Brussels to China: Koi Animation

Working and living in Beijing has been an awesome change. In the past I spent so much time making stop motion animation and very recently I had made a new one. The capital city of China is a very animated place and therefore it inspired me to complete this animation. The reason for making it is a pleasant one; the moving image is for a good friend of mine. Joey Wright is an extremely musically and sonically attuned individual he has been busy playing in various bands and collaborative projects in his home city of Brussels in Belgium. The band Mishaps are a trio and Joey sings and plays guitar. Their style is very eclectic and animating for them was very enjoyable. My friend may still use and re-edit the animation in the future but regardless of what happens it was a lot of fun re-visiting my past creative habits and practice. So, this animation for the track titled The Trap was intended as a parting gift to this Brussel’s based creative.

The animation’s aesthetic is inspired by my fondness and personal experience of Asian culture and imagery. The Koi fish has a long-standing place in mythology and respect for the beauty of nature and so it was an obvious form to use with music. People may associate the Koi fish with Japan but like most things in East-Asia this fish was transported to this Island nation from China. This is the first time I have animated fish and the combination of their natural environment plus their physical shape lend a lot of potential to the possible sequences an animator may create with this fish. Moreover, in China there is a well known piece of mythology in which three Koi fish attempt to swim up a waterfall. Only one succeeds and reaches the top and in doing so transforms into a dragon. Being a Westerner I do not assume to understand the intricacies of this myth however a seemingly obvious interpretation would be: true transformation arises through perseverance. It would be interesting to see or ask a Chinese person for their own reflections on this myth and the place of this infamous fish in other places and stories.

I hope that people enjoy the music and take pleasure in viewing this scruffy and scrapbook like piece of animation.


All Turtles Should be Red:

Watching An Isolated Isolation in Reddo Tātoru: Aru Shima no Monogatari レッドタートル ある島の物語




In 2016 Japanese director/producer Toshio Suzuki and Dutch animator Michaël Dudok de Wit collaborated to produce a jewel of a silent film; the title translates directly into English as Red Turtle: The story of an island. A film that features a narrative of a shipwrecked existence terrorised by a strangely coloured turtle. The Silence of this film lends and supports its Japanese flavour and taste. One loves the way it is animated with such care and compassion for the re-depiction of reality that it presents. Indeed the narrative of isolation that the protagonist suffers is also a potential re-depiction of reality in that although we are strongly grounded in living in communities of infinite variability this might not provide enough data for an individual to understand their own being. Thus after watching this film we could choose to take away from the experience a question: how do we understand ‘isolation’ as it is in the film and in wider contexts of life?

For me the medium of animation is partly isolating and this needs no proving it is self evident that even with contemporary production software that makes use of nodes and modes so as to maximise and streamline the working of animation the process remains time consuming and therein isolating. But animation is like an island a very small patch of land surrounded by a liquid and in this sense it carries a metaphorical energy that reminds of the place of the cell in artificial movement. But, here the cell seems closer to biology and therefore the belief that one might know a given state of the natural world; although is this not contrary to the truth of animation and its relation to that ancient belief; that ancient truth that states everything is subject to a force understood and experienced as change. Along with this, the relation we have had with knowledge is increasingly troubling me: for instance in the perspective ordered by science we use the word ‘isolation’ in tandem with a positive idea that of objective certainty, ‘we need to isolate the cause’, but at the same time thinking about the social use of the word we find a mainly negative usage of isolating.

There are ways in which individualism which is perhaps the term we might use to describe the idea that isolation is a positive. But, isn’t this cultist self so absurdly false and artificial that it deserves to be laughed at and derided because although there are great achievements made by remarkable individuals is it not the case that these are still socially determined and culturally by acts of barbarism? Is it not a point to wrestle with this antagonism between being all alone, and how in society this is often a kind of punishment: a naughty step, a sin bin, and a detention. Today, though we need to encourage retention so in this spirit one wishes to explore the theme of isolation not as a punishment ( we can do this another day) but rather as a part of survival itself. This will be attempted by way of a short exploration of the wider use of shipwrecked individuals and their islands both in art and wider cultural events. But, before we take a leap from the island with the red turtle let us make a brief nap on the island called language. In Japanese the name for island is Shima, the kanji 島 is composed of two parts bird and mountain and so from a Japanese perspective the position from which we are looking at the island and its isolation is one from the fluid movements of the sea.

Not all islands are in possession of mountains but they all possess their own geological culture which is not dependent on humans being marooned on its land. I wonder if this was a concern at any point for artist Charles Avery created a fictional island under the project The Islanders () one reads that our access to this island is mainly by a town brilliantly named Onomatopoeia and in the manner which these inhabitants might like or appreciate I can not help but take the noun of this capital topos and play on the place called island. Island sounds like its meant to be split into ‘is-land’ and I do not know are ‘is-lands’ the smallest land; is there not some land smaller than an ‘is-land’? I think so however I do not know so! Avery’s project is extremely seductive I want to read more about it and look at his dynamic drawings which are our only points of entry to this fiction that serves as a gateway towards greater insight on the determination that comes hand in hand with isolation. Do Avery’s islanders feel isolated and if so do they actually want foreigners visiting?

Japan, we are told by a world history was isolationist certainly not protectionist as it is now. This most Eastern of islands has a history of not only being isolated but of isolated individuals its almost as if the presence of many separated land masses presented an opportunity for the Japanese to exercise their imagination in spectacular ways. Japan has an island exclusively for Cats, and an island unfortunately patriarchal in its spiritual value (the island of Okinoshima excludes woman). A man named Masafumi Nagasaki has lived as a hermit in Japan for so many years and does not seem to have cared about his isolated condition. Next to this is the specifically unique Japanese notion of being a hermit 引き籠もりHikikomori a withdrawn world. Japan is a country comprised of a series of Islands that gracefully slide from the east of the earth. There are so many beautiful places in this country from the outskirts of Hokkaido, Hiroshima, and Okinawa, to Kyoto and the towering Tokyo.

Next to these Japanese is-lands there is a widely read and influential Arabic story about a boy growing up on a desert Island. I was introduced to this story by the princely German Idealist Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling who references it in a text he wrote in praise of Immanuel Kant’s monumental achievement in re-defining the place of the subject in human thinking.[I] Schelling references Philosophus autodidactus in dismissing the causal scepticism of David Hume as Kant so forcefully did. Schelling’s words and sentences liken the causal presupposition the necessity of a portion of our judgements being prior to experience because the experience itself is created by the time and space already present at the moment of judging. This independence of our will is perhaps similar to the universal law of gravity suggests Schelling. So here we have an isolation in philosophy an attempt to give ground to a metaphysics that was then in need of solidifying as an objective science. I wonder if the child on this fictional Arabic island shares traits with the red turtle’s captive?

The child like the man finds a route away from isolation by the application of an innate understanding. We learn that this medieval jewel of philosophical reflection might not have made it through history if its author had not been the protégé of a prince who translated the works of Aristotle into Latin. The most delightful thing about this text and it is a quality shared by the animated film is that although theology is present it is as an undercurrent or something you have to see yourself. Rather then the usual focus on a neoplatonic emanation and a kensosis anchored to the One what you have instead is the number two: two islands, two islanders, two forms. Perhaps there are two ideas that are influential for our viewing of this fantastic film: I was recently watching something that gave me the idea that silence (remembering the animation is silent) is made possible by the failure of language. Next to this is the existence of pure negativity that our positivity has to constantly resist? I often wonder if Japanese notions of nothingness are able to mediate this issue. In our Arabic story of island isolation there are frequent moments where the language plays between this dynamic of universality construed as infinite and the finitude of the individual being.

‘since the notion of imperfection is nothing but a mere Non-existence or what depends upon it? And how can he in anyway partake of Non-existence, who is the Pure Existence, necessarily by his Essence; who gives being to everything that exists, and besides whom their is no existence; but He is the being, He is the perfection, He the plenitude, He the beauty, He the glory, He the power, He the knowledge?


As if you take any Body whatsoever in your hand, and then move your hand, the body will without doubt follow the motion of your hand? With such a motion as shall be posterior to it in Nature, tho’ not in Time, because they both began together. So all this World is caused and created by this agent, out of time, Whose command is, when he would have anything done, Be, and it is.’


–  Ibn Tufayl [II]

To further Tufayl’s contribution to the animated experience let us deal with the ultimate mischief maker called time. The above quote suggests time and space began together and this is indicative of the thoughts of Kant in his Critique of Pure Reason, ‘Time is nothing other than the form of inner sense, i.e., of the intuition of our self and our inner state. For time cannot be a determination of outer appearances; it belongs neither to a shape or a position, etc.’[III] Evil German philosopher Martin Heidegger found Kant’s definition to be inspiring and states so early on in his philosophical masterpiece, ‘…apriori is the interpretation of genuine historical beings. Travelling through time with their own historicity.’ [IV] This motion then is to be considered as nature; time is our natural state. But to resolve these German notions of time let us turn back to the medieval period and to an Asian master, Dogen Zenji who has a distinctly unique concept of time, a ‘Time Being’ or Uji in Japanese. It seems more befitting to both the marooned man attacked by a turtle and other historical individuals such as Nakahama “John” Manjirō who was one of the first Japanese translators to work with the Americans. As a young man Manjirō-san was indeed marooned and shipwrecked on Torishima Island.

In master Dogen’s essay on Time Being, we see how it might be a complete waste of time to initiate a thinking about isolation. Dogen’s words make it appear as if time is a unifying thing only if one has attained the capacity to see the way. Dogen describes a unified and not an isolated time thus, ‘The way the self arrays itself is the form of the entire world. See each thing in this entire world as a moment of time. Things do not hinder one another, just as moments do not hinder one another. The way-seeking mind arises in this moment. A way-seeking moment arises in this mind. It is the same with practice and with attaining the way. Thus the self setting itself out in array sees itself. This is the understanding that the self is time.’[V]This understanding is present and sharply felt if one finds themselves in extreme isolation when one is forced to consider the limits of being: time remains ever present and mischievous. Natural time then is unforgivably uniform and only appears to change; Dogen’s point is that we should learn to partake in this uniformity lest we fall and victimise the self.

In a way the Western perception of isolation dwells in an unhelpful negativity as described in a recent article by researcher Frank Johnson, he says ‘”[R]eality” resides outside the individual. The accepted orientation is to relate to the world in a direct and a discrete way as an external environment. States of cogitation which center on internal phenomena run the risk of being disparaged as irrational and dangerous.’[VI] Here though what is this natural force experienced as the blood red turtle other than a demand to work with this radical evil, this das radikal Böse, or a pure negativity? Freud gives voice to a potential for two methods to unite to solve unwelcome separations and to move towards surviving them; two methods that reside under the names Psychoanalysis and Zen Buddhism may be different but possess the same aim. Writing in ‘Beyond The Pleasure Principle’ Freud diagnoses this devilish red shelled being, ‘errare humanum est perseverare autem diabolicum (to err is human, to persist is of the devil). If this science of the human psyche and the most refined of Asian spiritual practices were to find themselves being brought closer together then we can continue to isolate what makes isolation always potentially part of the silence of animation.

“A state is called the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly lieth it also; and this lie creepeth from its mouth: “I, the state, am the people.”

– Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

Finally these guardian deities of the lonely spirit brought the war.

You are not to blame. I, of course, am not to blame. Everything is the doing of loneliness.


Loneliness made them carry guns, even made them, with the bait of loneliness, shrug off their mothers and wives

and leave toward where the flags flapped.

Trinket makers, cleaners, clerks, students,

all turning into folk shaken with the wind.


Every and each one, no distinction among them. All taught to die was best.

Petty, timid, good-natured people, their thoughts darkened in the name of the Emperor, went off like brats, delighted, hubbubbing.


But on the home front, we’re nervous,

fearful of an arrow with white feathers,

forcing ourselves to push aside skepticism and anxiety,

we try to spend just this one day, we’re all doomed anyway,

drunk on the sake given out.

Egoism, and the shallowness of love.

Bearing it in silence, women wait for rations,

linking themselves like beggars.

People’s expressions growing sadder day by day,

the fate of the folk of an all-out nation,

I had not seen, since my birth, a loneliness so immediate, so profound.

But I no longer care. To me, such loneliness doesn’t mean anything now.


