> > > Suzanne Buchan at 'Life Remade: The Politics and Aesthetics of Animation' symposium

Suzanne Buchan at 'Life Remade: The Politics and Aesthetics of Animation' symposium
5-6 June, Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, London.

Suzanne Buchan at 'Life Remade: The Politics and Aesthetics of Animation' symposium

Prof Suzanne Buchan will present ‘'I See You’: Agency and Empathy in Animation’ at the symposium Life Remade: The Politics and Aesthetics of Animation, Simulation and Rendering, Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, 5-6 June 2015.

Speakers include Sean Cubitt, Thomas Elsaesser, Anselm Franke, Keisuke Kitano, Gillian Rose, Eyal Weizman and others.
Registration: www.bbk.ac.uk/bih/


Life Remade: The Politics and Aesthetics of Animation, Simulation and Rendering

The aesthetics of animation has come to occupy a significantly expanded social and political role, moving well beyond the sphere of either children’s entertainment or avant-garde filmmaking. We now encounter digital animations, 3D simulations and computational models in contexts ranging from ecological activism, to human rights law, to military training regimes. As rhetorical tool, affective trigger and imaginative technique, the strategic use of the animated image has become a powerful means to both “re-animate” the past and speculatively predict or envision the future. Digital and analogue animations intervene in life processes at both the intimate level of the body and the expansive scale of urban design and planetary phenomena. In relation to living systems, animation may constitute an effort to capture or simulate that which already exists, or an attempt to bring into being that which could not exist otherwise. Given this apparent contemporary proliferation of animated life, this symposium will re-consider the place of animation and simulation within visual, material and political culture.

Guantanamo Bay: Hunger Strike, Jonathan Hodgson, 2013.

Guantanamo Bay: Hunger Strike, Jonathan Hodgson, 2013.


Friday 5th June 2015

10:00–10:15 Introductory Remarks (Esther Leslie & Joel Mckim)

10:15–11:45 Panel 1: Rendering the Urban Future
Gillian Rose (Professor of Cultural Geography, Open University)
“Rendering Future Spaces: Digital Architectural Renders as Frozen Animations”
Liam Young (Architect, Tomorrow’s Thoughts Today)
“City Everywhere: Animated Scenes from the Visionary Present”

11:45–1:00 Lunch Break

1:00–2:30 Panel 2: Animation Ethics/Aesthetics
Sean Cubitt (Professor of Film and Television, Goldsmiths)
“Ethics and Animation”
Suzanne Buchan (Professor of Animation Aesthetics, Middlesex)
“I See You’: Agency and Empathy in Animation”

2:30–3:00 Break

3:00– 5:00 Panel 3: Animated Life
Screening of Harun Farocki’s Parallel I-IV (2012-14)
Thomas Elsaesser (Professor Emeritus, University of Amsterdam)
"Simulation and the Labour of Invisibility: Harun Farocki's Life Manuals"

Saturday 6th June 2015

10:00–10:15 Introductory Remarks (Esther Leslie & Joel Mckim)

10:15–11:45 Panel 1: Simulating Conflict
Eyal Weizman (Professor of Spatial and Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths) and Susan Schuppli (Senior Lecturer in Visual Culture, Goldsmiths)
“Forensic Architecture: Ground Truth”
Pasi Väliaho (Senior Lecturer in Film and Screen Studies, Goldsmiths)
“Operational Animations”

11:45–1:00 Lunch Break

1:00–2:30 Panel 2: The Politics and Aesthetics of Anime
Kitano Keisuke (Professor of Image Arts and Science, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto)
"Animated Body: The Logic of Trans-media Aesthetics in Japan"
Toshiya Ueno (Professor of Transcultural Studies, Wako University, Tokyo)
“War and Anime in the Age of Machine-Oriented Ontology: In the Case of Oshii Mammoru”

2:30–3:00 Break

3:00–5:00 Panel 3: Art of Animation
Anselm Franke (Head of Visual Arts and Film, HKW)
“On Animism”
Richard Squires (Artist, Senior Lecturer in Filmmaking, Kingston University)
"Let Me Feel Your Finger First: Acting Dumb & Playing Dead" (Screening and Talk)
Screening of Hito Steyerl’s How Not To Be Seen. A Fucking Didactic Educational .Mov File (2013)
With Introduction by Erika Balsom (Lecturer in Film Studies, King’s College)

Speaker Bios

Erika Balsom is a lecturer in Film Studies and Liberal Arts at King's College London, specializing in the study of artists' film and video. A frequent contributor to Artforum, she is the author of Exhibiting Cinema in Contemporary Art (2013) and is currently completing a book on how artists and filmmakers have confronted the implications of the reproducibility of film and video.

