Animism: Episode 1: A Report on Migrating Souls in Museums and Moving Pictures. Animism on e-flux.com is the ninth iteration of the exhibition, which will be released in four episodes starting November 2020.

Transcript

I: Introduction

Dictionaries define animism usually as the belief in spirits, or as the attribution of conscious life to nature and inanimate objects. Any such definition raises questions concerning the correct boundary between human-made signs and non-human things, and also between living and dead matter, between a subject with a conscious interiority, and mere objects who lack such quality. Since the nineteenth century, anthropologists began to use the term animism for countless cultural practices that they thought failed to draw these distinctions correctly. It was believed that such failure may lie at the roots of all religion.

This exhibition project suggested that the way anthropologists imagined animism has played a crucial role in colonial representations of the non-European world. Decolonizing the term animism means to use it as an optical tool that brings into view the boundary-making practices of modern colonial discourse.

This is the path that will be pursued in the four episodes presented here through the exhibition. Using artworks as guides, we will look at the divisions and boundaries that are at work in museums. We will consider what museums do to so-called animist objects. We will move on to animation, to the effect of the life-like in images, particularly in film. Effects of animation cannot be described only in aesthetic terms. An underlying colonial dimension makes them into what they are. We suggest that modern mass media, such as the cinema, derives its power from the impossibility to contain the collective dimensions of mediation in the categories of Western psychology.

II: Museums as Specimens

Candida Höfer’s photographs of museum interiors show museums as if they were specimens themselves. Her photographs do not allow these museums to simply reproduce their authority, but rather expose authority as a rather fragile architecture of gazes, material arrangements, and imaginary constructions of order. With these photographs, the question is raised as to what kinds of cosmological functions museums fulfill.

Museums have a modern and modernizing function, by which the entire world is turned into an image, into the matter of representation. The museum of the modern imperial center seeks to monopolize history. It issues a universal roll call for all “historical” objects in the world—pillaged, plundered, traded and collected. But it is also accountable to a public and no longer private property, and therefore both the constitution of such public and the image of history it constructs will be fiercely contested.

The Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford is an imperial museum. With this photograph by Candida Höfer we glimpse into one of its corridors. From the simple to the complex, this museum was a display of an evolutionary narrative which put Western civilization at the pivot of history, with the power to classify everything at a safe distance. It is the classificatory divisions—their power and violence—that produce the meaning of imperial modernity. The divisions run between the makers of the image and those captured by the image, and between the alleged great divide separating the modern and pre-modern.

The following image from the same series by Candida Höfer was taken in the depot of the Ethnographic Museum in Berlin in Dahlem. Like the famous drawing in which we can see either the head of a duck or a rabbit, this picture puzzle too produces what is called “perceptual ambiguity,” flipping between two possible interpretations. Who acts in this scene, who is acted upon?

In the next photograph from the series we see the backstage machinery employed by one of the largest and most prestigious ethnographic museums, the Musée du quai Branly Paris. A fascinating history of scholarship is associated with its collections, yet it is inevitably steeped in the presumptuous and violent legacy of the vast colonial empire whose center was Paris. What we see in the image is the behind-the-scenes high-tech machinery that is necessary to keep the precious objects held by the museum in their current condition, or to minimize inevitable decay—to isolate them from the flow of time, the circulation of matter, life, and death. The stability, if not eternity, of time that is suggested by most museums is itself a carefully constructed condition, an artifact, and an illusion.

III: The Dangers of Petrification

The Dangers of Petrification is an artwork by Jimmie Durham in the form of a museum vitrine. It is not really what it seems to be—more like a form of counter-subversive doubling. The vitrine holds a collection of stones that have likely met the gaze of the artist upon his wanderings, just like the bicycle parts that jumped at Picasso from the garbage heap to suggest a bull’s head.

Richard Hill describes what is going on here as double mimesis: “stones representing petrified objects, which are themselves the stone representations of organic objects.” 1 The handwritten labels next to the stones are also an imperfect mimesis of authoritative museum classification. The handwriting identifies the maker of this museum vitrine as an outsider, who does not know the sources and protocols from which the proper modern authority is derived.