The loneliness that I, I now truly feel lonely about

is that I can’t feel, around me, any desire, not even of a single person,

holding his ground in the opposite direction of this degradation, trying to find the very roots of loneliness as he walks with the world. That’s it. That’s the only thing.


On 5 May 1945, Boys’ Day

– Mitsuharu-Kaneko, The Song of Loneliness



I. Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling. (1994) ‘On the History of Modern Philosophy: Kant, ed. By A. Bowie Cambridge, CUP, 94-106 

II. Ibn Tufayl. (1929), The History of Hayy Ibn Yaqzan (Alive, Son of Awake), Translated from the Arabic by Simon Ockley. Westminster Press, London

III. Immanuel Kant. (1998), Critique of Pure Reason, Cambridge University Press, B 50. 163

IV. Martin Heidegger. (1996), Being & Time, State University of New York Suny Press. 11

V. Zen Master Dogen, Moon in a Dewdrop, trans. Dan Welch and Kazuaki Tanahashi

VI. Frank Johnson. Psychological Alienation: Isolation and Self-ESTRANGEMENT , Psychoanalytic Review (1963), 62:3 (1975:Fall) p.369




2016年で日本人の演出家スズキ・トツオとホランド人のアニメーター、デゥドクデウィット・マィークル静粛な映画を作るのでご協力しました。題名は英語に翻訳して「Red Turtle: The story of an island」です。映画のナラティブは難破の存在が変なカラード亀経由して恐怖しました。映画の静粛な事は日本的な嗜好に支持しました。私は映画のアニメ仕方で実をまた描くのために用心と慈悲がとても大好きです。実際には、主人公が苦しむ孤立の物語はまた、我々は強く無限の変動のコミュニティに住んでいるに基づいているが、それは個人が理解するのに十分なデータを提供していないということで現実の潜在的な再描写である。したがって、この映画を見た後、私たちは、経験からの質問を取ることを選択することができます: どのように我々はそれがフィルムで、生活の広い文脈で「分離」を理解するのですか?





これらの日本の島々の隣には、砂漠の島で育った少年についての広く読まれ影響力のあるアラビア語の物語があります。私はこの物語を、人間の思考における主題の場所を再定義する際のイマヌル・キャントの記念すべき功績を称えて書いたテキストの中でそれを引用している、ドイツの理想主義者フリードリック・ウィルヘルム・ジョーゼフ・スケリングによって紹介されました。[1] シェリングは、カントがデビッド・ヒュームの因果的な懐疑を却下する際にフィローソーフィカズ・オートディダクタズを参考にしました。 シェリングの言葉や文章は、経験そのものが判断の瞬間にすでに存在している時間と空間によって作られているので、因果関係の前提は経験の前に判断の一部が必要であると考えています。私たちの意志のこの独立性はおそらくシェリングを示唆している普遍的な重力の法則に似ています。 ですから、ここで私たちは哲学を孤立させ、形而上学に根拠を与えようとしました。 この架空のアラビア島に住む子供が、アカガメの捕虜と形質を共有しているのでしょうか。

男のような子供は、先天的理解の適用によって孤立から離れた道を見つけます。 著者がアリストテレスの作品をラテン語に翻訳した王子の原始者でなかったならば、この中世の哲学的反射の宝石は歴史を通してそれを成し遂げなかったかもしれないことを私たちは学びます。このテキストについての最も楽しいこと、そしてそれがアニメ映画によって共有されている品質は、神学が存在しているけれどもそれはあなたが自分自身を見なければならないという何か不足しているということです。 そうではなく、ネオプラトニックな発散と、人に固定された尖塔に焦点を当てることは、2つの島、2つの島人、2つの形式です。この素晴らしい映画を見るためには、おそらく2つのアイデアがあります。私は最近、言葉の失敗によって沈黙(アニメーションは沈黙していること)が可能になるという考えを与えてくれるものを見ていました。 これの隣に私達の積極性が絶えず抵抗しなければならない純粋な否定性の存在がありますか。私は、何もないという日本の概念がこの問題を解決することができるのではないかとしばしば思う。 島の孤立についての私達のアラビア語の物語では、言語が無限として解釈されるこの普遍性の動的と個人の存在の間で演じる場面が頻繁にあります。


「不完全さの概念は単なる非存在に他ならないのか、それともそれに依存するの か? そして彼はどうしてもとにかく彼の本質によって、純粋な存在である存在しな いのに参加することができます。誰が存在するすべてのものに存在を与えるのか、 それ以外には存在しないのか。 しかし、彼は存在であり、彼は完全さであり、彼は 寛容さであり、彼は美しさであり、彼は栄光であり、彼は力であり、彼は知識であ るか。

あなたがどんな体をあなたの手の中に持っていってそしてあなたの手を動かしたか のように、体は間違いなくあなたの手の動きに従うでしょうか? それらが共に始ま ったので、時間内ではなくて、自然の中でそれの後にあるような動きで。ですか ら、この世界はすべて、このエージェントによって引き起こされ、創造されたので す。」

イブン・タフェール [2]

アニメーション体験へのタフェールの貢献をさらに深めるために、私たちは時間と呼ばれる究極のいたずらメーカーに対処しましょう。上記の引用は時間と空間が一緒に始まったことを示唆しています、そしてこれは彼の純粋な理由の批評におけるカントの考えを示しています、「時間は内なる感覚の形式、すなわち私たちの自己と内なる状態の直感の形に他ならない。しばらくの間、外観の決定はできません。 形や位置などに属さない。ドイツの邪悪な哲学者マーティン・ハイデガーは[III]、カントの定義が感動的であると述べ、彼の哲学的傑作の早い段階で述べています。自分自身の歴史を持って時を経て旅をする[IV]。時間は私たちの自然な状態です。しかし、これらのドイツの時間的概念を解決するために、私たちは中世の時代と、明確にユニークな時間の概念、日本語での「時の存在」またはUji(有時)を持っているアジアのマスター、道元禅師に話を戻しましょう。他の歴史的な人、マンジロウ・”ジョン”ナカハマさんと難破の男性にもっと相応をみたいですので、マンジロウ・”ジョン”ナカハマさんは日本人の翻訳者がまずアメリカ人と働きました。若い人でナカハマさんは鳥島に難破しました。

道元禅師氏のTime Being(有時)に関するエッセイでは、孤立について考えることを開始することがいかに完全な時間の浪費になるかを見ています。 道元の言葉は、時間が道を見る能力を達成した場合にのみ、時間は統一的なものであるかのように見えるようにします。道元は統一された、孤立した時間ではない、と説明しています。この全世界のそれぞれのものを時の瞬間として見てください。瞬間がお互いを妨げないように、物事はお互いを妨げません。道を探す心がこの瞬間に生まれます。この心の中に、道を探す瞬間が生まれます。それは練習でもやり方でも同じです。このように、配列の中に出ている自己はそれ自身を見ます。これは自己が時間であるという理解です。[V] この理解は存在し、存在の限界を考慮せざるをえないときに極端に孤立していると感じると鋭く感じられます。自然な時間はそれから容認できないほど一様で、変化するように思われるだけです。 道元のポイントは、私たちが転倒して自己を犠牲にしないように、この統一性に参加することを学ぶべきだということです。

ある意味では、研究者フランク・ジョンソンによる最近の記事で説明されているように、孤立に対する西洋の認識は有益でない否定性を示しています。「現実は個人の外にあります。 受け入れられている方向づけは、外部環境として直接的かつ個別の方法で世界に関係することです。 内部現象を中心とした共引用の状態は、非合理的で危険だと惑わされる危険があります」。[VI] ここで、この急進的な悪、このdas radikalBöse、または純粋な否定的なものと共に働くという要求以外に、この自然の力はどうしているのですか。フロイトは、歓迎されない分離を解決し、それらを生き残るために動くための2つの方法の可能性を表明します。疎遠’精神分析とZen Buddhism禅という名前の下にある2つの方法は異なるかもしれませんが、同じ目的を持っています。「喜びの原則を超えて」と書くと、フロイトはこの悪魔のような赤い殻を診断します(誤った人間は人間であり、持続するのは悪魔です)。 この人間の精神の科学と最も洗練されたアジアの精神的慣行が互いに近づくことを発見することであるならば、孤立を常に潜在的にアニメーションの沈黙の一部にするものを孤立させ続けることができます。


寂しさの歌   四










1.フリードリック・ウィルヘルム・ジョーゼフ・スケリング(1994年). ‘近代的な歴史: カント’. エッドはボウイ・ア、ケーンブリッジのプレス

2.イブン・タフェール(1928年). ‘ حي بن يقظان’, ‘フィローソーフィカズ・オートディダクタズ’アラビア語から翻訳者はサイモン・オックレ、ウエストミンスタープレス、ロンドン

3.イマヌル・キャント(1998年).’純粋理性批判’ ケーンブリッジ大学のプレス


5.道元禅師(ドウゲン・ゼンジ)(1996年)’露滴の月’ 翻訳者はダン・ウエッチと棚橋・カズアキ




Inorganic Animations

Inorganic Animations:

A Review of Spyros Papapetros’ ‘On the Animation of the Inorganic: Art, Architecture, and the Extension of Life’(University of Chicago Press: Chicago & London, 2012).




Paul Harrison (2019).


To what extent do humans have agency in the worlds they inhabit? What can we consider as animation? How far does life extend? These three questions are but an initial triangle shaped sample of the many questions nestled within the pages of Papapetros’ book. A book that encompasses a vast range of important aesthetic and historical interventions and explorations. Drawing on the work of some influential European art historians such as Aby Warburg, Wilhelm Worringer, Otto lehman, and Ernst Haeckel this book is one of a handful of critical studies of the fluid movements that have been considered as possible explanations for the movement that resides in matter we long considered to be dead. Such is that ingrained assumption inherited from ancient cultures that things that are visibly in motion are alive and that which is opposite isn’t. How then does this text undermine and usurp this assumption?

By taking these mostly conservative German sources and drawing a line from Warburg’s dissertation ‘Sandro Botticellis “Geburt der Venus” und ‘Frühling,’(1893) with its aims of exploring the animated status of the fabrics and clothing decorating the bodies of art on to Worringer’s Abstraction and Empathy (1919) putting forth how this historian saw an inorganic framework of the swirling motifs of the animal ornamentation of the Nordic and Celtic forms. Lehman, who was a crystallographer, coined the term ‘flüssige or fliessende Kristalle’ (liquid or flowing crystals) measuring the changes in expansion under heat and cold temperature. Finally, Haeckel also adds to this liquid crystalline section of the book, but he demands we consider the homophagy involved in the creation and merging of crystals: clearly pointing to, ‘how immobility can become pregnant with a new form of life’. This nod to cannibalism makes me think of how languages swallow other languages; and how some languages manage to resist such a process. German is encountered on every other page of the book because of its unique place in aesthetic thinking.

It is certainly true that next to this gratitude we should have for the book’s capacity to teach and remind the reader of the beauty of the German language; there is another unarguably special quality this book contains. Everyone understands that books are better when they have pictures in them and in this case you shall not be left disappointed. One example of such a visual delight comes from a cartoon in a political magazine called Simplicissimus (1919) the image is of an aggressive German expression of cubes attacking man; the German reads, ‘Die Kurve, die Grundform des Kapitalismus, ist überwunden. Die neue Beist bricht an. Dröhnend marschiert der kubus durch das Universum’ (“The curve, the primary form of capitalism, is overcome. The new day dawns. Threateningly, the cubes march through the universe.”). Other examples of visual events that are striking include a slide of a book, James Furgusson’s Tree and Serpent Worship (1868); on Asian culture and belief that supports a reverence for snakes and their mechanical cold blooded motion.


Next to this Ouroboros reminder we find a delightful reference to a French love of liquor found in the very first advertisements for the tire manufacture Michelin. One poster is titled with the Latin Nunc est Bibendum (“Now let us drink!”) we learn these posters carry a force from the painter Fernand Léger that moved from the ancient pneuma (soul/spirit) and towards a French pneumatique invested in the production of rubber tires; objects that remain just like the beings who invented them something capable of inhaling and exhaling air. Prior to this automotive turn there is the matter of how artists and philosophers such as Picasso and Emile Durkheim wrestled with that powerful form of nature the forest. But, as we soon find out this place of wonder is also a place of horror and so reflects the book’s line of inquiry as it shivers down its spine. Penultimately culminating in perhaps the most iconic transformation or animation in the history of Western art; the flight of Daphne from Apollo. The psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan thought of Daphne as an example of an architectural limit, a plane of identification that is beyond our reach, and so completes this texts invitation to reflect on the inorganic and its maddeningly marvellous movements.    

