Ghosts in the machine: experiencing animation

Buchan, Suzanne (2011) Ghosts in the machine: experiencing animation. In: Watch Me Move: The Animation Show. Hilty, Greg, ed. Merrell, London, pp. 28-38. ISBN 9781858945583. [Book Section]

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Catalogue Essay for Watch Me Move: The Animation Show, Barbican, London, 2011. Summary: There are many stories, and histories, of animation film. Yet there are other ways of telling a story of animation that peel back and go below the material, historical and factual surface of this cinematic technique. Because the seven thematic concepts of Watch Me Move have a specific thematic focus, it allows permeation between different animation techniques and historically and stylistically discrete canons. This essay concentrates on four of the themes that consider the viewer's experience of animation: apparitions, structures, fragments and visions. Many works in these themes share certain features, properties and experiential phenomena for viewers. They tend to: undermine conventional narrative; lack dialogue and are sound and music driven; feature imaginative, impossible 'worlds' and non-anthropomorphic figures; offer philosophical?perceptual concepts that diverge from our everyday experience of 'reality', and they are often self-reflexive. Tex Avery, one of the most radical Hollywood cartoon directors, is purported to have said "You can do anything in an animated cartoon." Looking beyond the cartoon, this essay reveals the fabulous experimentation of some of the exhibition's works that fall outside the realm of commercial popular culture, foregrounding the viewers' experience of the creative imagination that the animated form presents.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: In the decades since the pioneers of film first began to explore the possibilities of the moving image, animation has evolved into one of the most popular and prevalent visual art forms. Featuring an extensive selection of animated imagery created over the past 150 years, essays by animation experts, and biographies of the leading studios and animators, Watch Me Move is an indispensible guide to the dynamic world of animation and its significance in contemporsry global culture. Published on the occassion of the exhibition Watch Me Move: The Animation Show at the Barbican Art Gallery (15th June to 11th September 2011). £24.95 Paperback with flaps ISBN: 9781858945583, 224 pages, 225 colour illustrations.
Keywords (uncontrolled): animation, curatorship, exhibitions, experimental film, spectatorship
Research Areas: A. > School of Art and Design > Visual Arts
A. > School of Art and Design > Visual Arts > Electronic and Digital Arts cluster
A. > School of Art and Design > Visual Arts > Visual Culture and Curating cluster
Item ID: 9805
Depositing User: Suzanne Buchan
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2013 07:22
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2018 12:29

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