Research paper discussion
Methods of making ‘a world’ in animation:
The importance of processes and the meaning of using objects (symbolism)
My research paper focus was about animation methods making ‘a world’. Whether animation is a representation of reality or comes from an artistic imagination, it discusses how the meaning emerges from the process of making. ‘A world’ is accepted by the way materials and objects are used; it combines fantasy, dreams and represents the artist’s truth of reality.
Animation can be described as one of the most creative art forms; through material and method it builds a world, represents a simulated world where we can experience the unexpected. Without having any limits, it can also become an escape from reality. Different techniques such as traditional hand-drawn, puppet or paper cut-out animations are only the tools to bring the story to life, but through the processes it can start unfolding, revealing the image we don’t know, but might have experienced.
Experimental animation differs from traditional animation by methodologies and creative solutions. Unlike traditional, it is very uncontrolled and often is single artist project, where any method, material can be used to make an animation. It exists as an art form, can be subjective and leave space for individual interpretations. While traditional animations are made in studios, by a group of people, working to a perfection, artists who choose such medium feel very comfortable to explore various methods, play with materials by seeking to express their artistry.
‘The initial idea may be a desire to tell a particular story; the need to address a specific theme or topic; the imperative to test the parameters of art-making for its own sake; the urge to provoke, amuse, hypothesise, make a statement, or insist upon a point of view.’ (Wells, 2007)
What in your opinion is the most prioritised step when it comes to working with a narrative? What is more important: method and technical skills or narrative?
Would you say that artistic methods lacking quality?
Making animation is a very technical and difficult process that requires a lot of time and recourses, when artists who choose animation to tell a story, they face difficulty of deciding the importance between creativity and technical skills. Both can co-exist together, however ‘the proper’ method or technique can be too dominant and intervene with creative freedom and most importantly – how to keep as authentic as possible.
Let’s watch William Kentridge’s talk about his processes
Watch from 5:55 until 9:25
Do you think letting the story to ‘unfold’ itself within a process makes work more interesting? Adds more meaning? Or looses meaning? Why?
- The use of objects
‘Virtually all animated forms may be seen as “surreal” in the sense that many deliberately juxtapose unusual and unexpected aspects within nominally plausible, authentic and fictionally consistent environments.’ (Wells, 2007)
Animation is a great method to give an idea of what world it could be if all was real. Approaching the narrative with stop-motion technique can feel very surreal, but knowing the fact that it exists, the same idea can be used for animating the situations; something that cannot happen in the real world, using fantasy and symbolism can help us to see and understand that world. Everything in animation builds ‘a world’; story, aesthetics, process, the artist’s view and how it is played. Using creativity, it is possible to discuss about various topics with visual representation using symbolism and metaphors.
Nathalie Djurberg has a unique way of telling a story, while discussing politics, ethics, human behaviour and taboos. An innocent tool such as claymation demonstrates how ‘a world’ is being created and (or) destroyed.
Watch Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg talking about their inspiration
Watch from 1:00 until 1:50
How do we use objects to create meanings? Do you create any meanings or let the meaning to appear within the process? How do you use your inspiration in your own work?
What are your thoughts about humour in animation? It seems that is acceptable to ridicule almost anything, while if it was something else, that would be shocking.
‘Human Comedy, where the most socially-inspired nuances of passion (conceit, rightfulness, refined cruelty, a sense of ‘paying one’s debts’) always felicitously find the clearest sign which can receive them, express them and triumphantly carry them to the confines of the hall. It is obvious that at such a pitch, it no longer matters whether the passion is genuine or not. What the public wants is the image of passion, not passion itself.’ (Barthes, 2009)
Do you think animation is more educational (like folklore) or rather has the function of entertaining (ridicule the world)?
I haven’t discussed or analysed about animation’s fluidity in my research paper, but this is something I have become very interested in. I started working on creating ‘a world’ while animating, which I found very exciting and fun to work with, therefore I started to notice other details such as flow. And I am particularly interested in looping flows.
So, for the end, I left this animation to watch.
And if you have any thoughts about flow, I am happy to hear them!
Thank you all 😊