Such illustrations allow a route into the aim of this book. By highlighting the human’s struggle against reality Papapetros also simultaneously highlights how the struggle itself lends form to an inhuman energy: an animation. One that is in need of special attention and although this book is nearly eight years old it has lost non of its power to enrich the minds of its readers.




Paul Harrison is a graduate of Sheffield Hallam University and KU Lueven University studying Art and Philosophy respectively. His work has always centred around understanding animation but is increasingly becoming interested in language. In the future there are plans to combine these things.


Interactivity and Animation

Interactivity and Animation: Recent Developments in Motion Design


Designing motion is a really interesting thing humans are both capable and incapable of doing it. Moving away from the idea that motion is the sign of life; from the unmoved mover (Aristotle’s god) to our daily experience of consuming oxygen and producing carbon dioxide we are capable of manipulating our directions and the forms which inform our motion. This is the purpose of this post to provide a brief insight into artists that are providing an opportunity to study and look at the space occupied by interactivity and animation. So, we may appreciate their presence and prescience. Studying and learning from their great examples together. […]

# Matthew Williamson

I went to art school with this mad South African animator. When we were studying at Sheffield Hallam University Mathew was interested in sound and experimented extensively with this medium; his degree show exhibition was a soundscape of considerable depth. I am not sure about other influences, but I am sure he may agree with me when I say that it was not only the awesome presence of Chris Cunningham, Warp records, and Aphex Twin that influenced Williamson’s progression. His extensive use of computers to create striking imagery surely must reference the machines which invite talented individuals like Mathew to express themselves to the best of their creative abilities. There was a particular moment that I realised Mathew’s work had taken a leap up to the next level when he made an animation installation for Sheffield’s festival of mind. This Installation was projection mapped onto a curved surface and although I was not there to see this in person the image of it struck me as a moment where Matt realised the full extent of his digital potentials. Since then he has been busy living up to that potentiality recently completing work for the newest series of Doctor Who. Below, are screen shots of said Dr.Who work and other visuals stolen from his instagram you should follow him @mattwilliamsonav. You should also tune into his streaming channel and get zapped by the current.


# Universal Everything

Another resident from that urban urspring of English creativity called Sheffield. Universal Everything is the baby of a certain Matt Pyke. Completing his education in Portsmouth and London he is arguably director of the most prominent and innovative team of motion designers currently swimming around the multi-verse. For a good idea of this creative characters background and person read an interview with him here >>>. Of course you should have already visited their awesome website and gawped at the magic they have drawn into existence. Below, are a few of my favorite examples of this everything which would be universal. The name is evocative and shoves the problematic presence of animation right to the edge of your eye. I will ignore the interpretation or perspective of this studio’s name that is suggestive of an easy relation to capital, ‘if everything is universal, including ourselves, then we can do everything’ – nothing is out of bounds and of course in this case although they cultivate commercial relationships with the worlds biggest companies and therefore supportive of monetary ideology; as long as we are gifted such visual wonders then perhaps we may ignore the hidden flux of finance that powers such innovations. No, not ignore, just be grateful that this group of creators are creating with such ferocity. Also, it is very much a group and this collaborative part is important: Universal Everything could be a precedent for what creatives or human creativity should achieve in the expected third industrial revolution where social networks merge with new technological spaces to produce an entirely new economy.

I really love all their images but the moving images that feature and ask the question about the relation between the organic and machine are mesmerizing. Tribes makes me think of the Anthropocene and the vast size and difficulty of providing an image that is truly applicable to all humans and their behaviour. For the next few years I hope to study language and animation so the work OFFF, a series of hybrid typographic-architecture prototypes is well lodged in my memory and has an immediate association and affinity with the architectural practice of Eniatype.  

# Ryoji Ikeda

A Japanese sound artist who is completely subdued and is continuously seducing with his mathematically inspired work. Ikeda’s work is very Japanese and he has earned his reputation through a unique blending of number and minimal components of sound. Sine waves, bass, sub bass, pitch, blips, high hats, samples, white noise, sets, sub-sets, dots, dashes, equivalences, riddims, horns, digits, bits, and much more could be wielded by this great Asian alchemist. Sound is interesting because of its ontological diversity it exists but so ephemerally and this trace like structure makes us think of the quantum physics that suggests waves comprise the inner workings of physical matter. But, this idea from physics does not portray the whole story with the exact standards of science and therefore Ikeda’s work achieves something remarkable and transforms or should I say animates the physical innards of sound into images. Doing so in such a natural way that his installations often seem to be revealing the workings of the contemporary technology driving the processes that have exploded and will explode even more in the coming decades. I am suggesting that Ikeda-san has really dug deep into sounds unique matter and discovered its affinity with math. I like his work because it has that Japanese aesthetic that we all love and it makes me think of the dynamism and dualism of theories that originate in the original attempts to ground/ discover the source of mathematics. I understand that in the history of this kind of thinking there are two Set theory, and Mereology. The first discusses and determines collections of objects and the extent to which number supports said collections, the second is the study of parts and wholes, and I think that Ikeda’s art invites much more inquiry into these matters. Please enjoy these samples of his work below.


# Team Lab

Are Team Lab Japan’s answer to Universal Everything? I do not think so they are a team of creatives equally matched to deliver moments of animated audacity. Only team lab seems much more concerned with reproducing nature as we experience it naturally and I think this is a running theme throughout their work – after all they are Japanese. Japans relationship with wave forms is well documented from the Hokusai’s ‘Giant Wave’ 神奈川 Kanagawa-oki nami ura and through Asia’s dominant traditional writing style. The calligraphic strokes of Black ink seem to effortlessly harness the force of liquid lines. What I find most interesting about Team Lab is and other creative entities like them is their commitment to shared processes of creativity. In their video works interactivity is blended with floor to ceiling projections to provide an immersive experience. Some of their installations follow the cultural practice of wrapping; the Japanese delight in the representation of things so a precious yet transient equality is maintained. With both the representation and its content bask in the shared ease at which they are transmitted to a perpetually increasing fan base. Here it is necessary to pay Team Lab a great compliment in their own language. Their art is a quintessential visual practice in which they provide memories as a Furoshiki風呂敷 (Thanking present) or as a continuation of Giri 義理 (Gift giving). So I compel you to enjoy these Japanese gift givers. The work below is from the groups exhibition in California, Continuous Life and Death – enjoy

# Evan Roth

An American artist widely acknowledged as an influential contributor to the new artistic domains of the 21st century. Roth can be easily seen as a front runner and already a great influence on artists seeking to use technology in there work. Roth is also a co-founder of the awesome Graffitti Research Lab, and the Free Art and Technology Lab both influential groups expanding into new spaces and potentialities of visual networked communication. The recent aesthetic of his work is very bloody I like the red of these works: Internet Landscapes (2016), a body of work that explores the artists experience of traveling Sweden searching for the physicality of the Internet. The press release from collect the WWWorld. Exhibition (2011) describes this newish realm of creativity,’to demonstrate how the Internet generation is implementing and developing a practice started in the Sixties by Conceptual Art, and further developed in subsequent decades in the forms of Appropriation Art and post-production: the practice of exploring, collecting, archiving, manipulating and reusing huge amounts of visual material produced by popular culture and advertising.’ really simplifies the climate of the last 8 years. Roth in many ways is a fine example of a creator who is well positioned to make good use of the new technologies such as quantum computing and developments in the internet as it grows and changes.

evan_roth_ljus_er-med  2-1

# Rose Butler

Rose Butler primarily works in moving image and video and is a very respected teacher and researcher (again in that beautiful place called Sheffield). A handful of her work makes use of interactivity where the observers of her work are considered as active components. The first example being Butler’s collaboration and commission  for FACT in the UK. This work was perhaps the first time this artist worked with the concept of surveillance; in this case pedestrians and members of the public were recorded going about their daily business and often shocked to see themselves on the big screen. An art installation that simultaneously explores the bigness of screens and how we are now watched and/or watching? Other works and exhibitions that include interaction are Stall, Barnsley (2005) featuring a reproduction of a market stall and then an interactive animation in which due to a loop in the recording participants can re-visit their initial visit to the market therefore offering a commentary and experience on the changing economic structure of markets. Again click on Rose’s Hashtagged name  to see more of her work.

Site/Auto Italia South East


Auto Italia South East: A recent trip to London.

The last time I was in London it was a fleeting experience. I was on the way to Belgium to collect some of my possessions; the remainder of my belongings (especially some books, and an artwork). I was invited to go to Auto Italia for an event, a live reading. Featuring the voices of Marta Barina, Moza Almatrooshi, Imani Robinson, Rhona Eve Clews, Gonçalo Lamas, and Ebun Sodipo. All were fabulous … and I shamefully can not remember the name of the head curator, but the whole event was local and very very, vocal; it was a very warm and inviting experience. I enjoyed the invitation for all attendees to move their chair and adopt the use of eye masks so as to envelop and shroud the room in a deep state of listening.



  • Auto Italia South East ‘Read my lips’, London, 2018

I have two personal highlights from the experience. They are Moza Al Matrooshi’s bilingual reading; in Arabic a language that I admire visually because of its naturally cursive and calligraphic form of writing. Yet, it was lovely to hear her address cultural assimilation and migration in a graceful way. Next to Al Matrooshi’s voice I and many others were moved (in an aggressive way) by Imani Robinson. Going last, the speakers voice gave voice to the structural racism that physically and psychologically affects so many Black people throughout the world. As soon as this reading began you could feel the collective attention and mode of sensory consumption of the audience alter. The words that were spoken confronted our ears were not for entertainment. Rather, a masterclass in how to use rhythm, time, and tone to deliver an intervention; not just a reminder of the stark inequalities that remain ever nefarious but a performance that informed everyone present.

I have researched a little further into these creators and artists; below are a few points of interest, and links to some sources.

  1. Moza Al Matrooshi

#The Boundaries of Storytelling / #Tashkeel /


  1. Ebun Sodipo

# / #Shades of Noir / @toblacken


# / #atpdiary_sp3Treviso

martin Barina

  1. Imani Robinson

# / #

Imani Robinson

  1. Rhona Eve Clews

# / #

Rhona Eve Clews

  1. Gonçalo Lamas


Gonçalo Lamas


All Crystals are Displayed at Site:

Sheffield’s Long Standing Contemporary Art Gallery re-opens. 

Liquid Crystals School of Engineering.

Crystals are essential to Lasers, image take from Edinburgh University Engineering

‘Liquid Crystal Display (LCD)’ is an exhibition about the expansion of our crystal culture. Our ever increasing complexity of the usage of crystals as surfaces for images. From André Breton’s metaphor for the Surrealist and Freudian realisation that dreams offer insight into the workings of the unconscious. The metaphor Breton used to describe intense processes of creation; he chose the object of the crystal because it carried both a movement of extreme pressure and also a connection to the earth all but one that remains invisible. On a discourse on how that which is inorganic is animated, the author makes many a reference to art historians of yesteryear. One of them, a man called Haeckel mentored and tutored a crystallographer Otto Lehmann made some experiments that would be the first in which the term liquid was affixed to the crystal. The German term flüssige or fliessende Kristalle (liquid or flowing crystals) contained an addition to a discourse that has remained relevant since antiquity; a discussion on the relevancy of that which is stationary or that which is in motion. Lehman published his visual evidence, his microphotographs of the internal workings of crystals in a book Die neue Welt der flüssigen Kristalle und deren Bedeutung für Physik, Chemie, Technik und Biologie, Liepzig, Akad. Verlagsgesell-schaft. m. b. H, (1911). (1) Such a small historical comment, is an insightful initial source but to deepen the contemporary roots and background for this exhibition the interview between Jeanine Griffin and Jussi Parikka on medium is well worth your time.

