel Discussion (Chaired by Birgitta Hosea)
14:00–15:30 Panel II: In front of your eyes and ears
14:00–14:05 Introduction: Harry Whalley (UK)
14:05–14:25 Giusy Caruso, Bavo Van Kerrebroeck, Pieter Jan Maes (BE), PIANO PHASE for two pianists in VR
14:25–14:45 Umut Eldem (BE), Towards a “Live Synaesthetic Visualisation”? Considerations in Artistically Visualised Sound
14:45–15:05 Jānis Garančs (LV), Algorithmic conflation and re-configuration of audiovisual space and movement in the series of experiments with financial data audio-visualisations as immersive artworks.
15:05–15:30 Panel Discussion (Chaired by Harry Whalley)
16:00–17:30 Panel III: The Kinaesthetics of Music and Vision
16:00–16:05 Introduction: Juergen Hagler (AT)
16:05–16:25 João Pedro Oliveira (US), Gesture Interaction Between Sound and Image
16:25–16:45 Fred Collopy (US), A hypothesis-based approach to visual synthesizer design
16:45–17:05 Eric Dyer (US) Physical Presence and Material Desire: Eric Dyer’s sculptural and performative animation art practice
17:05–17:30 Panel Discussion (Chaired by Juergen Hagler)
17.30-18.00 Closing Note: Rose Bond (CA/US), Birgitta Hosea (UK), Juergen Hagler (AT),
Expanded Animation events at Ars Electronica: www.expandedanimation.com
Animation Research Centre at UCA: https://www.uca.ac.uk/research/arc
Audio Research Cluster at UCA: https://www.audio-research.com
Research Degrees at UCA: https://www.uca.ac.uk/research/research-degrees
Animate Projects: Female Figures
On Thursday 2 July at 6pm, artists Jessica Ashman, Anna Bunting-Branch, Birgitta Hosea and Michelle Kranot will present their work and discuss the opportunities and challenges of working with live performance and technology. All four work with animation in their practice and are going beyond the single screen to create immersive worlds where performance is integrated into their work. More info here: https://animateprojects.org/accelerate-sessions-female-figures
[Birgitta Hosea, Virus, (performance/installation, 1996)]
There will be a Q&A led by Animate Projects producer Abigail Addison, where you will have the opportunity to ask questions of the speakers.
Join us on Thursday, 2 July, 6-7pm, on Zoom. The event is free. As spaces are limited please register here: https://bit.ly/3dUy1g3
[Image ©Valkyrie Industries]
Sensory Spaces is a new research project bringing together StoryFutures Immersive Fellow, CTO and co-founder of Valkyrie Industries, Dr Ivan Isakov; UCA’s Dr Birgitta Hosea, Reader in Moving Image and Dr Camille Baker, Reader Interface & Interaction to develop a toolkit for sculpting in virtual reality using Valkyrie Industries cutting-edge haptic gloves.
Work to date indicates that there is importance and value in the use of sensory experiences made possible through newly emerging immersive technologies. This is already well understood in other sectors including clinical interventions in health and wellbeing as well as virtual training in enterprise, engineering and advanced manufacturing. Touch and the use of haptic technologies is increasingly a part of creative storytelling in arts and entertainment as well. Working with existing headsets and haptic tools, this project aims to explore ways in which the public could animate, build or augment their world, or an imagined world, and feel their creation.
As part of our research we are auditing tools, materials and processes used in both traditional sculpture and CGI modelling in order to develop intuitive virtual sculpting tools. Are you working in this area? If so we’d like to hear from you if you model in 3d – either using CGI, VR or even traditional analogue sculptural processes. Please fill out this short survey to share your experience of your tools: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1uJfNfjpHyyesHWYS2FBDAXVZ3E82-rG1SyQ_ARU71ow/edit?usp=sharing
Art in Flux / National Gallery X
Talk: 6.30-8pm Tues 16th June 2020
Book free ticket: https://www.artinfluxlondon.com/gender_uck.html#
Media arts question boundaries and definitions of societal concepts, including notions and conceptions of gender. Gender*uck presents a next generation of artists investigating boundaries of gender concepts. These young artists investigate gender fluid representation in diverse media: Where does technology empower, where does it limit our conceptions of self and other? How can we look beyond binary forms of representations in the context of the binary and digital in new media. In a tech-centric world of media abundance, what roles can artists play in questioning gender norms, gender representations and gender normativity?
Paul Kindersley looks at gender normalisations in youtube make-up tutorials. Drucilla Burrell investigates esthetics beyond gender definitions through her fine art photography series. Media artist Birgitta Hosea discusses gender in her animation and performance practice. Paula Callus is presenting her work with Nigerian women artists from an anthropological angle focusing upon the culturally located experiences of gender. James Nasmyth will present a photobooth that subverts gender conceptions. Artist Jake Elwes explores alternative gender representations in the context of machine learning algorithms: What happens when computers try to find patterns of beauty beyond gender concepts and their mathematical confinements. Last but not least, Ro Greengrass’s investigates non-binary concepts through their art and music creation. Talks by Birgitta Hosea, Jake Elwes and Paula Callus will be contextualised by artist demos.
Together these artists discuss limitations, possibilities and the future of technology for art forms beyond gender in the context of New Media – in an evening curated by Art in Flux Co-founder Olive Gingrich.