Animated 'Worlds'

Animated 'Worlds'

Animated 'Worlds'

Animated 'Worlds'

Synopsis

What do we mean by the term "animation" when we are discussing film? Is it a technique? A style? A way of seeing or experiencing "a world" that has little relation to our own lived experience of "the world"? In Animated Worlds, contributors reveal the astonishing variety of "worlds" animation confronts us with. Essays range from close film analyses to phenomenological and cognitive approaches, spectatorship, performance, literary theory, and digital aesthetics. Authors include Vivian Sobchack, Richard Weihe, Thomas Lamarre, Paul Wells, and Karin Wehn.

Excerpt

What do we mean by the term ‘animation’ when we are discussing film? Is it a technique? – a style? – a way of seeing or experiencing a ‘world’ that has little relation to our own lived experience, or to other cinematic experience, for that matter? What effect have digital technologies had on our understanding and perception of animation film? What are the methods, terminologies and languages we use to describe what we view on screen? To answer these questions, animation studies needs a language that can be specifically used in critical and theoretical writings on animation film. Critics and scholars are developing and defining filmologist Etienne Souriau’s prerequisite of a ‘well-made language’, essential to any scientific discipline. the fine-arts base of pre-digital animation are as varied as fine art production itself: sculpture, painting, drawing, graphics, illustration, collage and many other artistic media flow into animation filmmaking, and the filmmakers’ skill is evident not only in artistic creativity, but also in the transformation of static images and objects into time-based visual narrative. These narratives are the ‘worlds’ the spectator is confronted with.

Texts in this anthology originated at the Animated ‘Worlds’ conference held at Farnham Castle, England in 2003. the call for papers addressed these and other questions and encouraged contributors to consider how we can better define specific queries around animation that are essential before we can begin to articulate answers to them. the contributions in this book reflect especially on the generous and encompassing concept of animated ‘worlds’ – a term I use to describe realms of cinematic experience that are accessible to the spectator only through the techniques available in animation filmmaking. the astonishingly rich diversity of media used in animation encourages interdisciplinary approaches and excursions into other fields, and a prerequisite for this is a solid understanding of what animation is – first and foremost, it is a time-based visual medium. Yet it is a complex film medium, one that makes use of many artistic forms of creativity, and one that in most cases is not photorepresentational, as live action (pre-digital) cinema is. For this reason, animation remains a difficult art form to . . .

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