Suzanne Buchan is Professor of Animation Aesthetics, Director of the Art and Design Research Institute ADRI, Middlesex University London and Editor of animation: an interdisciplinary journal. Her ongoing research programme ‘Pervasive Animation’ explores animation operating outside conventional, hegemonic and commercial entertainment canons. Publications include Pervasive Animation. An AFI Film Reader (2013), The Quay Brothers: Into a Metaphysical Playroom (2011), articles and invited book chapters, with two forthcoming, on Canadian aboriginal animation (Oxford UP), and on animation and abjection (Duke UP). Buchan is also active as a curator; Animated Wonderworlds opens September 2015 at the Museum of Design Zurich (http://www.museum-gestaltung.ch/).

Sean Cubitt is Professor of Film and Television and co-Head of the Department of Media and Communications at Goldsmiths, University of London; Professorial Fellow of the University of Melbourne and Honorary Professor of the University of Dundee. His publications include Timeshift: On Video Culture, Videography: Video Media as Art and Culture, Digital Aesthetics, Simulation and Social Theory, The Cinema Effect, EcoMedia and his most recent book, The Practice of Light (MIT 2014). He has recently co-edited Rewind: British Video Art of the 1970s and 80s, Relive: Media Art History, Ecocinema: Theory and Practice, Ecomedia: Key Issues (Earthscan/Routledge 2015) and the open access anthology Digital Light (fibreculture 2015). He is the series editor for Leonardo Books at MIT Press. His current research is on media technologies, environmental impacts of digital media and on media arts and their history.

Thomas Elsaesser is Professor Emeritus at the Department of Media and Culture of the University of Amsterdam and since 2013 Visiting Professor at Columbia University. He has authored, edited and co-edited some 20 volumes on Early Cinema, Film Theory, European cinema, Hollywood, New Media and Installation Art. His most recent books are German Cinema - Terror and Trauma: Cultural Memory Since 1945 (New York: Routledge, 2013) and (with Malte Hagener) Film Theory – An Introduction through the Senses (2nd edition, New York: Routledge, 2015). He is the editor of Harun Farocki: Working on the Sight-Lines (Amsterdam: AUP, 2005).

Anselm Franke is Head of Visual Arts and Film at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin. He was the chief curator of the 10th Shanghai Biennale in 2014, curated the Taipei Biennial in 2012, and was artistic director of Antwerp’s Extra City Kunsthal from 2006 to 2010.

Kitano Keisuke is professor at the College of Image Arts and Science, Ritsumeikan University (Kyoto), of which he has been vice-dean from 2009 to 2012. In addition to his numerous books and essays, including Eizoron-Jyosetu [Introduction to the Theories of Visual Image] (Jinbunshoin, 2009), Professor Kitano has participated in many international conferences and events. These include 'The Logic of the De-cinematic, or, Origins of Japanese Cinema: from the Magic Lantern through Avant-Garde Cinema to Anime' at Birkbeck College', 'Contemporary Japanese Cinema: Outside, Elsewhere, In the World' (University of Southern California); ‘International Meeting for Film Experts’ (Berlin Film Festival, 2007); ‘Creative Industry Conference’ (Berlin, 2007); and ‘Cairo International Experimental Theatre Festival’ (2007). His recent book Society of Controls: Technologies of Desire and Power is published in Japan in 2014.

Gillian Rose is Professor of Cultural Geography at The Open University, UK. Her current research interests focus on contemporary visual culture, ways of seeing in domestic and public spaces, and visual research methodologies. She is the author of Doing Family Photography: The Domestic, The Public and The Politics of Sentiment (Ashgate, 2010) and Visual Methodologies (Sage, third edition 2011). Her most recent funded research examined how architects work with digital visualising technologies in the design of urban redevelopment projects. Gillian blogs at visual/method/culture, and a full list of her publications can be found at oro.open.ac.uk.

