Queer/ing Animation Symposium, 26th July 2017 University of Hull
Paper: ‘Off-model’: The subversion of the animated ‘on-model’ body to express queer narratives and identities in experimental animation as well as innovative TV animation.
Exploring animation related to queer narratives and experiences around identity, gender and sexuality reveals the power of the medium to encompass a queer experience in terms of form as well as content. In animation, “off-model” defines a deviation from the original source material or model sheets but what may be seen as a flaw in mainstream cartoon animation is embraced within the changing practices of experimental and alternative animation, particularly in relation to queer narratives. This fluidity and intentional inconsistency in terms of style and materials is used to reflect the queer body as a space of discovery, doubt, revelation and performance. Normativism by Eliran Birchman explores literal and figurative transformations in relation to his identity and religious feelings, while Etienne Caroff’s Mue expresses the power of gender performance, shifting between gendered objects and abstraction. While Avery Kalapa’s D.I.Y animation Strong & Dreaming uses collage to celebrate, explore and subvert queer stereotypes and symbols, Corinne Teed’s Feral Utopias reappropriates 19th century engravings produced by colonial naturalists to document queer people’s reclaiming of the natural world. This queer fluidity is not limited to experimental animation. Steven Universe’s consistent inconsistency" in terms of storyboarding style and character design reflects the very theme of the show, through the will to escape societal norm to embrace truer notions of community, identity and belonging, including gender fluidity and queer relations. By evading a normative “model” through stylistic experimentation, animation presents the opportunity to reflect and explore the feelings at the core of the queer experience.
Animation & Memory Conference, 22nd-23rd June 2017, Radboud University, Nijmegen
Paper: ‘Reanimating Memory in the Museum Collection’: exploring the ways in which animation both commissioned by museums and created independantly can challenge and subvert our way of experiencing and “animating” a museum collection.
Curating queerness as an activist practice, 18th May 2017, Curating the Contemporary
LGBTQ inclusion and visibility within museums and exhibitions focuses around the notion of preserving a historical legacy or providing a new lens through which to see art in terms of gender and identity politics. However, on a more political and social level, this inclusion reinstates absences that were once forcibly censored or set aside. Curating queer contemporary art practices provides a stronger means of ensuring that narratives once erased or compartmentalized within society as a whole are represented in their complexity within the gallery space. Looking at various curatorial practices and exhibitions allows for an overview of the way in which queer curating navigates between tokenism and visibility, activism and neutrality, while tackling the paradox in catering to a community while curating for a vast audience.
Edges: An Animation Seminar, 9th December 2016, Whitechapel Gallery
Paper: ‘Re-interpretation’: how experimental animation can provide alternative ways of experiencing museum collections through reinterpretation and re-appropriation.