The animate! book: rethinking animation
Editors: Benjamin Cook and Gary Thomas
The animate! book takes the AnimateTV scheme as a starting point for a wide-ranging exploration of the relationship between art and animation, and the place of animation and its concepts in contemporary art practice.
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Number of pages: 160 pp
Illustrations: 870 full colour images
Format: paperback plus DVD (PAL/Region Free)
Date of publication: November 2006
Published by: LUX, London in collaboration with Arts Council England
Edwin Carels, in his essay Animation = A multiplication of art forms, explores the historical oscillation of animation between art and cinema in critical discourse.
In Build it and They Will Come: animate! and the Extended Imagination, Gareth Evans and Dick Arnall trace the history of the Animate commissions in terms of paradigm-shifting moments in both animation technology and practice.
In his essay Occupation: Animation and the Visual Arts, Ian White draws out some of the darker connotations inherent in animation concepts and traces them through the work of visual artists who are not usually known as ‘animators’.
Angela Kingston describes the particular challenges of working with animation in a gallery context and exploring ideas of animation cross medium, beyond film and video.
Mike Sperlinger interviews eight animators commissioned by Animate about their practice and perspectives on animation: AL and AL, Paul Bush, Ann Course, Inger Lise Hansen, Jonathan Hodgson, Tim Hope, Ruth Lingford, Tim Macmillan.
The book additionally comes with a DVD of films commissioned by Animate representing the diversity of projects that the project has supported.
Cowboys (That’s Nothin’), Phil Mulloy (1991)
Soho Square, Mario Cavalli (1992)
Biogenesis, William Latham (1993)
What She Wants, Ruth Lingford (1994)
Feeling My Way, Jonathan Hodgson (1997)
Withdrawal, George Barber (1997)
Ferment, Tim Macmillan (1999)
Love is All, Olivier Harrison (1999)
Rotting Artist, Ann Course and Paul Clark (2002)
Perpetual Motion in the Land of Milk and Honey, AL and AL (2004)
'Comprising a series of essays, think pieces, dissections and critiques all of which attempt to place the commissioned works into a broader cinematic and artistic context, the book not only acts as a rigorous retelling of the story of animation, it also pushes the idea that the formal nature of animation doesn’t stop with the page or computer screen... Written with a prose which is almost as electric as some of the work of which it speaks, its a book in which a knowledge and adoration of the subject screams from every sentence...
For those who think that the subject matter teeters on the darker side of obscure, the volume comes bundled with a supplementary DVD which includes a selection of animate!’s commissions, ranging from Phil Mulloy’s bawdy charcoal western Cowboys/That’s Nothin’ to Ruth Lingford’s sexually provocative What She Wants. This not only allows you to keep up to speed with the evolution of the project, but offers a neat shortcut through the center of animate!’s weird and wonderful world. A great guide to a gutsy and passionate project which will hopefully swell in size and stature despite the sad demise of its pioneering figurehead Dick Arnall.’
David Jenkins, Vertigo Magazine, May 2007
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