Coinciding with this exhibition a new book by Esther Leslie was published but it is an earlier study of her’s Synthetic Worlds, Leslie references chemical mastery and new industries emerging from within this mastery. Specifically an American company is shown to have been one of the first to transform the ashes and remains of a loved one into a crystal stone; connecting directly to Otto Lehmann’s European discoveries and the material exploration of being; the discussion of the shared space the animate and its dual share. The exhibition is centred around a special structure that enables the rich plurality of creation exhibited. I only looked through once but I enjoyed Jennifer West’s ‘Spiral of Time’ a 15mm exploration of film’s continued space for rumination, the pairings of tools by Shimabuku, and the Otolith Group’s ‘Anathema’ reminds me of a dear friend of mine’s degree show work in which the computer chip’s circuitry was used to show it’s urban aesthetic and the city as a site of utopian fantasy. Finally, the animation made by Norwegian artist Ann Lislegaard ‘Crystal World (After J.G. Ballard)’ is a very pleasant linear and tonal use of animation. The shifting shapes located within its digital structures reminded me of some of the beautiful architectural achievements humans have invented.


Ann Lislegaard ‘Crystal World (After J.G. Ballard)’

The exhibition’s richness does indeed make everything different the day you ponder its contents and in many ways the collection of images and creativity on display displays the increasingly creative environment that art and science need not compete for. Recently, physicists discovered the existence of time crystals; ‘a bizarre state of matter with an atomic structure that repeats not just in space, but in time, allowing them to maintain constant oscillation without energy.’ (2) To summarize why these are so special and why there validation is important this article puts forward the idea that they show how the well established notion that matter if malleable exists in a balanced state (equilibrium), but with the existence of time crystals this allows for matter to exist in an unbalanced state (dis-equilibrium). The scientists who made the discovery used crystals to generate these mysterious objects. They used two lasers to keep the ions (atoms with missing or extra electrons) in an unbalanced state; creating a magnetic field, and then to manipulate the atom’s spin.


  1.  Spyros Papapetros. (2012) ‘On the Animation of the Inorganic, University of Chicago Press: Chicago and London. 122-123
  2.  BEC CREW, ‘It’s Official: Time Crystals Are a New State of Matter, And Now We Can Create Them’ Science Alert, 9 MAR 2017

Three Essential Film Makers: Bo Choy, Sasha Litvintseva, and Stuart Croft

Created with GIMP

#Bo Choy

It can be a hard profession or even reality if you call yourself an artist. There is so much self directed pressure to succeed to show the value of what you create. In my case, such pressure to fulfill such an expectation gradually grew to unbearable and so like the following artist I also had to navigate a difficult period where due to my own inability to communicate ideas and also deal with both the tedious difficulties of bringing a project to fruition and then coping with the immediate sense of disappointment (often following completely irrational expectations). Such things still draw my considerations because there is a connection between feelings and economies. Such things may be initially freely associated with a concept such as alienation. But, this term and other related notions need a visualization and so Ms. Choy did just that. When Bo Choy makes new work these days it will be after leaving behind and resolving unhelpful feelings of being inauthentic as she explained in the recent Y.A.C interview (watch her film ‘Unfolding’)  I conducted with her a couple of months ago. This artist has shown recent work in a festival in Greece and when I met her for the first time she expressed a deep satisfaction with the country and a love of the Greek locals including the environment of the the 6th Thessaloniki Biennale.

Bo, has obviously overcome the feeling that initially was a little problematic for her, and one of the signs that she has indeed surpassed the difficulties is her film “Anat’s Party”. A beautifully crafted film that uses the very issue we have started discussing to lay open an inviting narrative. The film features the artist Anat who has organised a party in which the camera is representative of her perspective the narrator’s gaze. The party has guests including Richard: a gallerist, Francois: a painter, Franziska: ex professor now marine biologist, Eulya: who is Anat’s cousin, Cecil: a recent graduate and assistant to Anat, and Amelia: the creative director of an advertising house. The characters are ready and the stage is set; we the viewer are situated ready for a peek into creative people celebrating in a great gathering.

It is actually a birthday party; the celebration for Anat’s birth is kickstarted with white lilies then a sequence of sorts: Haitus + Patronage + Pay Off + Critical Acclaim… in Anat’s own questioning words, “Is my career riding me, or am I riding it?” An active disavowal (by active disavowal I simply mean the state or condition of knowing and not knowing something…) can be seen; such a process is very real and many artists go through such a process. Yet what is so fascinating about this work (there are many things totally fascinating about this piece of work) is that as a viewer you are completely aware that it is scripted, it is staged but this only adds to the power of the eulogy because as we progress through the party everything seems to be rather pleasant; a reunion of very good and close friends. Eventually though this is shattered  by a confession and admission by Anat. I wont relay it here, in writing, because it should be watched by many people. The way the film incorporates this narrative tactic shows a mastery of the manipulation of storytelling. The way the characters are so rich and allow for a deep questioning of what an artist actually is? How an artist has to navigate the “huge beast of capitalism”. The film really naturally invites those consuming it to join in its fictional speculations. Including expressing gratitude (immensity and wholeness) in the face of mortality + reflection, the measuring of success (inertia and the stretching of the imagination). At one point Nietzsche, a philosopher always chilling in his own relevance is quoted by Anat. But these words are from his thoughts on good and evil.

‘Actually, why do we even assume that “true” and “false” are intrinsically opposed? Isn’t it enough to assume that there are levels of appearance and, as it were, lighter and darker shades and tones of appearance – different valuers to use the language of painters? Why shouldn’t the world that is relevant to us – be a fiction? And if someone asks: “But doesn’t fiction belong with an author? “ – couldn’t we shoot back: “Why? Doesn’t this ‘belonging’ belong, perhaps, to fiction as well? Aren’t we allowed to be a bit ironic with the subject, as we are with the predicate and object? Shouldn’t philosophers rise above the belief in Grammar? “(1)

‘Quidquid luce fuit, tenebris agit (What happened in the light goes on in the dark.): but vice versa too. What we experience in dreams, as long as we experience it often enough, ends up belonging to the total economy of our soul just as much as anything we have “really” experienced. Such experiences make us richer or poorer, we have one need more or less, and finally, in the bright light of day and even in the clearest moments when minds are wide awake, we are coddled a little by the habits of our dreams.’ (2)

Nietzsche’s words support all artists and support art as a realm in which processes of all kinds can exist without a naff sense of morality but with an ethos that is self sustaining; even without the living breathing members of reality being aware of this special distinction. Things that are both real and unreal can contribute to the soul. Moreover Nietzsche’s suspicion of philosophical grammar moves us towards special spectrum[s] of reality. They are observable in Choy’s film as it makes us think about many customs and arts and how we experience them between Versuch (attempt or experiment) and Versuchung (temptation). Is this between-ness a desire for a feeling to last forever? After, the turn of feeling within this party what other thoughts could this work of art incubate? There are so many but a strange thought that entered my head is how art can immediately challenge the idea that the body is always a site a location for consumption or communication. Lastly, how language may be a dead material that generates a necessity to invest more life into it, and the most interesting thought this film forced upon me was, ‘how the very concept of communication as a spectrum between inner and outer is deeply related to the movements of our breath? A wholly natural economy full of drama, full of mechanical and organic periods of acceleration and deceleration.

It is a pleasant perspective to see from; that in the near future art will potentially  help us build a new economy, or rebuild one which we have perhaps forgotten in these times of heady reputations, instant identifications, and many a selfish self. Such an economy will be or should be all inclusive and in this sense it is strictly in tandem and identical to art. I was for a long time immature and arrogant, I over valued the scope of my talent and so I abused it and let it be abused. Bo Choy’s capacity to create has gifted us moments in moving image that indirectly exhibits something very important for those of us who strongly embody creativity. We struggle to build relations (Not only between humans), we are fundamentally bound by this struggle to relate. Or, instead this film involves how the figure of the artist resides outside the understanding of others even those who are the closest to us. This is indeed a deep burden for those attempting to bring difference itself into existence. Such a process may be something extremely existential and that is what one is getting at with the idea that art may have something to help alter the stagnant and turgid realm of the financial and knowledge based economy. Furthermore the fictional relations of this film softly suggests the vast unknowable scope of what can be contained in a special three letter word called art. If one thinks about these topics and if we follow language freely a person may arrive at a thought such as this: everyday is someone’s birthday, and a person’s birthday is not always a day of celebration. But, in some sense it is because everyday is a day of birth, both for the day and for people?

Before you watch this small but great artist’s film, perhaps a paragraph I found in Spyros Papapetros’s discussion on the animation of the inanimate. In a section of the book under the subheading, ‘Two External Worlds’ will serve as a nice step into the drama of Choy’s film. Will these words be most suitable in promoting this work as an example of what can be achieved by the honest artist whose labour is the most valuable of all? A Sentiment that I think is shared in this paragraph. Below this collection of words, ‘Anat’s Party’ can and must be watched.

‘Far, then, from being disengaged from context, Worringer’s “ethnopsychological” abstraction is largely determined by it. Following contemporary biological and aesthetic theories, Worringer claims that the main factor distinguishing the different types of art-producing-humanity is the “shifting juxtaposition [Auseinandersetzung] between man and the external world.” The polarity between abstraction and empathy is in fact the product of two different external worlds, both of which appear to be equallytreacherous. The first is “the world of phenomenal appearances [Erscheinungswelt]” - the world of the “Pure Greek” who lives in emphatic plenitude with his comfortable surroundings and its “evershifting play” of perceptions. The second is the hostile world of the Northerner, who maintains a contested relationship with the in “inharmonious nature” he lives in, but never comfortably inhabits. This second external world has a Haunting permanence in contrast with the transience of the first. Both worlds have a problematic relation to the visible.”(3)

#Sasha Litvintseva

Born in Russia, I met Sasha in London after I had selected her film …. for a touring screening The Lumiere Screening curated with my good friends Catriona J. Mackie, and Leon Read. Sasha is a very interesting film maker she is currently completing her phd at Goldsmiths proposing the concept of ‘Geological film making’ and I find this interesting in terms of the vast scale of film making it reminds me of the writings of one of the great contributors to political aesthetics. In professor Esther Leslie’s book Synthetic Worlds we see a history of how electronic chemical and technological developments culminate, a long a side the progression of the cinema, as a commercial site of escapism. Here Leslie builds upon the great Frankfurt school’s critical investigation of supposed rational progress. Leslie in a wonderful waltz through the essential German Gang of: Kant, Hegel, Marx, Benjamin, Goethe, Adorno, and many others; retraces the very fabric of synthesis both in our thought and in material, historical, and cultural events. I feel like this book at least helps me to understand the Geological in a much wider sense than what the word entails…such an understanding is also surely what Sasha is also wrestling with and because she is Russian via way of birth I can not help but offer up an historical dismissal of my homeland. The country is described in this way, ‘England is just as unkind and inimical to Art as the Arctic zone is to life. This is the Siberia of the mind.’(4) Of course I do not agree, this is quoted only as a passing note establishing a relation between the countries, but I also feel that it is very fitting when we think about geological film making. Leslie references this dismissal in relation to a group of artists based in the North of England. These artists, the Vorticists published a journal called ‘Blast’ designed to resist in healthy competition to whatever the south could muster. The title was chosen to embody a hygienic gale but on the cover this took the form of a ‘storm cone’ a signal used by coast guards. Here I am not sure that the Vorticists choice of title is fitting surely ‘Blast’ better commentates on the heat of a furnace or the production of new metals? Yet, this reference to the coast is interesting: it forces the figure of nature in all it’s powerful liquidity and madness into our considerations of the geological. Then, Theodore Adorno makes a small relation between society and landscape.

