Database for Animation Studies


Where Codes Collide: The Emergent Ecology of Avatar

Ecological approaches give an insight to the story-world of Avatar. They are extended in this article to facilitate an exploration of the connectivity between the feature film and its associated texts (production culture disclosures, making of featurettes, interviews). Drawing on the ecological thinking of Gregory Bateson, Félix Guattari and Jane Bennett, this article argues that Avatar and its associated texts are considered as an ecology of emergent space. The materiality of such a space is drawn from the various entities involved in its configuration: animation software, motion capture technologies, actors, designers and filmmakers. This argument is pursued primarily through a discussion of the ways in which real-time motion capture technologies alter our understandings of the ecologies of CG imagery in Avatar. Remaining focused on only the realism of these images, or the traces of humanness within them, misses the way in which such spaces emerge at an intersection of codes.

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Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal
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