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Pulses of Abstraction

Pulses of Abstraction

Episodes from a History of Animation

by Andrew R. Johnston

Published by: University of Minnesota Press

280 pages, 152.00 x 203.00 x 38.00 mm, 52 B-W Illustrations, 12 Color Plates

  • ISBN: 9780816685295
  • Published: December 2020

£23.99

Reshapes the history of abstract animation and its importance to computer imagery and cinema

Animation and technology are always changing with one another. From hand-drawn flipbooks to stop-motion and computer-generated imagery (CGI), animation’s identity is in flux. But many of these moving image technologies, like CGI, emerged from the world of animation. Indeed, animation has made essential contributions to not only computer imagery but also cinema, helping shape them into the fields and media forms we know today. 

In Pulses of Abstraction, Andrew R. Johnston presents both a revealing history of abstract animation and an investigation into the relationship between animation and cinema. Examining a rich array of techniques—including etching directly onto the filmstrip, immersive colored-light spectacles, rapid montage sequences, and digital programming—Pulses of Abstraction uncovers important epistemological shifts around film and related media. Just as animation’s images pulse in projection, so too does its history of indexing technological and epistemic changes through experiments with form, material, and aesthetics. Focusing on a period of rapid media change from the 1950s to the 1970s, this book combines close readings of experimental animations with in-depth technological studies, revealing how animation helped image culture come to terms with the rise of information technologies.