On the language of Abstract Animation


Session Title:

  • Media Aesthetics

Presentation Title:

  • On the language of Abstract Animation



  • This paper focuses on theoretical and philosophical aspects of abstract animation aesthetic language. The origin of abstract animation as an art form can be traced in the notion of correspondences of the arts, common in ninetieth century symbolic poetry and expressionist painting. We consider that such systems of correspondences, as those found in 20th century avant-garde artistic movements, may create an aesthetic experience similar to synaesthesia, a neurological disorder, which when considered from a philosophical perspective challenges our perception of reality.

    Firstly, clinical findings in the study of synaesthesia are put forward that prove the relationship of cross modal perception to abstract and symbolic thought, metaphor and ultimately the formation of language. Accordingly, an analogy is proposed on the basis that synaesthesia and media art history are following similar structural patterns: abstract animation as a separate kind of artistic expression can form a sort of language system that is historically evolving. Our hypothesis conceptualizes the above theoretical schema at a phylogenesis-ontogenesis model.

    Methodologically, a selection of abstract animation works is analyzed in order to identify their linguistic elements. This research process ultimately aims at contributing towards the investigation of a syntactical system formed by a vocabulary of tones, colours, shapes and forms, as a system of reference following semantic rules, by means of which we wish to interpret the “language” of abstract animation, as used for both artistic practice and the production of meaning in the process of perceiving abstract animation works.