Another Planet: Animation and Documentary Aesthetics in Mixed Realities

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

As technology shapes culture, contemporary mixed realities – where the physical converges with ubiquitous screens and online platforms – require new visualization methods. While virtual interactive realms proliferate, the use of animation grows too, because digital animation is a dynamic visual language based on movement that can react to user input in real time. Animation is thus a vital visual language of the 21st century, a central aesthetic in mixed realities that represents, records but also reflects wider current cultural changes and characteristics of the information age. Originating in art and documentary theory this article examines animation as a central informational aesthetic. The animated documentary Another Planet (Amir Yatziv, 2017) serves as my case study. It portrays virtual re-enactments of the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp in a new form of cultural heritage that has migrated into virtual realms. I contend that to maintain the relevance of visual documentation in this era, new documentary imagery that transcends photography – which is rooted in the physical – is necessary. Using this case study, I demonstrate three new central roles and uses of animation today: a) as virtual aesthetics; b) as a document of the virtual; c) as self-reflexive documentary and informational aesthetics.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAnimation Studies
Volume15
StatePublished - 27 Dec 2020

Keywords

  • animation
  • digital
  • virtual
  • documentary
  • mixed realities

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