‘Adorno perceived in the American landscape of lightness, brightness and substitution a kind of madness. Adorno’s description of a bookcase in a villa he visited in Maine in 1959 conveyed his terrors in the phoney society. The great titles of literature faced him and he reached out to take one. The whole display collapsed. It was all fake. The world as a simulation of itself is a crazy thought, but a true one too. In Adorno’s story there is something else at play. It concerns the death of learning, the death of culture and the victory of the ‘culture industry’. But the phoniness is present everywhere. Adorno mentions wily restaurants that sell bottles of ‘counterfeit’ red wine coated by a layer of synthetic dust. Time itself is synthesized.’(5)

If I were Sasha a part of my thesis would have to wrestle with competing and chaotic ideas. Ideas such as those found in the texts of the scientist James Lovelock, Philosopher Nick Land, and Edward W. Soja. Lovelock is the author of the Gia Hypothesis the notion that the earth with humanity included constitutes a self regulating system akin to that of other living organisms. In Soja’s book ‘Postmodern Geographies’ (1989) the notion of space is explored in critical social theory. The relevancy of this for Litvintseva is that the text explores the spatio-temporality of being (something which film is explicitly also engaged in), and Soja does this by commentating on how philosopher Jean P. Satre’s movement towards Marxism contains a praxis that Martin Heidegger’s insistence on “place” concealed within history does not. Satre, is described by Soja, ‘he links to a movement whose fundamental direction is determined by ‘scarcity’ and which provokes the formation of groups to struggle collectively for such scarce necessities, such ‘worked matter’. Satre describes this horizontal vertical movement as a spiral’.(6) This description then reminds us of the Vorticists ‘storm cone’ and makes us question this spiral and cone. In one of Litvintseva’s recent film works ‘Salarium’ the artist explores the appearance of sinkholes on a boarder between Isreal and Palastine. In combination with her text ‘Sinkholes In Signification’ we are presented with a real opportunity to grasp the artist’s recent research. The essay ends, after referencing the Zionist Archives and their technique of punching holes into images, and uses this to draw a link between a lack of an archive and the puncturing or suturing of a historical narrative.



So, we have these routes through history these holes in the ground and these empty spaces that swallow human things; this sinking may be read in line with Gia Theory and this is the total organism decaying it’s skin being breached by the entropic activity of the energy traversing and underlining its very existence (Adorno and Horkheimer also have a form of Gia in The Dialectic of Enlightenment). Next to this is an interesting development in terms of thinking about geological thinking, and this musing about the earth comes in a description of Trauma from the contemporary philosopher Nick Land. In a series of texts the notion of ‘Geotraumatics’ is made; a notion that when the earth was born 4.5 billion years ago the psychological echo of the earths violent birth when it’s molten core was formed as it’s volcanic activity burnt its own terrestrial skin. Land see’s this as an unconscious pain that reverberates throughout current matter both living and non-living (Cthell).(7) However rupturing and interesting in terms of being empathetic towards the earth Land’s Arche (first principle) may not be that useful to Sasha’s research but it does offer another Geographic perspective. It is the other project which one prefers and finds most dramatic. Universal Syntax attempts to unravel how we experience the world as a text. For this project Land also has something to say about language and its way out of a body (not necessarily human), in ‘KataςoniX’.(8)

Speaking in terms of the interests of such a Syntax I feel like Leslie’s mining of modernism in the spirit of so many great European thinkers offers more to a filmic perspective on language. In particular Leslie cites a universal language. Literally, a pamphlet under an identical title, Viking Eggeling and Hans Richter sent this Universal Language to the director Einstein. The language focused on a system utilizing analogies and polarities derived from an abstraction of nature. Resulting in geometrical forms that express the German Schopenhaur’s sentiment of looking at the world from the perspective of a blessed star.(9) A perspective that Schopenhaur’s countryman the poet Geothe may have appreciated as both men had developed advanced theories of colour and what can be seen within the eye that spies is of utmost importance (against the Newtonian and Leibniz inspired picture of a mechanical existence). Sasha’s work of course makes one consider other concepts such as the Anthropocene, terra-forming, and the like, but is it not true that it will be your eye another spherical object that constitutes the ground which you walk on? Perhaps, these great projects will succeed in generating a correlation between spaces, places, and faces but it is comforting that Sasha Litvintseva is pushing film and moving image closer and closer or further and further into this world.

‘The holes punctured in the representation are slowly migrating to the object of reference: the landscape itself. That is, ‘killed Images’ become ‘killed landscapes’, with holes and lacks puncturing their surface. The sinkhole is that lack: not merely a lack of matter or soil, but an archival lack that punches holes into the stability of the historical narrative. If history – as the Zionist Archives demonstrate – leans on a representational regime that aims to signify the landscape and the humans that dwell within, the sinkhole defies clear signification and threatens linear history with a discrepancy, an interruption, or a plot hole.’(10)

#Stuart Croft

Stuart sadly died in March 2015, and I was recently reminded of this… it made me very very sad for one important reason. I met Stuart Croft in 2011, he had selected my animation ‘Away From The Unknown’ for a touring screening of Artist Film and video supported by Outpost Gallery in Norwich. When you begin on doing something  anything, by yourself for the first time, it can be difficult. And, even if you had done such a thing many times before when seeking to take it to the next level you need encouragement. Meeting Croft and having work shown next to such great creators was such an encouragement in those early years. Stuart’s use of actual film set him apart from others and in this way perhaps the only other male film maker who operates within the same unbelievable realm of finesse is Ben Rivers. Stuart made a decision whilst still a student that could be said to have defined and determined his entire body of work; this is the deep interest in the relation between film as a material medium and the concept of cinema itself; including all the unique culture that comes with it. Then, a question, ‘how to take this and put it into a contemporary art gallery?’ His work easily answered this question.

Stuart Croft The Stag Without a Heart still 2 2010

A Stag Without a Heart

My personal favourites from Croft’s filmography are ‘A Stag Without a Heart’ (2011), and Drive In (2007). Both of these films show Croft’s genius at its very best. In the former the title represents a character next to a fox and a lion. The narrator’s voice draws us through the ensuing drama, trauma, and re-animation. The film reminds me to actually watch and re-watch such films as Der Himmel über Berlin (the Heaven Over Berlin), and Last Year in Marienbad (films that I once edited under the force of Gravity). Croft’s film features a narrative that grows the soundtrack feels as if it is sneaking up on you and the narrator. The dialogue of ‘A Stag Without a Heart’ fluctuates within a trinity of two predators and one prey. The phenomena of ‘fear’ is felt by the stag as the predators are perhaps expressing regret or remorse after they made their fellow animal shiver. These events of fearing and shivering of intuition and effect fit nicely within a larger and fundamentally more powerful effect the film carries. After watching it I felt that although all I saw on screen was human this human was now closer to the animals carried within his speech. Drive in features a car journey with a lady describing a story in which a paradise is lost. The film is beautiful both for the story and its believable utopia; one in which we are reminded by way of a mistaken object, “It’s not coconut juice it’s a Piña-fuckin-colada” that all paradises are paradises lost most forcibly put in the world of literature by Marcel Proust.(11)

Loosing one’s way in another person (in being with…), or as another person (becoming someone different)? There is a novel that is birthed within the passenger lady’s narration. The plot twists within this reading of human desires and human empires and “doing some [fucking] thinking in the middle of the ocean”. In terms of the male author he has a dreamy encounter with a dreamy female painter washed up on a dreamy beach. Dreaming he continues to be driven by his drives inwards and onward. Stuart’s fantastic films carry us into the psyched up philanthropic psychology we all share, sell, and partake in. Stuart Croft’s work makes me want to become a film maker, and his life serves as a timeless reminder that our achievements will remain long after we have left this world, and if you were Stuart Croft your achievements where many, so many. What more could be more inspiring, more encouraging, and more vital than a human being’s capacity to create?


words by a Paul Harrison.

(1)  Friedrich Nietzche, (2002). ‘Beyond Good & Evil: Prelude to the Philosophy of the Future’ (Cambridge University Press), 34.

(2)  Ibid, Nietzsche, 193.

(3)  Spyros Papapetros, ‘On the Animation of the Inorganic: Art, Architecture, and the Extension of Life’, (University of Chicago Press, 2012), 143.

(4)  Esther Leslie. (2005). Synthetic Worlds:Nature, Art, and The Chemical Industry, (Reaktion Books, Great Britian).123

(5)  Ibid, Leslie, 239.

(6)  Edward W. Soja, ‘Postmodern Geographies: The Reassertion of Space in Critical Social Theory’, (Verso, London/New York, 1989), 136.    

(7)  Nick Land, (2012). Fanged Noumena: Selected Writings 1987-2007 (Urbanomic/Sequence Press, London, Berlin)

(8)  Ibid, 481

(9)  Esther Leslie. (2002) Hollywood Flatlands: Animation, Critical theory and the Avant-Garde, (Verso, London/New York). 56

(10) Sasha Litventseva, Daniel Mann, ‘Sinkholes in Signification’, (SONIC ACTS Academy 2018) 66.

(11) Marcel Proust, (1992) ‘In Search of Lost Time: Swann’s Way’,(The Modern Library, New York). Sorry for the lack of pagination; I promise Proust does say this {}




2 x B

Two Bens:Two Artists Using Japan for Inspiration. (Benjamin Bardou’s ‘Tokyo Wanderings’, and Ben Jeans Houghton’s film ‘2nd Life’.)

[Ben J. Houghton’s film ‘2nd Life’ was exhibited at Bloc Projects in Sheffield.]

The French artist Benjamin Bardou’s work is a visual feast at first sighting on Instagram one was hooked asking what is this new glitchy and painterly crack? It turned out to be some experiment in video editing and production using something called ‘pointcloud’ in the animation of videos. Take for example ‘Dotswarm’ an application for apple operating systems developed in New Zealand. After glimpsing at what this kind of animation is I encountered a new development in animation techniques that is animating the cloud. This is very fascinating for me because the image of the cloud is a very very very beautiful and strong image. Clouds have inspired so much culture over the history of our species from Aristophanes’s portrayal of Socrates to a fantastic youtube lesson on the continuation of Chan Buddhist hermits titled Amongst White Clouds (worth watching it still makes me romanticise about being a hermit… although I do not wish to be one). In Japanese the Kanji for cloud 雲 / ku-mo / is comprised of two parts ‘rain’ 雨 /a-me/ and a radical for ‘say’言/ Iu / which in turn can be in turn reduced down to two. So, one direct translation into English can be ‘rain say’ or ‘say rain’ the potential meaning of which escapes me. Yet, it does provide a route into the two videos which I would love to just gawp at continuously projected in a high definition. First viewing was a kind of reality check because Bardou’s short films really forced immaterial aesthetics into one’s thoughts. Similar and relevant considerations are also found in a brilliant discussion of an “immaterial world” author Steve Wright asks a question that is perhaps also asked by the two films Lost in Tokyo, and Wandering in Paris (please watch them below), that is ‘Are we living in an immaterial world?’. In Wright’s sharp dissection of post-workerism and especially the work of political and economic thinkers such as Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt in their books Empire and the Multitude ideas of immaterial labour and the changing reality of capitalism are thought through. I think an element of wrights conclusion is rather interesting when he mentions ‘Speculative ventures – which have been rife in the past decade – seem to make money out of thin air’, and…

‘In the meantime, debt continues to balloon, from the micro scale of individual and family credit cards, to the macro level of public sector budgets and current account deficits. However ingeniously the burden of such debt is redistributed, the terms of the wager cannot be forestalled forever. When it is finally called in, things will become very interesting indeed. If nothing else, we may then find out at last whether or not, as Madonna sang. …

The boy with the cold hard cash Is always Mister Right, ‘cause we are Living in a material world.i

Ending on Madonna’s song completes a nice circuit in that the essay begins with referencing Zen. Two individuals try and outsmart a master and ask, ‘can you teach me about reality without using either sound or silence? The master punches them in the face’ such a moment of aggression is perfectly placed so as to allow me to make an important point regarding Bardou’s cloudy creations. For me they were and still are a punch to the face in that they build upon the notion of a veil that covers an underlying reality, or a reality that should indeed be veiled?

