[-empyre-] post

Christiane Robbins cpr at mindspring.com
Sat Feb 27 07:09:37 EST 2010

By way of possible follow-up, some of you may be interested in the  
research trajectories of a recent USC doctoral student, Annabelle  
Honess Roe, whose dissertation revolved around a study of animated  
documentaries as seen thru  the lens of epistemology:

"I argue that animation expands the documentary’s epistemological  
realm. Not only by presenting the conventional subject matter of  
documentaries (the “world out there” of observable, the witnessable  
and the external) in new ways, but also through animation’s potential  
to visually convey the “world in here” of the personal, the subjective  
and the internal. In this way, the animated documentary literally  
animates and enlivens the documentary and, with it, documentary  
studies – casting new light on some of the central questions of this  
discipline. As such, my dissertation broadens the scope of both  
documentary studies and animation studies and the expectations we  
might have from both of these forms.

I begin with the suggestion that there are two key ways in which  
animation functions in a non-fiction context: either to substitute for  
missing live-action material or to interpret the world and reality in  
an expressive way. I suggest that this differs from the way animation  
and documentary have traditionally been hybridised and in my first  
chapter I demonstrate this through an examination of the historical  
precedent for the convergence of animation and documentary. "



On Feb 26, 2010, at 6:25 AM, christopher sullivan wrote:

> Hi Thyrza, when you decide what is hardy and what is not is can  
> always lead to
> trouble, trouble is good, I go there all the time.
>     Temporality and time are pretty big issues. I think as an  
> animator one of
> the real challenges is presenting real time images, with silence and  
> stillness.
> Animation is often thought of as something that should be clear,  
> informational,
> and when one drifts from that. audiences can be confused.
>     In the new film Country Doctor, by Koji Yamamura , there is a  
> bit of this.
> the film is beautiful, but sometimes you want it to shut up,  
> visually and audio
> wise (I would say this about my work too) . but perhaps it is  
> animators trying
> to respond to audiences desire for clarity. I want Prit Pran who I  
> love, to
> shut up sometime. But animators feel compelled to clarify and give  
> context,
> perhaps it is an impulse from animation being a commercial vehicle  
> for humor,
> for most of it's life.
>     Igor Zovalov, is willing to shut up, which I like(see Milch) very
> depressing but interesting. by the way, I love the Quays and they are
> paramount, but I would like to here people talk about some of the  
> other great
> animators who are out there now. have a good day.
> Quoting T Goodeve <tgoodeve at gmail.com>:
>> Hello everyone:
>> I'm not sure I posted correctly. I sent this last night as a reply.  
>> Sorry if
>> I'm confusing anyone. Thyrza
>> Sorry I’ve been so lax as a discussant-generator but here I am with  
>> some
>> thoughts and reflections. If it’s okay just an aside first: off the  
>> top of
>> my fingertips—many of you make stuff you love and live for, also  
>> write about
>> with great passion, and the animated worldscape is still and ever  
>> will be
>> one of magic and wonder I hope (you have the romantic here), i.e.,  
>> endless
>> visual and aural reimagings via its ability, or definition, whether  
>> anlogue
>> or digital, to do anything and everything within and beyond the  
>> spacetime
>> continuum. But sometimes I miss the basic humor, wonder, and sheer  
>> “wow” of
>> the simplicity of animation. I mentioned in a post. The blank page  
>> and the
>> dot. We lose track, myself included, analyzing the life out of things
>> sometimes and to do this with animation seems particularly  
>> perverse. I
>> realize I set myself up for a bit of ridicule here but alas,  
>> someone has to
>> speak up for the puppet doll in *Street of Crocodiles* who cradles  
>> the bare
>> light bulb baby in its arm and brings it back to life with light,  
>> or the
>> frayed and earnest bunny who does his best to keep up with the  
>> spinning
>> demented ping pong balls and a pair of disembodied knee socks and  
>> slippers
>> moving up and down on tip toes in the Quays “Are We Still Married” — 
>> up and
>> down, up and down. I think Christopher Sullivan was trying to get  
>> at this
>> but not evieryone is out to do what he does nor interested in the  
>> way I am or
>> the Quays or for that matter, those who use it for visualization, but
>> depending on why you do what you do we are here to discuss the  
>> breakthrough
>> insights of theory and technology and animation, but it’s just  
>> sometimes
>> I’ve felt we’ve let the technology get away with doing too much of  
>> the
>> talking, not that it doesn’t have a lot to say.
>> But a more hardy, if overly general, topic is temporality and time,  
>> now-time
>> vs say the way cinema’s capturing, sculpting, control of time was  
>> such a
>> huge part of its magic. Siegfried Kracauer describe in an essay how  
>> powerful
>> just “having” the wind in the trees —a moment— captured on film is  
>> for him.
>> How different from one of my students when I showed some film,  
>> perhaps
>> Tarkovsky,” Why does he keep leaving the camera on the trees so  
>> long?”
>> Students of cinema are different. We know this: ADD and short  
>> digitized
>> attention spans. But how do you see this in your worlds of  
>> animation either
>> in terms of resistance or something emerging that is part of this.  
>> One thing
>> I thought was very relevant was the post of the shift tilt which is  
>> amazing
>> and disturbing in this respect. Lots to say about it: not only the  
>> time
>> lapse but the way the world is miniaturized. Here the real  
>> profilmic world
>> is literally made into an stop motion animated “cartoon”. One could  
>> talk
>> about the Quays work and time – both in terms of period and affect;  
>> rhythm
>> and texture of their worlds (*In Absentia*, the film they made with
>> Stockhausen, is in some ways about light/time, metaphorically  
>> written all at
>> once over and over (the character n the film) hence no time.  
>> Endless time.
>> Speed of light…  .) But I do not know what people have seen. I am  
>> more
>> interested in hearing you all discuss temporality and animation  
>> “today”—both
>> theoretically and examples. These discussions are so energetic.  
>> They amaze
>> me.
>> Thanks, Thyrza
> Christopher Sullivan
> Dept. of Film/Video/New Media
> School of the Art Institute of Chicago
> 112 so michigan
> Chicago Ill 60603
> csulli at saic.edu
> 312-345-3802
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> http://www.subtle.net/empyre

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