Digital Shift or Explosion: Is Technology a Substitute for Content in Independent Animation?

By Andrew Selby.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The digital shift in independent animation production, post-production and distribution would be better described as a digital explosion, such has been the massive impact of digitised media. Its aftershock has radically altered the landscape of animation and film media, the like of which has not been seen since the monumental social, economic and political fallout brought about by the Industrial Revolution. Fundamentally, the arrival and pervasive nature of digital technologies has revolutionised animation to the extent that previous understanding needs to be challenged. We are forced to reconsider, reconfigure and rediscover the parameters of the form by engaging with and developing an understanding of the diverse nature of existing creators already committed to the form, but also those creators who increasingly use animation to quantify, investigate and challenge our assumptions of captured imaginary worlds.

For architects, writers, engineers and scientists, the realms of animated sequences open up possibilities not yet chartered, rationalised or fully understood by their own core disciplines. These pioneers come from a background that is non-traditional but uses, references and relies on visual culture that might be considered to be the very language of animation, its dialects shaped by the primacy and diversity of its users to explore, explain and engage with the audience at large. If we are to debate the future of animation, we must first accept that animation is not rooted in tradition – a new wave has arrived that requires rationalised recognition through appropriate sub sections of our previous understanding of Animation Studies.

Keywords: Animation, Digital Technology, Visual Culture, Independent Animation, Animators

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 5, Issue 5, pp.1-8. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 588.073KB).

Andrew Selby

Lecturer, School of the Arts, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire, UK

Andrew Selby is an internationally recognised illustrator. His research interests reside in the field of Visual Communication, and he has written widely on the use of visual wit and humour in academic papers, articles and books. His latest publication, Animation in Process (Laurence King: 2009), follows contributions to Drawing Now: Between the Lines (I B Tauris: 2007), co-edited by TRACEY, and Drawing - The Purpose (Intellect: 2009) co-edited by Phil Sawdon and Leo Duff. Andrew is currently writing Animation for Laurence King (September: 2011) with Andrew Chong. He is co-editor of TRACEY - the online journal of drawing research, guest editor of The International Journal of The Arts in Society and also a member of the Animation Academy and Drawing Research Groups at Loughborough.

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