Animation Is

“My dreams move to the rhythm required by long journeys to countries as yet unknown, or to countries that are simply hypothetical or impossible.” Fernando Pessoa

Animation is five things today…

It is what happens when the mind, understanding that, in its strange dance with the world, things become too complex for the vessels generated by low gear, purely rationalist responses to hold, decides to look into the light so long that it moves beyond attention and into engagement. It follows in the light’s footprint.

It is an accurate incarnation of reality as lived and, more crucially, experienced. The latter sensation is not automatically contained within the fact of being alive. To experience, or rather to gauge the fact of experience, one also simultaneously needs to be alone, at one step back, looking on as well as participating, in the high window and down among the throng. The animator is perfectly placed to occupy this threshold, dancing back and forth on it as on a wire, swinging in some darkness far above the crowd, whose held breath, as tight in the chest as a drumskin, contains both awe and sometimes faint distaste at the degree of commitment required to create minutes of grace.

It is the medium in which the imagination is most clearly visible. It is as the branches of the tree are to the breeze in its journey.

It is the most democratic art form, not because it can necessarily be practiced adequately by anybody ‘just like that’, but because it allows all forms of marking, all objects, weathers, events, landscapes and intentions into its language. Its voice holds all dialects and it never speaks in the same tongue twice.

It is a word that is no longer adequate.

Sunset Strip animate! commission © Kayla Parker 1996

“There are forms of ‘failure’ that bring inconceivable rewards, in coin of self-knowledge. There are some, restless in their bones, who maybe fear an end to independence like they fear a disabling malady.” Ian Penman

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