Blog #1 Animating Nature: The Art of the Moving Image from Conservation to Climate Change.

Austin Goodman

Blog Post #1

The title of our research is Animating Nature: The Art of the Moving Image from Conservation to Climate Change.

We are taking a look at the animated form and the role it plays in documentary film-making. By using climate change as a vehicle I will be creating a short animated documentary on subjects pertaining to climate change as a physical manifestation of the research conducted, I am currently shopping around the idea of focusing on a local conservation effort “The Billion Oyster Project.”

Despite being one of the earliest forms of documentary film-making, the animated nonfiction film is little understood and relatively marginalized in the discipline. Scholars like Paul Ward and Annabelle Honess Roe have recently been examining how animation allows for different kinds of engagement with “truth” and “reality” than live-action film-making does, but the roles of art and aesthetics, the “proper” domain of animation, remain under-theorized and under-historicized. The broad goal of this project is to establish a historical and theoretical foundation for understanding what the artistic potential of the animated form affords in the context of documenting reality in the cinema. Doing this will involve compiling a body of relevant scholarship drawn from multiple disciplines—namely, film studies, animation studies, philosophy, and art history—and generating a series of guiding questions aimed at advancing the rigorous interdisciplinary study of the field.

The goal of this research will be creating a body of work that is substantial and noteworthy. This will culminate in content that I will submit when applying to graduate programs as well as provide Professor Williamson’s larger book project a clearer theoretical framework that will be used for drafting a book proposal during the 2018-19 academic year.