Fundamentally, modern life is computational the acceptance of mathematics builds a one sided picture of the world. A sphere of certainty although useful is it really necessary? If so what kind of necessity does it represent? Questions such as these are seemingly resolved in the silent Buddhism by way of a profound negation of illusion of Maya; qualities that are shared with Plato in that the most rightfully revered ancient Greek Pagan believed whole heartedly in a universal law. In the Timaeus (Plato’s creationist account for existence) we can read Timaeus describe how the maker of the universe a creator God desired ‘everything to be good, marred by as little imperfection as possible’; this God found everything visible in a state of turmoil therein he was forced to turn this chaos into order.ii It is this movement away from the senses and an emphasis on their being two realms of reality the transient and the eternal and unchanging. For those readers interested in how Plato came to make his distinction between the sensible (A-C, eikasia -pistis), and the intelligible (C-E, dianoia – noesis) represented by a divided line. Can it not be true that all lines are not just divided but are dividing; Plato would have perhaps said that all lines are divided by the sight or gaze. Yet what about the line made by Plato’s creator, a line from Chaos to order, and is this line still as persuasive as it has been for over a thousand years? I am less convinced that Plato did not completely miss-interpret the followers of Heraclitus and that his debt to Parmenides was not burdensome upon the human imagination. Speaking about such topics makes me also add that the role of the Sophists on Socrates and Plato needs studying as it contains hidden mysteries and insights. Bardou’s films offer up not a frustrating but a strong example of artistic wonder surviving, thriving, and marking its territory among its newer iterations: philosophy, science, and design.

It is one of those infuriating moments of existence a good friend of yours has helped bring an awesome artwork to a city that gave me my first taste of actual education (the state organised schools, the generic secondary schools in the UK, I experienced as a factory and a prison – aware that the national curriculum is so devoid of any kindness nor nuanced belief in those learning under it – I hear some of you think: ‘well at least you had education of some sort?’, yes, I did, but only when I moved to an open and free space at the Art school in Sheffield). It is a shame I could not participate in this community’s appreciation of a film ‘2ndlife’ by Ben J. Houghton. A film which features visual material shot and taken from the country I consider as my second home. Japan, has a claim to being the most interesting country, nation, or culture currently thriving on this planet because it is home to some of the oldest unique events, objects, and processes. To name but a few that western readers may easily identify and understand: Manga & Animation, Samurai, and Sushi. But wait, the latter is a silly sentence because each reader has their own identification and understanding of the Far East. This is but one of the good things about this film although a monologue Ben’s voice (I assume) never detracts from the content his camera records; content that features places and locations that I am personally so fond of. This is of course to be expected as any lucky person able to live in a country that is not their own will testify that although it is a confusion as to whether or not your interpretation makes the place, or does the place (time/space) make your interpretation?

The film is a good resource and example of how art is a parental practice to philosophy. Watching 2nd life one hears, ‘every artistic practice is generative’ and this made me nostalgic for such a belief for I do not believe this is applicable to the whole (every practice) of such practices. This is due to my repeated experience of the severity of manipulation involved in human habits and thus an inability to fully control symbolic value (this is most likely tantamount to a personal confession about one’s own inability to draw conclusions surrounding such distinctions as value and meaning, being and non-being, the transcendent and immanent). One really likes how the film really deepens the titles duality. It comments on a life within a life and beliefs surrounding rebirth and the Buddhist belief of Saṃsāra (संसार: an endless cycle of rebirth and wandering; is it akin to the western wondering necessity? Who knows?). For me there are strong highlights that stuck with me after one watch of this film. The first comes at 09:44 – and Ben’s voice reminded me of the spiral circles in French thinker Delueze’s metaphysical detailing of desire … and this film brilliantly hammers home that time is necessary for meaning and generates a lived experience in which time’s transitory mysterious materiality is laid bare for the spectator’s spectacles. Houghton correctly states three modes of learning 1) brutal ‘trial and error’ 2) emphatic connections, 3) love and compassion – all eventually, by way of artistic inquiry and agency lead to “learning as liberation from learning.

Here the film’s speculations start to go even more deeper as the narrator suggests whilst on a Tokyo train that it is perhaps a strange and dark aspect of human consciousness that allows our thinking, or being to often encompass a “Tearing through humanness” amidst all the energy and re-incarnation. Another memorable line that hits right to the hidden dilemma at the heart of human creativity, “trying to find a usable marker is like trying to grab a beam of sunlight in a river current”. This line makes me think of the strangeness of how objects only exist under the parameters of their own usage, but this sentence seems to disturb this in that with the surface of a flowing river’s encounter with light. Such an example of flux is one of the joys of film and video (both digital and analogue) they capture light for fleeting experiences that are often feel so fundamentally familiar we forget their difference. The mechanics of film: the capture of light and time, the animation of matter, and the social and anti-social modes of production… offer up alternatives to what we so often are forced to take for granted. Here, cinema and literature are shown to be deeply intertwined and contained within their operating systems, within their modus operandi, is a utopian day dreaming. Understood from the perspective of a ‘second life’ this may suggest that rebirth be something desired; never mind the Buddhist wisdom that states this as unnecessary suffering, ‘if one can live again then why not?’ Well, there is always the probability you could come back as a fruit fly or a loathed creature like a cockroach? This is why Buddha’s insights should not be messed with however if we, in our thinking, are searching for a connection between East and West then here is a potentially political one: Is Buddhism more Hobbesian (as in the self is this illusionary leviathan?) or Rosseau-ian (that the institutions with which we have to live by corrupt our innocence?); it could be a mixture of course?


A cat moving through a graveyard hones the films fluctuations on its current: its exploration of the true difficulties that every human faces. How, in each of us there exist drives that if we find a balance within daily life then they may flow peacefully but if we experience a degree of unbalanced events and situations then ‘like follows like’ we move towards chaos. Such interrelations are very difficult to navigate and to survive them the psyche of an individual has to go through training, has to measure itself amongst the vast possibilities that reside in even the most miniscule of spaces. This meditation manifests more vividly at an introduction of a cat (a most beloved creature in Japan). At 34:26, a cat’s poem states, ‘you smell like soul and blood, just waiting wanton time … waiting for the time where my ideas act…’ all spoken in a slow and lucid stroll through a graveyard. Reminding me of supposed antagonisms between reason and its absence, realism and relativism, automation and autonomy. But, is it not true that an animal such as a cat teaches humans their own futility? We can never be as beautiful nor as stupendously wacky (see the mass of cat Instagrams), or even as wise as our feline associates. This cat and poem in a graveyard (all Japanese cats are related to the six cats (Goma, Otsuka, Kawamura, Mimi, Okawa, and Toro in Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore (2002)) made me want to read the book again of course and also research other relations one could find that connected Ben’s film with Murakami and I stumbled across an article written by Michele Eduarda Brasil de Sá. In this article Michele brilliantly invites us to consider a Japanese notion of “Space Time” by honing in on an important part of Murakami’s novel. We are presented with the main character kafka Tamura discovering an oil painting in a library in which supposedly the secrets to the labyrinth of time are found as well as “The Edge of the World” (世間の縁 /sekai no fuchi/).iii

Inevitably Murakami’s novel and the cat cameo culminates in me and you, dear reader, being forced to bow to the cat’s (にゃー義 /nya-gi/ a belief in the feline) because it could be the case that cats are in possession of an understanding of why gravity is also only partially universal and more than a little bit wave like. This then entails a perspective that strives and struggles for an appreciation of the limitations of life and of living. Houghton’s film is so thought provoking it gracefully invites much consideration on this narrative of struggle, of the finite that all humans represent. Here again Buddhism trumps western thinking in that the Buddhist death is positive we should be embracing the lack of choice with which we came into being as different to how we could leave existence. Ben’s work also references the notion of Antinatalism in the thinking of philosopher David Benatar, and how Houghton experienced a group of American military personal discussing their masculinity at the doors of the notorious suicide forest Aokigahara or ‘The Sea of Trees’. Such a coincidence makes me think of an anti-antinatalist position that I also think the maker of this film would also support. That is it is a little daft considering we are all here because two or even more people made us. To prescribe a negative value to birth is akin to saying you would rather not be when you are being. You could say that this misunderstanding arises from not appreciating how being is always taken over to a space, it always finds itself there. This is of course a little derivative of Martin Heidegger’s thinking (I wish it were more Kantian, or Schellingian but I need to study these Germans more), but what I find fascinating by the ease at which anti-natalism is refuted (in only one sense, but it could also be defended as a form of “free” choice) is that it also enables an understanding of traditionally materialist stances on the cosmos. Here we have two positions that are against human life one being anti-birth, and the other against continuing life (suicide).

But, I am sure these two are positive they are affirmations of life because both are about choice seen as both intentional and wholly other. We are fundamentally not in control of the beginning of existence and yet we can say with some certainty that it is more likely that we are in control of our demise (not when but how) even though there is still the possibility that this control may be taken away from us. The ancient atomists understood existence as unforgiving and unaffected by humans, yet they acknowledged that atoms may join and separate and that is why a film about Japan such as ‘2nd life’ is so great; it is not humorous but it demands we take materialism and the role of religion seriously. I think this film encourages and nurtures understanding on the role of transience in transcendence. This then connects back to what one mentioned regarding Plato’s conjunction between constant change and infinite being. I think the regularity of material change is of a nature that is apprehensible in that ‘becoming’, the titanic twin of change, reinforces teleological time (there are other forms of time (Chronos is a mischeivous god!)). Why? Plato believed in universals (Ideas = forms) and for something to be a universal it must remain forever and be incorruptible. . Science and particularly astrophysics and quantum mechanics reveals the extent to which all could be related, this is called the unified field theory, and it aims to reveal reality as an equation. Regardless of whether or not the physicists make such a remarkable achievement the fact that some of us are striving for such things demands that we question the effects it may carry. If such a process is accomplished in the name of knowledge then this worries me because it suggests another standardisation that may do away with a determination (struggle to understand) found in those phenomena such as light, colour, and life.

One good example of why a spectrum predominates over standards is mass/matter/weight itself and here again we can find Plato and Buddha’s presence. Plato had the notion of το μέγα και το μικρών (‘the great and the small’ /to mega kai to mikron /) a dualistic ontology that has ‘the One’ as a principle of unity, and ‘the indefinite dyad’ a principle of multiplicity and indeterminacy.iv Buddha has a similar if not equivalent duality that Enlightenment is another One (but, differs in that this represents an absence of thinking), and unless we learn to see through the multiplicity called ‘Maya’ an illusion, our suffering increases. But, it is the half of the split comprised of illusion that interests me and I am not here trashing the One, just stating that the contents of the sensory realm being illusionary may not be problematic if we understand them as illusions. That being illusionary generates a necessary need to be creating our own relations between things? Even mathematics can be said to partake in such processes; one very striking modern scientific example is a discrepancy between the Quantum and the relative, or how do we understand atoms when their material qualities appear as change itself.

A striking example would be a symmetry between the great and the small this can be found if we consider the notion that mass is only a constant if it travels at the speed of light. Other than this it is subject to change. This then makes it also a spectrum if what we measure changes by our measuring then does this support the necessity of a spectrum of choice struggling in face of determination? Or, does it affirm a determination a one unchanging and perfect? I do not know, but this is the line of questioning I will further at some point. First, to end on some aesthetic evidence for these considerations. Whilst studying for a philosophy of science exam I came across the symbol for Solar mass M and learnt that it is equivalent to the mass of our sun: two Nonillion (two quintillion kilograms), allowing the measurement of the mass of the planets and cosmic entities. If we look at the symbol for solar mass we simultaneously see how Plato was brilliant and wrong in that our contemporary understanding of our sun states that it too has a lifespan, it too has to die, and if it has to die, then surely the universe also?v This symbol also resembles Plato and his intellectual father Parmenides’s belief that the One took the form of a circle because by definition, ‘that which is equidistant in all directions from the centre’ can be said to have a kind of perfection but importantly we have a choice if this is seen as a process of becoming. If we exist within the universe on a line from one sun Mto others M1 + M2 + M☉3 + M☉4 +M☉n……. we see clearly how choice arises from a battle against a determination with demise as Ben himself narrated, ‘you must be in a place of perfect unrealised potential at the moment of death’.This all may be a digression from the brilliance of Ben Houghton’s film but I felt that I wanted to take the opportunity to share some thoughts and urge anyone interested about this film to get in touch with the artist and demand that he screen this 50 minute film near you. This film deals with so much that is of interest ( sovereignty of personhood… love as a co-dependency) it would take a second life just to second this awesome work of art.

Perhaps, this commentary on a ‘2ndlife’ is too focused on just one recent extrapolation of death and indeed too anchored to the beautiful Japan. So, to end with something that expands the death of this film into another stream of thinking on death found in the ‘Tibetan Book of the Dead’, these lines lifted from The Aspirational Prayer Which Protects from Fear of the Intermediate States may offer a temporary period. But still a perfect pregnant potential, Thank you Bens!

