[-empyre-] animetic machines

Gerry Coulter gcoulter at ubishops.ca
Sun Feb 7 06:47:03 EST 2010

Tim, et. al.

While Tim's post inspired my thought it was a reflection on the list to date. 

So far i see a good deal of celebration by sincere academics who command an interesting and thoughtful discourse but it all seems rather complicitous. Is this area more like art criticism than i had suspected? More a part of the promotional culture than a radical culture? (By radical I am not referring to "critical theory" but to a kind of theory steeped in challenge).

So far it reminds me also of the literature on gaming.

Now, what Tim refers to as a "complexified" image I am referring to as a degraded image. I love good cinema or animation as much as the next person but we need to distance ourselves enough to admit that adding colour to the image and then sound and then all the rest of it does not add to the image, rather it has all detracted from it. Garbage piles are complex assortments it doesn't mean that all we can do is celebrate their complexity, diversity etc.

my best,


From: empyre-bounces at gamera.cofa.unsw.edu.au [empyre-bounces at gamera.cofa.unsw.edu.au] On Behalf Of Timothy Murray [tcm1 at cornell.edu]
Sent: February 6, 2010 11:37 AM
To: soft_skinned_space
Subject: Re: [-empyre-] animetic machines


Perhaps I could have been more nuanced by indicating that I was
referring to as a somewhat limiting focus of 70-80s film theory on
the conventions of "continuity"-- I would include my own work in this
critique.  My remark was meant less as blame and more as admission.

It's a shame that you understand cinema, and I guess new media, to
have been involved in a systematic degradation of the image.  Renate
and I spent last week in the company of the  Quay Brothers whose
quirky 35mm animations seemed to us to exemplify the thoughtful
splendor of what Tom calls the continuous variation of animation.
Although of a structure and quality that is very different from the
anime informing Tom's project,  they are splendid on the sticky (?)
screens of today.

My understanding is that with each passing generation the
cinematic/screenic image has become further "complexified,"
particularly given the exemplary contributions of so many independent
screen artists as their work has extended the material horizons
offered by the development of ever sophisticated soft and hardware



>I wonder.
>Is the readiness to blame cinematic studies not another way of
>ingorning how animation (like cinema, and probably all media), is a
>shadow of its former self? Oh certainly, animation cicra 1960 was
>pretty bad, but how much better it was than the drivel which aheres
>to the sticky screens of today. With each passing generation the
>image is further degraded and, simultaneously, a new geneation of
>theorists gather to ignore its decline.
>My best
>From: empyre-bounces at gamera.cofa.unsw.edu.au
>[empyre-bounces at gamera.cofa.unsw.edu.au] On Behalf Of Timothy Murray
>[tcm1 at cornell.edu]
>Sent: February 6, 2010 10:20 AM
>To: soft_skinned_space
>Subject: Re: [-empyre-] animetic machines
>Hi, Tom,
>Thanks ever so much for your stimulating post on  "animetic
>machines."   I think you're really onto something important in
>stressing the flow and force of the "continuous variation" of framing
>and imaging as it traverses the interrelated histories of cinema,
>animation, and new media.
>Indeed, the legacy of film studies has shackled us with a rather
>deadening sense of the economy of "continuity" to such an extent that
>I suspect that the theoretical and artistic communities could well
>have shied away from embracing the "continuous" given its confusions
>with the "continuity" so important to the conventional editing of the
>Hollywood legacy.
>It's in a similar vein that I've been interested in "enfolding" into
>the hegemony of the perspective machine  the concept, flow, and force
>of the "fold" as a space/field/concept of continuous machinic
>variation.   While I've tended to foreground the more baroque and
>cinematic aspects of the fold in my  writing, your post and recent
>book sensitize me to the fact that much greater attention should be
>paid to the role played by the  legacy and conceptuality of animation
>in the development of the digital fold, particularly within the space
>of cinema.
>Thanks ever so much for such a cogent summary of the very complex
>argument you launch in The Anime Machine.
>Timothy Murray
>Director, Society for the Humanities
>Curator, The Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art, Cornell Library
>Professor of Comparative Literature and English
>A. D. White House
>Cornell University
>Ithaca, New York 14853
>empyre forum
>empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
>empyre forum
>empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au

Timothy Murray
Director, Society for the Humanities
Curator, The Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art, Cornell Library
Professor of Comparative Literature and English
A. D. White House
Cornell University
Ithaca, New York 14853
empyre forum
empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au

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