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Philosophy in Motion: A Call for the Creation of a Joint Philosophy and Establishment of an International Council on Animation Archives

Henderson, S (2018) Philosophy in Motion: A Call for the Creation of a Joint Philosophy and Establishment of an International Council on Animation Archives. In: Animation and Philosophy, 25 April 2018 - 26 April 2018, Stuttgart, Germany. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Animation is a unique art form, defined by processes that distinguish it from live action film. Its material heavy animation production processes demonstrates a fundamental difference between the two screen based forms. Animation archives and collections house these materials and represent a wealth of culturally significant records and objects that speak to a worldwide animation heritage. However, the term ‘Animation Archives’ is a dangerously misconstrued one. It brings to mind an established and recognised networks, complete with funded collections and repositories available for public access, research and exhibition. In reality, the vast majority of animation archives exist as disparate under resourced collections that lack a much-needed communal response to the issues they collectively face. Though a lack of funds is a major damaging factor, it is the lack of communication and organisation between collections that is placing them at risk of a suffocation of knowledge and resources. The materiality of animation production materials opens up many questions. It is proposed that a philosophy is defined that distinguishes animation archives from moving image or audio-visual archives that house media related to the presentation of the moving image. It is to great success that archiving philosophies such as those governing Audio-Visual archives have safeguarded their media throughout the years on an international scale. Without a similar approach to animation materials the entire animation worldwide community faces an erosion of our understanding of animation technique and heritage. This paper proposes a plan to unite animation collections and archives to share their knowledge, resources and pool their talents in order to collectively define a peer reviewed and agreed upon philosophy for the collection and care for animation materials and address the myriad of issues that will be faced in doing so. This published and updated edition will act as a repository of knowledge and aid in the continuation of vital conversations around the definition, preservation and management (as well as other areas) of items in collections. By allow others to engage in a collegial community of animation archivists, promoting the process of animation and the unique attributes of this art form it is hoped that the dangers animation collections face can be recognised and addressed.

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