OCAD University Open Research Repository

To Hold a Heartbeat: A Materialist Investigation of Animation

Lynde, Dorian (0022) To Hold a Heartbeat: A Materialist Investigation of Animation. Masters thesis, OCAD University.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Lynde, Dorian

The earliest patents for the cel technique of animation, issued to Earl Hurd and John Randolph Bray in 1914, describes a division of labour between the animator and his helper, whereby the artist uses an unskilled assistant to perform the task of tracing and painting. This method standardized and industrialized animation, paving the way for massive labour inequity, and helping to define animation’s hierarchy of creative authority. This delineation between skilled and unskilled labour led to the segregation of animation studios by gender, where women became responsible for most of the unskilled work and were precluded from creative areas of the studios. This thesis explores labour in the animation industry through the analysis, manipulation, alteration, and reproduction of the archival production materials that comprise an animated film. Using a methodological approach situated within research-creation, the body of work is composed of palimpsestic collages and paintings that explore the language and materiality of animation. I argue that a materialist approach to animation allows the viewer a more holistic understanding of a film’s historiographic and sociopolitical implications: to expose its underlying power structure, an animation may be viewed not as a totality, but from its individual frames or ‘cels.’ Drawing from a theoretical framework underpinned by new materialism and theorists such as Hannah Frank and Esther Leslie, this work attempts to harness the vocabulary of animated visual culture and recontextualize it, questioning authorship, originality, notions of collective meaning, high versus low art, art and alienation, and the reproduction of the image.

Date: 12 May 0022
Uncontrolled Keywords: Art, Animation, Labour, Feminism
Divisions: Graduate Studies > Interdisciplinary Art, Media and Design
Date Deposited: 13 May 2022 19:39
Last Modified: 13 May 2022 19:39
URI: https://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/3749

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