Database for Animation Studies


Heavy as a Feather: On Agnieszka Woznicka’s Birdy, Object Animation and the Moral Gravity of Things

Digital technology now defines our representational order. Paradoxically, digital hegemony creates new conditions for the representation of materiality through the loss of the photographic index. Object animation is especially well able to stage this emerging conception of materiality. Woznicka's object animation film Birdy creates an allegory of materiality in addition to representing it. The film foregrounds its main character's project, the construction of wings, and the ethical implications of treating materials as mere resource for human use. Elements of the narrative structure and the camera work give the materials used in the character's project a moral standing in the film, which draws audience and filmmaker, as well as the character, into an ethical situation which is significant to our shared moment in the digital era.

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Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal
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