Event | DepartmentResearch

13 Feb - Interdisciplinary Conference: Experimental and Expanded Animation

Interdisciplinary one-day conference with an evening reception, screening and exhibition.
At the University for the Creative Arts, Farnham, Surrey, UK.
Conference date: Wednesday, February 13th 2019.

THEME
With their recent volume: Experimental and Expanded Animation: Current Perspectives & New Directions, Hamlyn and Smith aimed to reach further into understandings of what experimental animation is, and has been,  since Robert Russett and Cecile Starr defined it in 1976. This conference aims to further focus our project and to develop findings from the publication through more immediate methods of open dialogue and/or film practice. The prompts listed below have been condensed from themes emerging in the volume. However we welcome proposals that respond to these areas and also those that pursue other lines of enquiry. A range of disciplinary approaches is encouraged and the conference aims to include papers from practitioners, practitioner/scholars and scholars. As well as traditional 20 min papers we encourage alternative methods for sharing ideas and materials through, for example, performed presentations, artistic works, mini-workshops and lightning talks.

PROMPTS
Craft/ materiality
Transparency of process and use of materials has been central to experimental/ materialist film practice and theory. To what extent has the homogenization of media today prompted a rise in more recent craft theory? How do Marxist materialist theories relate to post-human and new materialist discourse and in which ways do these more recent methodologies impact upon our understandings of experimental expanded animation?

Feminism/women in experimental animation
It’s understood that the privacy of animation production conditions facilitates exploration into issues relating to feminism.  Female animators today are translating concerns, such as the domestic, sexuality and the body, into large scale, expanded and performed animation.  Does such work, installed in spaces beyond the gallery/cinema, and in which the female animator is visible on stage, impact upon expression of the female experience, or has this become less crucial to articulate, and how does feminist theory offer insights into this area?

Industry/ independent
Critically reworked commercial animation is occurring today within the purview of experimental film. Outwardly appearing as traditional cartoons, how does this material sit within a field that has tended to emphasise the auteur and has avoided the graphic, the narrative and the popular?

Inter-disciplinary
Increasingly we see interdisciplinary approaches employed to analyse animation, including for example post-humanist scholarship; aesthetics; phenomenology; feminism and critical theory. To what extent do these methods cast light on animated texts, or do they detract from fundamental questions concerning form and the medium?

Medium/ context
Media including photography, dance, and performance for example have been central to animation since vaudeville, and then through the expanded cinema of the 60s.  How is experimental animation advanced through media ‘impurity’, and to what extent are theories such as inter-mediality, which suggests that individual qualities of distinct media are enhanced through their interlocking, of value?

Perception/reception
Animation that is articulated beyond the single screen could be said to emphasise a perceptual and phenomenological engagement. Flicker for example, is located in the physiology of the viewer, while animated installation demands a mobile spectator.  Both modes of spectatorship are contingent and situated in the present of their apprehension.  How is animation in the expanded field continuing to elicit new modes of spectatorship?

Representation/ technologies 
3D-CG and internet animation has the capacity to invent and manipulate the extant world in myriad ways.  How is CG being used in the context of experimental expanded animated film?

Utopia/ ecology
Gene Youngblood hailed expanded cinema as reflecting a utopian expansion of both consciousness and technology.  Today much experimental expanded animation, made through contracted means of found or old materials, can be regarded as a response to resources made scarce through either forced obsolescence, unsustainable practice and/or as a creative resistance to media acceleration. How does the trend toward a careful ecology of materials impact on experimental animation languages?