April theme: The Interdisciplinary Opportunity of Animation

Guest curated by: Robby Gilbert

NEW Deadline: April 6th, 2020

The origins of animation and cinema are deeply rooted in interdisciplinary practice. From the work of E.J. Marey in physiology, Josef Plateau in perceptual mechanics and biology, to the hand-drawn sounds of McLaren, animation is truly a synesthetic medium.

And yet, animation’s more common contemporary associations with the surface forms of style, genre, studio systems, and marketplaces sometimes obscure this interdisciplinary core.

In a time where industry and academia are demanding more collaborative and interdisciplinary practice between the arts, sciences, humanities, and technology, how can animation professionals and scholars re-visit animation’s basis as a multi-modal endeavor and engage in the conversation about its inherently synesthetic, cross-disciplinary origins and applications, freeing it for a moment from commercial-specific and existing industry-paradigmatic thinking?

In what ways can such re-invigorated conversations about the interdisciplinary opportunity of animation ignite new ways of thinking about the medium in the service of the invention of new applications and increased dialog with various other disciplines, too often ‘siloed’ in discrete categories of practice? What fields could be opened up for students and practitioners of animation through such dialogs?

April’s theme invites posts weighing in on these thoughts from any perspective. Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Animation and mental health;
  • Animation and medicine;
  • Animation and manufacturing;
  • Animation and climate science;
  • Projection technologies;
  • Synesthetic design;
  • Reframing of animation pedagogy with a focus away from the entertainment industries;
  • Animation and philosophy;
  • History of synesthetic design (color and sound, McLaren, etc);
  • Animation and human behavior;
  • Interactivity and decision making;
  • Virtual and augmented realities;
  • Alternative applications for animation and moving images;
  • Revised animation pedagogy.

Posts of between 600 and 900 words, which discuss any aspect of the above topic are welcome. Contributors are encouraged to include clips and at least one image to support their posts. Please also include a short bio and 3 keywords. All permissions are the responsibility of the contributor. Please contact the managing editor Cristina Formenti (cristina.formenti@unimi.it) with submissions or questions.