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Title: The animator's body : feeling negative, feeling positive
Author: Smith, Vicky
ISNI:       0000 0004 5359 5853
Awarding Body: University for the Creative Arts/University of Brighton
Current Institution: University of Brighton
Date of Award: 2014
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This project is an enquiry into how imagery can be made onto film using the whole body as an instrument. It uses direct-on-film practice and case studies analysis. The research refers to experimental film theories of the material possibilities of the film (Le Grice 1977, Hamlyn 2002, Reynolds 2004), critical theories concerning the dynamics between technology and the individual, and phenomenological analysis of embodiment in relation to movement, space, situations, and objects. To duplicate a series of near identical images physically and without a camera, the artist must assume a mechanized role. Lisa Cartwright proposes that the awkward positions of the animator's body can result in alternative manifestations of autonomous practice and experiment. (Cartwright 2012) In this project, bodily fluid , boiling animation phenomena and attempts to mimic technology shape an irregular choreography of process and production, and generate novel, unfamiliar markings on film. This research involves use of the whole body, inside and out, and in close contact with the film surface. This emphasis on the physical process is theorised with reference to Laura Marks' metaphor of film's 'skin'. The tactile haptic image elicits an active viewing dynamic and is discussed in relation to how the artist uses the body as medium to variously protect, attack, invigorate, fuse, and intermingle with the materials and technology, and how in turn this reciprocity can shape a radically altered view of the animator's presence. In his discussion of the mass-produced and the uniquely crafted image, Walter Benjamin during the 1930s proposed that positive experience from the alienated conditions of labour could be reached through the mimicry of technology. In the 'aura' of early photographic images, the object, through prolonged contact and exposure, mimicked and absorbed its human subject. Likewise, in the contact film method, material lengths spill out of the camera and possess the auratic capacity to be saturated with human bodily residue - traces which, in experimental film theory, testify to an autonomy of production and allegorize a refusal to comply with standardized dictates of industry. Where all the above theories relate to the film and its viewer, this thesis translates to film and its maker. It results in a unique camera-less film inventory of unfamiliar synesthetic images, generated through the body, which is drawn upon as a source of stains, marks, and energy.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: W000 Creative Arts and Design