‘When I am miraculously born into the intermediate state of rebirth, may I not be beguiled by the perverse prophecies of Māra, And as I [freely] arrive at every place that I think of, May the bewildering fear and terror, generated by my negative past actions, not arise. When the roars of savage wild beasts echo around me, May their cries be transformed into the sound of the sacred teachings, the Six Syllables , And as I am engulfed by snow, rain, wind, and darkness, May I achieve the pure clairvoyance of radiant pristine cognition

May I easily come to master by study and reflection, The manifold stages of learning ̶ small, intermediate, and great. May the country into which I am born be auspicious, And may all sentient beings be blessed with happiness. ‘vi






Lost in Tokyo from Benjamin Bardou on Vimeo.
“二回目の命は哲学ためにアートが親ので本当にいい例えです。二回目の命を見っているは(全てのアーティステックな実践をジェネレーティブ)と聞こえるから。このビデオのアートは私に遠因の覆面カーバが実を覆面有るなければなりませんから私の顔でパンチもです。差遣的にもダンライフの勘定と数学を受諾ので世界の絵は不平等な絵を作ります。確実性の球体はべんりけどこれは必ずですか。この質問は静かな仏教でマーヤーのイリュージョンを深い否定で解決済みです。そして、このクオリティはプラトンにシエアするので尊の古いギリシャーのペイガンが普遍的な法律を信じました。ティメオーズ(プラトンの創造論)私たちは天主が全てのいいと少しい不備も欲しい事を読めます。このゴッドは全ての視覚的なものを混乱過ぎるを見つけたから、この混乱を平均)に化せなければなりません。この移動は可能から二つの実の天地あるで無常と永久に念を押しました。読者からペラトンの区別で感覚的な(エイー・シーeikasia・pistis)と達意なタース(シー・イーdianoia・noesis) 両方はディバイデッドインを描破します。それも、全てのラインはディバイデッドですけどディバィデッデイングも有るし〜ペラトンが全てのインを視線が見えるからディバィデッドします。でも、ペラトンの神明のラインはどうですか。このラインは混乱からバランスまで、このラインが千年あとに説得力続く。私はペラトンがヘラクライタスを悪い拝読したと彼のパーメニディーズために忝を人間の思い方に負担を成ったので半信半疑です。このトッピクスを話しているは私がペラトンとサークレーティーズの詭弁の影響で非表示の神秘と洞祭力有るから足しました。バードウさんの映画は創造的な驚嘆の生き残るの例を悔しくないけと強い奉納ですからこの例はアートの新しい反復で哲学と科学とデザインにこの創造的な驚嘆が


         Benjamin J. Houghton ‘2ndlife’, Film Still (2018)

よくファミリア過ぎるので忘れると光を捕らえます。フィルムの力学: 光を時間捕らえる、物質をアニメする、社会的でアソテソーシャルの生産の方法…皆さんの強行な措定くらへて他のオプションを見せます。だからシネマと文学は一緒に不採算の手口と作動で空想的社会改良家有ります。二回目の生命の遠近法から見るを分がったに生変をくれたいみたいですけど仏教の知恵がこの生変を必要ではないと言った”もし、また生きたら大丈夫かな?”では、生変するでいつもショウジョウバイとゴキブリを死に変わりますか。それは仏教の洞察力をごちゃ混ぜないですけど、もし私たち考えるで東と西の関係を探して多分政治的な一つのままです。仏教はハーブジーン(遺制と生くなければなりませんので無罪を毒する)勿論、ミクスもありうべきか?
猫はなかば経由動くでフィルムの変動をナラティブに研ぐ、そして全ての人間は正しい問題を向かいます。どうやってか、全ての人中に動因があって、もし私たちが生活でバランスを見つけるからこの動因を平穏ですけどもし、いつかの経験をするので同じ事を一緒に習うで私たちを混乱に動きます。相関はナビるが難しさともし良い生存して個人のプッュケーを訓練しなければなりませんと個人のプッュケーは自分を微細なスペースで膨大な可能に対して計ります。この瞑想は一番の鮮明する猫の紹介時で(日本で猫が超愛してる)。34分26秒で、猫のしはみみは精神とちの匂いみたいです。はちゃめちゃな時間を持って…時間で私のアイデアに行為を持つと私がこの信じる事を全ての実践で言わないけど前の信じるから懐かしくてなりました。このいない事は人間の習性で深刻なてさばきので象徴的な価値を支配が出来ません。(でも、これは私の価格と意味いるといない、超越論と内在的で断じないから個人的な懺悔です)。私はこのフィルムに題名の双対をもっと深さなる事が大好きです。生命を生命中に伝えて生変と生変と仏教の輪廻と信じるも伝えます。私ために一回見る後で強い圧巻を見かけました。まず、9分44秒でベンさんの声はフランス人の哲学者デレューズのデザアイの形而上学的唯物論を連想します。このフィルムは時間のマティリアリティを見物人のメガネためにあらわにすると時間も意味の命脈ために必要です。ホーウトンさんは3つの学びの除法生と言って、1) 残虐なテストとミス、2) 罷り手作、3) 愛と慈悲です。これ学び方たちはアーティスティックの調査と仲介経て”学びは学びから解放”と導く。
ここにフィルムの思索はもっと深さに始めるに話者が東京よ電車でエネルギーと生まれ変わり中に見知らぬで暗い人間の意識の分から皆さんの考えると存在よく人命をばりばり経由すると網羅と理解を出来ます。他の印象深い文章は人間の徳蔵生の心に行く本流中で光線を奪い取るようにするは使えるのマーカーを見つけるようにみたいです。この文章は私に物が物の使う方であるだけと考えるですけど、この文章この考えると光が本流を会いて妨げます。この光速の例え一つのフィルムとビデオの喜び(アナログとデジタル) ではかない経験を言う。全ての言うは明徴でゆっくりはかば経由して話しました。理由と不合理、現実主義と相対主義、オートメーションと自治権も、この対立関係たちは私に連想しました。でも、猫は人間に無駄なこと教えるを正しいですか。人間は決めして猫の知恵と綿陽でならないです。この猫とし(全ての猫は6匹の猫とゴム、オツカ、カフムラ、ミミ、オカフ、トロ、と村上・春樹の’海辺のカフカ’(2002年) 。私にこの本をまた読みたいです。そして、他の関係たちを見つけるとベンのフィルムから村上・春樹までつなげると研究するので私はミシェールさんはエドアルダー・ブラツル・ディー・ザーさんの記事を積まずできます。ぎじで日本的な時空を考えて村上・春樹の本の大切な部分にピントに行く。主人公、カフカ・タムラは図書館で油絵と時間の迷宮とせかりの縁を見つけました。

ネがティブな父あげるから(生きるならよりいかにいの方がいい)と言う同じです。これ分けないのことが生きるいつも場所にもたらすも、いつも生きるはそことおそこに見つける。ハイデガーの教えるからちょっと誘導したいです。(私はこれをもっとキャンティウンがスケリンギアンの方がいいですけどこのドイツ人をもっと勉強しないと)。でも、アンテーネータリズムの本論の簡単から面白いです。(一つの駁する方だ、でも自由の形で守る。) それで、伝統的で物質主義者の宇宙から分ける事が出来ます。ここに二つの立場は人間の生きるにはしてアンテ生めると他の立場が生きる事を続くにはして(自殺)です。
ところがこの収集は約をほされる。古いアトミズトは存在から人間のかざいけのないが優しくないと分かりました。でも、アトミズトはアトムを一つ一つと結びつけると承認しるので二回目の命が本当にいいです。二回目の命はユーモア無し唯物論と宗教の役目をちゃんとする。このフィルムは超越中で無常を促がす。これはプラトン前にことで常数の変化と広大無辺の散在の交渉またリンクします。置く薄々変化の至善は分けるから理由が変化のヲタンな双子を成ることでテローローギキャルな時間に増強します。(クロノスはわんぱくな神様だから、他の時間形があります。) 何故?ペラトンさんは普遍と信じて(イデア) と理念)何かが普遍あれのこの物を永遠に連結有ります。


               Benjamin J. Houghton ‘2ndlife’, Film Still (2018)

分光(決心) 一つの良い例規格外よりはもっといいですからが質量、集団、重さままここでペラトンとブッダを見つける。ペラトンは(観念)を有って(大きて、小さくて)双対の存在論でペラトニックなワンで団結と無期限のダイアドでかず多い原則です。ブッダは等しい二元性が有ってこの開眼か他のワンです。でも、考えるは欠席です)。皆さんはまやかし経由を見えるを習う。なくては、ないことには、我らがなくなんを上がります。だから、まやかしとイリュージョンの半で面白さもワンが(たわごと、おしないですけどもし皆さんは可能の現実は幻を分かたら、問題じゃないです。幻で皆さんために必要な物とこと間に新しい関係を作くなければなりませんか。数学もこの照臨仮定で参加して、量子と神族の違いは近代的で化学的な例について、アトムの物質を変化でその物の見た目をどうやって分かりますか。



iSteve Wright, ‘Reality Check: Are We Living in an Immaterial World?’, in Proud to be Flesh: A mute magazine anthology of cultural politics after the net, (Mute Publishing, London; Autonomedia: Brooklyn, 2009) 472- 480.

iiPlato, trans. Robin Waterfield, Timaeus and Critias, (Oxford World’s Classics, Oxford University Press. 2008).18.

iiiMichele Eduarda Brasil de Sá, Time(s) and Space(s) in Huraki Murakami’s “Kafka on the Shore”, Conference Paper, 2016.

ivAristotle, Metaphysics, (A 6, 987 a 29 – 988 a 1)

vSee Stoic “ἐκπύρωσις ekpyrōsis, “conflagration”) is a belief in the periodic destruction of the cosmos by a great conflagration every Great Year. The cosmos is then recreated (palingenesis) only to be destroyed again at the end of the new cycle.

viComposed: Padmasambhava, revealed: Terton Karma Lingpa, Trans: Gyurme Dorje, The Tibetan Book of The Dead, (Penguin Books, England, 2005) 316.

On Adam

Adam is a series of three online cgi animated films you can watch them below and become immersed in this world of filmic freedom. If you are looking for evidence for just how revolutionary Google owned video platform Youtube was and still is – then this trinity of independent sci-fi goodness really emphasises this because not only is this an example of how film making has been freed from a studio dependency; of course it does not escape the clutches of promotion with financial aim (it is to showcase the rendering capacity of the animation software Unity). In this regard it is a beautiful demonstration of the capacity of animation in its visual mode doing what it does best. Making imaginary worlds that depict the present wrapped in the disguised skin of the future. The films portray a narrative of a cyborg or a robot as we begin this visual feast by being introduced to Adam who is hooked up to a system of cables that power his robotic body. We are led to assume that the only organic component is the brain that is hidden behind a white mask.


The moment Adam wakes up he is in visible distress and is traumatised. He struggles to grasp reality and his new metallic body (this places such an emphasis on the body as an anchor or point in which reality (such a strange but lovely word… we always need to check it) is necessarily comprehended), he stumbles as a door is opened, and finds himself in a mass of similar mechanised matter. The mass of cyborgs are almost gathered like sheep and made to face a wilderness as through the horizon’s heat waves two figures approach. This duo are also robotic and mechanical taking the form of samurai-esque warriors. They then take the herd of animatronic beings on a journey across the desert. A journey that proves perilous for some who fall victim to the inhospitable environment they find themselves in. Leaving one to ponder if these cyborgs are better off being freed from there place of birth/re-birth? Like all travellers they are on a journey to discover what they are? They discover that to have been cut from their organic bodies the ‘Consortium’(a business state) had to  wipe their memories. In the final episode we are confronted with religion and faith as potential saviours for the evils inflicted upon the population. But, without spoiling too much, this is not at all what it seems, and in many ways supports the horrible dystopia of the human being subordinate to the machine and technology.