These labels describe the objects as petrified versions of, variously, an apple slice, a loaf of bread, a piece of cheese, a slice of bacon or, a cloud. With the exception of the petrified cloud, they are presented ready-to-eat, perhaps as offerings to the appetites of hungry gazes in search of likenesses, or the desire of half-gods to eat from the fruit of immortality. The tension is all between the hard and the soft, organic tissue and death. Is petrification the fate that awaits us if we follow our appetites? Wherein does the danger reside? There is incorporation in petrification, which is a process of a slow and gradual replacement of organic tissue with minerals. As Richard Hill underlines, “a petrified object is a copy in which the original cannot, by definition, survive the process of reproduction.” 2 The stone that is described as a petrified cloud sits on a larger piece of paper with a handwritten description, which speaks of the extraordinary circumstances that lead to the sudden petrification of the cloud at the ocean’s surface, at the horizon, where heaven and earth meet. Is the cloud not the most transient and etheric of matter, an essentially metamorphic condition, quite the opposite of stones that are permanent, immobile, and insensate? This object and its identification as petrified cloud is incredible, unbelievable; it demands a suspension of disbelief.

Jimmie Durham’s vitrine speaks of what we believe stones to be, speaks of their use in architecture and in museums, their claim to permanence and stable knowledge, and restores this knowledge and its objects to the profound uncertainty of knowing—to its abyssal, liminal, and animate character. The metaphors that have become congealed in stones are thrown back unto us: to be frozen with fear and be emotionally hardened. The stones are rebelling against the classifying gaze.

IV: Recto/Verso: Stage/Prison

In the looped film animation Vice / Virtue, which is usually projected into a stack of paper from above, a stage turns into a prison and in spinning acceleration, reverts back again. The artist Natascha Sadr Haghighian says:

A simple drawing of a prison courtyard. Two searchlights scan the yard in slow, circular movements, then the image starts to spin slowly, and then faster. The elements of the drawing are reorganized by the centrifugal force of the spin. When it comes to a halt, the prison has become a stage, while the searchlights continue their movement. Two seemingly opposed concepts of exposure: while one spotlight presumes vice, the other one presumes virtue. While one beam of light exposes in order to punish, the other one exposes in order to reward. Trapped in a perpetual spin, the scenes of crime-and-punishment versus fame-and-reward become conditions of the same segregating machine. Constantly isolating the elements of a congeries and separating them into good and bad, adored and hated, chosen and excluded, criminal, talent, celebrity, outcast, individual, artist. The term “isolate” comes from the Italian isolare, from the Latin insula—island—and means to make someone become an island. 3

V: Statues Also Die

Statues Also Die by Chris Marker and Alain Renais is an anticolonial film that was commissioned in 1950 by the literary magazine and publishing house Présence Africaine, which was then just four years old, and it formed the center of the Negritude movement in the colonial capital of Paris. Présence Africaine was founded by the essayist Alioune Diop, and included celebrated writer-politicians such as Aimé Césaire and Léopold Sédar Senghor. The organization's founding principles from the late 1940s are summarized by V. Y. Mudimbe as a ”manifesto and a program” through which the ”dignity of otherness” and the voices of a ”silenced Africa” could be brought to the very center of French power and culture.

There are numerous reasons to be doubtful of Marker and Resnais’ take on African art, because they base their description on the model of an “African philosophy” developed by the Franciscan missionary Placide Tempels, who was a pioneer in acknowledging the cosmological complexity of the culture that surrounded him. He generalized what he learned from the Luba people of southern Katanga (Belgian Congo) to more or less all of Sub-Saharan Africa, and thus challenged the most derisive racist stereotypes of colonial culture. Yet his stated goal remained the conversion of African subjects to Christianity.

Aimé Césaire had this to say about Placide Tempels:

Now then, know that Bantu thought is essentially ontological; that Bantu ontology is based on the truly fundamental notions of a life force and a hierarchy of life forces, and that for the Bantu the ontological order which defines the world comes from God and, as a divine decree, must be respected. Wonderful! Everybody gains: the big companies, the colonists, the government—everybody except the Bantu, naturally. Since Bantu thought is ontological, the Bantu only ask for satisfaction of an ontological nature. [...] In short, you tip off your hat at the Bantu life-force, you give a wink to the immortal Bantu soul. And that’s all it costs you! 4

This is a film about violence and the metamorphosis that objects undergo when traveling, not only physically, but also in terms of their framing, their classification into the categories of a different cosmology—a conquering cosmology. For the filmmakers, the initial question was one of categorization: Why is African art located in the Musée de l’Homme, whereas Greek or Egyptian art is in the Louvre?

“It is not very useful for us to call it a religious object in a world where everything is religion, nor to speak of an art object in a world where everything is art,” the film tells us, thus making clear that what is at stake is the defiance of imposed categories, partitions, and divisions.

VI: The Hallucinating Factory

Capitalism: Slavery is based on a stereographic image of labor on a cotton plantation. The stereographic image is animated digitally by changing back and forth from one image to the other with minimal differences, creating not only the optical illusion of space and movement, but also repeating the standardized monotonous gesture of the slave laborers endlessly. In the backdrop of the image, we see the white overseer on a horse gazing in our direction, his controlling gaze uncannily communicating with the disembodied camera lens.

