Dialogue - What is Animation?

Wednesday, 9 December | 10:00 | Bourbaki 2 | Estimated Duration: 80 minutes
Speakers: Stanislav Sokolov and Edwin Carels

Stanislav Sokolov
Animation? The modern art connecting all classical arts with the newest screen forms. Animation? The concentrated art transforming huge life experiences into poetic metaphors. Animation creates the otherwise nonexistent world. The most improbable imagination can be organically embodied in animation. At the heart of animation? Mythology, imagination, subconscious, a life of human spirit. Animation is closer to a dream than
to reality, is closer to poetry than narration. Animation? An art of vast range, capable of expressing any idea. Animation can animate any inanimate object. Any graphic stylistics can be realised in animation. Artistic conventions of animation are preferable to naturalism. But also chronicles can find embodiment in animation.

Edwin Carels
When does animism turn into animation? Animation is first of all a matter of belief. It is not so much technology that endows the filmed materials with life, as the viewer who animates what he /she sees. Animism (in anthropology, the belief that everything, whether animate or inanimate, possesses a soul or spirit) was developed as a concept by 19th century social scientists in their search for the ‹original›, ‹primitive› religion of humanity, particularly those of some pre-industrial societies. With the industrialisation of the moving image, it seems that, in modernity, the motif of
animation is never far from its opposite – the conservation, objectification and mummification of life – or even an effect of it. Animism can be seen as the antithesis to a modern stance that distilled nature into its objectified material properties alone, uncontaminated by symbolic meanings or social relations. Animism accounts for ‹knowledge as a relation› that shapes both the knower and the known.
Excerpts of the following films will be shown

Wait please
The diploma film by the tale of Maxim Gorky "The girl and the death"
Russia, 2002, 5'

Kantata "Salvation"
The diploma musical film about a theatre, storm and salvation.
Russia, 2009, 14'

The king is forgetting
The diploma film about two kings, war and peace
Russia, 2007, 5'

Shershe la…kur
The courses film in a popular classical music and two cooks
Russia, 1999, 2'

It is a new part of a long film by the well-known German romantik writer E.T.A.Hoffman, a person who sufferd a deep moral drama during time of change.
Russia, 2010, 12'

Game with Stones
A very early trial run for the later Dimensions of Dialogue, rehearsing the themes of human evolution and self-destruction. The structure is rigidly divided into distinct sections, each one representing a progression from the last, a variation on the kinds of "games" that can be played with stones.
Jan Svankmajer, Czechoslovakia, 1965

A unique tribal dance animation, influenced by Australian aboriginal art. The first of Lye’s films to be made in the UK uses more than 4,400 drawings. Tusalava was unusual at the time of its premiere, and the combination of non-narrative and abstract elements remains a powerful cinematic experiment
Len Lye, United Kingdom, 1929

Skeleton Dance
The Skeleton Dance (animated by Ub Iwerks) was the first entry in Disney’s Silly Symphonies series. In the film, four human skeletons dance and make music around a spooky graveyard.
Walt Disney, USA, 1929

Capitalism: Slavery
An antique stereograph image of cotton-pickers is computer-animated to present the scene in an active depth. It is as if Jacobs has "entered" the image and reactivated this historical moment; he moves among the figures, creating a pulsing effect that suggests motion even as it animates stasis.
Ken Jacobs, USA, 2006, 3'

The Jungle Book
With his Jungle Book Project, the French artist, Pierre Bismuth, has built a pretty little tower of Babel in the midst of our repeatedly conjured-up age of globalization by combining the various dubbed versions of the Disney film and assigning a different language to each figure.
Pierre Bismuth, France, 2002