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Eastern European experimental animation, fine art aesthetics and the digital age.

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The study is an exploration of Eastern European animation as it relates to experimental animation practice – in particular as it relates to fine art aesthetics. The research further aims to investigate the validity of this tradition within the context of digital cinema technology. In this regard the investigation focuses on the experimental animated films of Eastern European animators Yuri Norstein and Aleksandr Petrov. The study will importantly also include an analysis of the candidate's practice-based research as it relates to the digital platform, fine art aesthetics and to the candidate's eastern European heritage. As this study is practice-based and comprises a textual and practice component, the research questions relate to both practice and theory. However as both components are related, the research questions relate to both areas of study: As the study considers how digital cinema technology and creative applications can emulate and facilitate the processes and aesthetics of traditional, hand-crafted animation, the research question which arises from the dominance of digital technology within the genre of animation, is whether traditional animation methods have become obsolete. The study aims to address this question through an in-depth exploration of the experimental, hand-crafted animation techniques of Norstein and Petrov. This research question is also a significant aim in the practice-based component of this study and is explored textually and in the candidate’s two film projects.


Master of Art in Fine Art. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg 2016.