Susan Schuppli is an artist and freelance writer based in London. Creative projects have been exhibited throughout Canada, the US, Europe and Asia. Recent and forthcoming exhibitions include Casino Luxembourg, Extra City Antwerp, Stroom Den Haag, Shanghai Biennale, Copenhagen Short Film Festival, Irish Film Institute, Galerie Wedding Berlin and Bildmuseet Sweden. She has published widely within the context of media and politics and is author of the forthcoming book, Material Witness (MIT Press, 2015). She is currently Senior Lecturer and Acting Director of the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths. From 2011-14 she was Senior Research Fellow on the ERC project Forensic Architecture led by Eyal Weizman (Principal Investigator). www.susanschuppli.com

Richard Squires is a visual artist who works with drawing, animation, live art and the moving image. He is the founder of Let Me Feel Your Finger First (LMFYFF), a comic art project based around a family of drawn characters that reference cartoon stereotypes and fairytale archetypes. His work is shown internationally in galleries, broadcast and at festivals. Recent exhibitions include 'Alternative 23' at IMT Gallery, London (2014) and 'Comics Unmasked: Art & Anarchy in the UK' at the British Library (2014). Past projects include ‘Francis’ an Animate Projects commission for Channel 4 (2007) and ‘The Uncle Hans-Peter Party’ a live work, debuted at the ICA, London in 2009. His films are distributed by Light Cone and have been featured in various compilations including Grey Suit, Bloody Gays (Films de l'ange) and New Contemporaries: Moving Image 1968-2010 (Lux). His writing has been published in journals including Art Review, Animation Practice, Process and Production, Performance Research and Chroma Journal. www.letmefeelyourfingerfirst.com

Toshiya Ueno is Professor of Transcultural Studies at Wako University, Tokyo. His current research subject is about Machine-Oriented Ontology inspired by Felix Guattari’s ecosophy and the philosophical paradigm OOO. His works are engaged with topics ranging from anime (visual culture) via techno scene (music) to critical theory after the speculative and spatial turns. He is the author of Crimson Metal Suits (Kurenai no Metaru Suutsu, Kinokuniya, 1998) and others. His most recent publications (in Japanese) are Steppen Wolf; On Oshii Mamoru (Kouya no Ookami; Oshii Mamoru Ron, 2015) and Four Ecologies (Yottsu no Ekorogii, NTT publication, 2015 forthcoming).

Pasi Väliaho is Senior Lecturer in Film and Screen Studies at Department of Media & Communications, Goldsmiths, University of London. He is the author of Biopolitical Screens: Image, Power and the Neoliberal Brain (MIT Press, 2014) and Mapping the Moving Image: Gesture, Thought and Cinema circa 1900 (Amsterdam UP, 2010).

Eyal Weizman is an architect, Professor of Spatial and Visual Cultures, and Director of the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is a founding member of the architectural collective DAAR in Beit Sahour/Palestine. His books include Mengele’s Skull (with Thomas Keenan at Sterenberg Press, 2012), Forensic Architecture (dOCUMENTA13 notebook, 2012), The Least of all Possible Evils (Nottetempo 2009, Verso 2011), Hollow Land (Verso, 2007), A Civilian Occupation (Verso, 2003), the series Territories 1,2 and 3, Yellow Rhythms and many articles in journals, magazines and edited books. He has worked with a variety of NGOs worldwide, and was a member of the B’Tselem board of directors. He lectured, curated and organised conferences in many institutions worldwide.

Liam Young is an architect who operates in the spaces between design, fiction and futures. He is founder of the think tank Tomorrows Thoughts Today, a group who explore the possibilities of fantastic, speculative and imaginary urbanisms and co runs the ‘Unknown Fields Division’, a nomadic studio that travels on expeditions behind the scenes of the modern city.


Venue: Birkbeck Main Building, Torrington Square, Room 421
Registration: The event is free, but registration is required.
Organisers: Esther Leslie Political Aesthetics, Birkbeck
Joel McKim Media and Cultural Studies, Birkbeck