A Universe of Boundaries: Pixilated Performances in Jan Švankmajer’s Food
Czech surrealist filmmaker Jan Švankmajer is known to animate any sort of thing: leaves, the surface of a wall, socks, nails and raw flesh. But he does not limit himself to inanimate objects; he also stop animates live actors through a technique called pixilation. This article examines the performances of Švankmajer’s pixilated actors within the 1992 short, Food, which constructs a dialectic between the agency of the actor and that of the animator. The author argues that Švankmajer undermines embodied autonomy, positing limits to human agency and suggesting that the boundaries of our bodies are more permeable than we like to think.