animation: an interdisciplinary journal — Special Issue Call for Papers: Pervasive Animation

Especially since the digital shift, animation is increasingly pervasive in moving image practice. Its conventional definitions, technique-based corpi and technical limitations are dramatically changing as it becomes ubiquitous in a wide band of genres, formats and media. Lev Manovich’s widely debated 2001 claim that ‘digital cinema is a particular case of animation that uses live-action footage as one of its may elements’ effectively states that all is now animation, and cinema is but a subset of animation. The discourse around film’s loss of the indexical relates to animation’s unlimited potential to visually represent events, scenarios and forms that have little or no relation to our experience of the ‘real’ world. From synthespians and mobile telephony to ‘live action’ features that are mainly created through computer animation, in its myriad forms and applications across a wide band of disciplines, creative and professional practice and industrial implementation, animation will increasingly influence our understanding of how we see and experience the world through these fields.

The themed issue is based on the Pervasive Animation symposium held at Tate Modern in March 2007, a project deeply reflective of the journal’s aims. It united world-renowned academics and artists from a wide range of research agendas and creative practices not usually associated with animation: Tom Gunning, Norman Klein, Michael Snow, Vivian Sobchack, Anthony McCall, George Griffin, Beatriz Colomina, Siegfried Zielinski, Lisa Cartwright and Esther Leslie. It was obvious to all who attended that there is an enormous gap in the dialogues between animation and its critical counterpart. (The webcast of all speakers is available at: (

The special issue of animation: an interdisciplinary journal will feature essays that contribute to filling this gap with new insights, approaches and methodologies that take cause with, for instance:

• the pervasive nature of animation in the moving image;
• its impact on film and television and game studies and practice;
• medium specificities and cinema’s increasing loss of a medium with the digital;
• radical contemporary practice;
• hybridity and mixed media;
• creative innovations foregrounding specific disciplines and their interrelations with animation.

We especially welcome submissions that aim to break with clichéd conceptions about animation and facilitate much-needed dialogue centred on its ubiquitous and multidisciplinary nature, its future development and its implications for spatial politics and moving image culture.

If you would like to discuss your submission with the Editor, please send an email to:

See the journal’s website for submission details and guidelines: