Tuesday, 28 September 2010

New York, London, Istanbul, Nashville .. and Loughborough

This month is a busy one, with An Eyeful of Sound playing at the Candid Arts Trust's Angel Moving Image Festival in Islington, North London (Oct 1-3). It will also be playing at the Imagine Science Film Festival in New York, on Sunday October 17th in the New York Hall of Science, Queens.

I will be presenting a paper on the film at the American Synesthesia Association conference at Vanderbilt University, Nashville at the end of this week. It will be an interesting and exciting opportunity to discuss synaesthesia, animation and representation with neuro-scientists and artists. It's also my fourth conference of the year, all in different areas (animation, science, documentary studies) so I've become a bit of a conference nerd. They are wonderful opportunities to travel, make new connections and hear fascinating ideas. They're also sometimes frankly terrifying and, particularly with the really hard-core academic ones, painfully brain expanding.

Wilson Hall, Vanderbilt University. Photo: Edward M. Hubbard
I went to the Visible Evidence Documentary Studies conference in Istanbul last month which I found really challenging, both intellectually and thermostatically - it was boiling and really humid in mid-August but so beautiful.
Not the most picturesque photo I took in Istanbul...Visible Evidence Conference XVII, Bogazici University.
It was interesting - if perplexing - to see how animated documentary is seen within the larger context of documentary studies, and I had some really interesting conversations on the subject. I think it has a tendency to be seen as a slightly weird distant relative, and no one wants to be the first to invite it over for Christmas. However, hopefully that is changing. There were two panels in the conference devoted to animated documentary that suggested that it might be, where some good discussions took place. Look out for an article I'll be writing for APEngine on this topic...

Next week when I return from Nashville I'll be starting my PhD at Loughborough University. Scary stuff but hopefully it'll be really interesting. My practice-led studies will be about how animated documentaries can be used to convey unique brain states (like synaesthesia), so I'll keep you posted on how it goes!

P.S. I just read this conference dictionary by Myles Mcleod. Very funny.

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