It is possible to see that these short films are supporting the opposite: how technology will inevitably seek to cure the damage it has inflicted on living matter. Below, are the three youtube clips along with three quotations; two from David Hume who is using the first man Adam as an example of how ‘Causality’ escapes full comprehension in daily experience. This is then followed by a small sample from Donna Haraway’s Cyborg Manifesto, which I will read in full soon. These quotes next to the films articulate many a thing, yet they arguable express the current issues with remarkable clarity. One such issue are the ideologies that relinquish too much to technology picturing it as the sole reason we as a species of animal are so successful. Such structures of belief strive to provide real certainty but mystery remains through ‘now time’. I am thinking of the confusion that arises when considering hacking, automation, computation, and generally the exciting prospect of a new-modernity. However, Haraway’s metaphor reminds us that Adam’s relation to the world is becoming more and more complex…



Episode I




“Were a man, such as Adam, created in the full vigour of understanding, without experience, he would never be able to infer motion in the second ball from the motion and impulse of the first”   




Episode 2






“Tis evident, that Adam with all his science, would never have been able to demonstrate, that the course of nature must continue uniformly the same,and that the future must be comfortable to the past. What is possible can never be demonstrated to be false; and ‘tis possible the course of nature may change,since we can conceive such a change.”





Episode 3





“The world is subdivided by boundaries differentially permeable to information.
Information is just that kind of quantifiable element (unit, base of unity) which allows universal translation, and so unhindered instrumental power (called effective communication). The biggest threat to such a power is interruption of communication. Any system breakdown is a function of stress. The fundamentals of this technology can be condensed into the metaphor , command-control-communication-intelligence, the military’s symbol for its operations theory.”



Plato Stole My Key Frame

Paul Harrison

{Animation & Public Engagement Symposium – Bradford Animation Festival, National Media Museum Bradford, Organised with the The Animation Academy, Loughborough. (2014) – I met so many people at this event it was amazing :)}

To begin let’s start with a question why has Plato stolen my key frame, and how is this relevant to the topic we are here to discuss? The public’s engagement with animation does not necessarily have to be an overly complex relationship. However this is before an ancient Greek’s thought compels us to re-think animation’s connection with it’s public. We are all familiar with his name, or more accurately the name he chose for himself. Plato was actually born as Aristocles and chose Plato because of his broad appearance and the breadth of his thinking [1]. Here in this account rests an explanation as to why Plato has stolen my key frame. Plato nicked this important image to remind us that appearances are potentially an illusion. Yes, Plato one of the first people to be deeply concerned with the forms things take, the man who would ban the artist and painter from his ideal city because they engage in mimicry. With their attempts at representation they distort and deceive, when waiting for a viewer to trap.

Well this information seems to be both counter-intuitive and counter productive to the discussion we are having today. Animation is undoubtedly an art form that has relied on both a painterly and deceptive quality of practice or creation. This can be seen as self evident in a powerful and accurate description I am found of using. ‘Animation is the creation of the illusion of movement through drawing.’ So here I believe Plato would start if he was here with us, to become more agreeable to the aims of this gathering. One believes that Plato’s lasting legacy compels us to alter the aforementioned definition of animation. So we can see the formal elements that the public potentially use to engage with animation with more clarity. In this way, in my suggestion the descriptive sentence alters into this:

‘Animation is the realisation of the illusion of movement through dialogue.’

So the words ‘creation’ and ‘drawing’ become ‘realisation’ and ‘dialogue’ when appeasing Plato. Why does this make Plato happy? The changes have such a positive affect because he himself was a student of Socrates, and a product of his teachers method. A route which used dialogue to attain realisation through debate, this path has been known since antiquity as the dialectic. Seeing that we are at a symposium it makes complete sense to demonstrate the importance of dialectical qualities in animation as a vessel for realising illusionary movements. To demonstrate this in Plato’s Symposium we are greeted with a re-telling of a discussion between Socrates and five or six other people on Love as a god. After you move through the homoerotic sections of speech on what qualities a younger man needs to have, in order to be a good lover. Then we reach an interesting depiction of the creation of the human form, traits, and characteristics. The words of Aristophanes offer this strange creationist account of where we come from. Zeus has grown tired of the behaviour of the first humans after they attempted to climb up to heaven to attack the gods. Quoting Zeus’s words portray a rather ‘public’ humanity. It’s a rather cartooned account of the malleability of our appearance. Making one wonder or ponder, if this perspective on human form, has more affinity. With the stance of a creator or the created?

‘I think I have a plan by which human beings could still exist but be too weak to carry out their wild behaviour. I shall now cut each of them into two; they will be weaker and also more useful to us because there will be more of them. They will walk around upright on two legs. If we think they’re still acting outrageously, and they won’t settle down, I’ll cut them in half again so that they move around hopping
on one leg [2].’

Surely we should reference an animation to decipher why we should not be fearful of this ‘cutting in half’. Precisely because animation already exists between forms, just like there is something between ignorance and wisdom[ 3. Ibid, p.47.]. This should be self evident and under no doubt, the problem we have is understanding the form this art takes, when such a large part of it is formless. Let us now watch the animation Tango (1980) by Polish animator Zbigniew Rybczyński. A film which one believes offers a way of opening the problem up by viewing the humorous historical past, in the contemporary future […] One first glimpsed this animation placed as just one of the many masterful examples of this art form. In the Barbican exhibition Watch Me Move, one did just that and watched Rybczyński’s magic unfold before one’s eyes[ Greg Hilty and Alona Pardo, Watch Me Move The Animation Show, Barbican, Merrel London/New York, p.184, (2011). ]. It not only made this speaker’s obsession reach unpreventable depths. Another thing this film does as you have seen is that it portrays a vast range of human forms, all in motion, all existing under one roof. In this singular locality the plurality of forms present bear more than a remarkable resemblance to what’s philosophically known as the Third Man Argument. Rather than bore you and lose time on mulling over what the correct interpretation of this is. I’d rather offer a definition and opinion that arose when flirting with philosophy.



Defining the argument as simply as possible T.M.A is the problem of having a singular definition of some form (F). When in fact this creates an immediate contradiction where to have the singular you need a plurality. A person can only define the form of a human in relation or next to another human form, which then needs another form to validate itself. My interpretation of the importance of this to a public engagement in animation, is that it brings into sharp focus, the pieces we have on today’s chess board. The T.M.A and Tango show the graceful intertwined dance that the essential notions such as causality, and humour. Share in both the animated and philosophised rooms we are walking through today. So in animation do we need to stress about the ad infinitum aspect that this platonic argument gives rise to? As it is validating animation’s existence; putting it in another way, on a gestural level. The essence of animation is both one of infinity or infinite possibilities. Where nothing is impossible and everything is at the mercy of humour. If ever there was something that demonstrated the insignificance of relying on a formal singular definition to construct meaning it is humour. Humour as a construct is very important in breaking through the institutional subconscious of control. That is always latent and fully present in attempting to enforce one definition or limit.
Humour an absurd dualistic thing, it oscillates dependent on the viewer, yet remains unifying.

Tango is mainly humorous in the absurdity and range of the sequences available within the animated room (imagine this occurring in your bedroom or living room?). Whilst, one can observe truly absurd animation’s in the antiquity of ancient Greece. Staying with the T.M.A you glimpse the logic of one’s opinion in that animations humour and it’s numinous essence. Are what any public will immediately freely associate with, so if we wan’t to increase engagement, in one’s opinion we should immediately forgo and denounce all stationary definitions of animation. We should adopt a tactic which successfully embarrassed Plato, for that is what Diogenes of Sinope did, when he arrived in ancient Greece after defacing currency. There exist many account’s that relate to this cynic’s animated attempts to get his public to think about how they live. From walking around in the middle of the day with a lamp and looking for an honest man[5]. To the moment when Plato was left red faced after confidently announcing to the world via the Academy, that man is a ‘featherless two legged being’. After hearing this Diogenes rushed to grab a chicken, plucked it’s feathers, and brought it into Plato’s school. After this event Plato’s definition was altered adding ‘with broad flat nails’, so we have here an example of the importance of a fluid understanding of animation.

So one feels like I have discussed the ‘what’ and ‘why’ of the public engaging with animation. This fluidity or plasticity is what has driven both the production and consumption of this diverse form of art. It should be our duty to allow our thought’s to move toward understanding the illusions we create, not devaluing them with notion’s of property, with ownership via knowledge. Another way one would choose to express this particular sentiment is by saying that, ‘you wouldn’t squander the work of the Warner Bros animator Chuck Jones by turning the river of movement in his work into a drab stationary puddle’. How then can one understand this practical aspect of the symposium today? Well, embracing the topics one has already mentioned is a start. Yet I find myself drawn to Language and the work of one little known philosopher (one last philosophical reference). Ludwig Wittgenstein is often thought of as an anti-philosopher, he only wrote one book, which finished with a puzzling statement.

Wittgenstein suggested ‘Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent[6 ].’ a seemingly truthful simple suggestion. However this demand has a context and that is this philosopher’s hell bent obsession to understand truth, what is true, here in the immediate present? Is his question in the only book he published during his life the Tractatus. In this text he discusses thought as logic and spawns the ‘verification principle’, using the analogy that logic is a picture of the world. So you have actual reality and a picture of reality and if you can get them to line up then this is true according to Wittgenstein. Now you may be thinking this is just one reiterating problems of definition, and you could be forgiven for adopting this opinion. Especially when you look at the contents of this text, as this example demonstrates:

‘This perhaps explains that the figure




can be seen in two ways as a cube; and all similar phenomena. For we really
see two different facts. (If I fix my eyes first on the corners a and only glance
at b, a appears in front and b behind, and vice versa.)

5.552 The “experience” which we need to understand logic is not that such
and such is the case, but that something is; but that is no experience.
Logic precedes every experience – that something is so.
It is before the How, not before the What[7].’

However Wittgenstein offers us a unique thing to consider because humorously after publishing this book and his thinking. He immediately dismissed it instead turning to language in his posthumously published work Philosophical Investigations[8]. Where his work in what he called ‘language games’ and using the phrase ‘language gone on holiday’, attempted to dissolve the habit of philosophy to use words out of context. This makes me wonder if animation like language and philosophy to an extent is always self referential? One doubt’s that it is and to demonstrate my opposition to this whilst also concluding how one would choose to engage with animation as a potential member of it’s public. One would choose to focus on how open animation is in it’s ability to push all forms of language into new and uncharted territories, that are potentially outside of matter?

We have to continuously create new language for animation.


  1. Diogenes Laertius, Life of Plato, IV
  2. Plato, The Symposium, Trans: Christopher Gill & Desmond Lee, Penguin Books, London, p.27-28, (2005)
  3. Ibid.
  4. Greg Hilty and Alona Pardo, Watch Me Move The Animation Show, Barbican, Merrel London/New York, p.184, (2011).
  5. Laërtius & Hicks 1925, Ⅵ:41
  6. Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, Cosimo, New York, p.108, (2007)
  7. Ibid, p86.
  8. Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, Blackwell, Oxford, (1967) .

Japanese Animation / 001,日本のアニメ/ 一

Recently, I was introduced to Hayao Miazaki’s “Panda! Go Panda!” (1972) I haven’t seen the film but I want to watch it. The story features around a Father and son pair of Pandas. Who escape from the zoo and have a crazy adventure with a Tiger. I’m going to watch it soon! Eyeball the trailer below.

最近、僕は宮崎さんの『パンダコパンだ』のアニメを紹介しました。映画は見たことないけど見たいです。ストーリーはパンダのパパと息子さんのピントに的を絞ります。このパンダは動物園に逃げて虎とクレージーな冒険をします。私はすぐに見えましょう! 皆も見るね。

Secondly last year I watched two Japanese Anime films. The first recently became the most successful of all time, kimi no nawa (your name)is a story of gender swapping, the trials and tribulations of emotional life, and a meteor. The characters are Mitsuha and Taki. They transport the viewer into beautiful drawn moving pictures of Tokyo and Itomori in the Hida region of Japan. Watch this for a great depiction of Japanese culture, and a fine example of a uniquely Japanese style of animating. My favourite part is when Mitsuha first swaps bodies with Taki, and she has to use the correct male word. The painterly images of Tokyo are very realistic, the animators did a good job.


The film ‘Koe no katachi'(Form of Voice) is a rather long but interesting anime. Set in a high school and featuring an arrogant boy and mute girl. You are really invited to mull over what it’s like to be bullied, and to bully. Topics such as suicide are explored, and the film’s images serve as a potent reminder of the varied differences between people. It also formally showcases the culture of confession. All in all interesting but a tad too long.