This is the rhythm, the dance, and the tune of modernity.

VII: A Primal Scene of Cinema

This is a collage by Max Ernst. It is called A Little Girl Dreams of Taking the Veil. Max Ernst here used an illustration that appeared in the popular science magazine La Nature around 1880, and added his own characters and elements onto it.

The manipulated image represents a zoetrope with three-dimensional sculpted birds in varying positions inside. Through a subtle blending of images one bird appears to flee from the “dovecote” and a girl is found trapped inside. Instead of looking from the outside into the revolving drum, she finds herself in the epicenter of it, and covers her eyes with her one hand, while reaching out with the other. 5

The art historian Rosalind Krauss wrote about this collage that it captures the viewer “inside the illusion […] looking on nonetheless from without,” akin to a dreamer’s consciousness of a dream. 6

Let us understand this collage as a primal scene of cinema, releasing the isolated bourgeois interior into the ecstasy of a lost exteriority and a lost “we,” however flickering and syncopated it must appear.

Three decades after Max Ernst, Marcel Broodthaers also used nineteenth-century popular illustrations. Broodthaers was interested in imperial phantasies and museological fictions that manifested themselves in these images. Eventually he turned to the caricatures of Grandville.

Grandville’s use of the “animal metaphor” exerted great influence on generations of illustrators and animators to come, including Walt Disney. Among his most fascinating drawings we find cosmic visions such as the “planetary bridge,” ”the secret of infinity.”

Marcel Broodthaers appropriated Grandville’s satirical images in two slide projections from 1966 and 1968. The 1968 projection Caricatures-Grandville juxtaposed slides of satirical drawings by Grandville and Daumier, with photographs of the May 1968 student demonstrations—or rather, with the stones dug up from the streets of Paris.

In an article, Broodthaers speaks about the iconic building of the 1958 Brussels World Fair, known as the Atomium—a 100 meter tall steel construction designed by the engineer André Waterkeyn and architects André and Jean Polak that represents the model of a unit cell of an alpha-iron (ferrite) crystal magnified 165 billion times: “The Romanticism of the nineteenth century already contains this fantasy that we now confuse with scientific reality.” 7 And next to it, Broodthaers places the drawing Juggler of the Universe from Un Autre Monde from 1844, and writes:

And what if the juggler lacked aplomb? Let’s put our trust in his energy. Atomic energy in the best of taste. This violent caricature of Grandville’s is back in the scientific thinking of today after a hundred-year sleep. In the realm of the imagination different eras overlap, the flaws of the infinitely great and the infinitely small are identical. 8

VIII: A Song of Electricity

The life force that haunted the imaginary of nineteenth-century Europe was partly an oppositional effect of disciplinary measures, a return of the repressed, and partly fueled by techno-scientific mobilization and its biopolitics. The closest equivalent we get, then, to a pervasive life force in nineteenth-century Europe is energy—and especially electricity.

Electricity seemed to carry a promise of a victory over death.

This is derived from Avery Gordon’s contribution to the exhibition and catalogue:

By the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, Mary Shelley’s Dr. Frankenstein, grievously troubled over his usurpation of the divine powers of creation, has been replaced by Edison’s Tower of Light. 9

Electricity was a key technological and symbolic medium to modernity’s presumptive progress. Cinema played an important role in justifying and normalizing this way of life. [...] Thomas A. Edison Inc.’s propaganda films for the Spanish-American War made by William Paley, for the Pan-American Exposition, and for William McKinley’s presidential authority (his inauguration, death, and funeral)—are only the most literal examples of Edison’s particular contribution to this cinematic project. 10

In September 1901 Leon F. Czolgosz shot President William McKinley, who had started the Spanish-American War.

Czolgosz was the 50th person to die in the electric chair in the state of New York. Edwin Porter’s reenactment of his execution for Thomas A. Edison Inc. marked the culmination of Edison’s opportunistic involvement in electrocution. The first electric chair was built by Harold Brown, then secretly employed by Edison, and introduced at Auburn prison in 1890 to replace hanging as the principal form of capital punishment. [...] The sober representation of Czolgosz’s execution—swift, seemingly without pain or bodily mutilation, a model of rational efficiency—contrasted sharply to the reality of electrocution. [...] But then, Execution of Czolgosz, with its touted panorama of Auburn prison, was less an argument for or against electrocution than it was an example of electricity in the service of the restoration of a social order momentarily disrupted by the killing of the President of Progress, Industry, and Empire by a self-proclaimed anarchist. 11

IX: La Machine Animale

Etienne-Jules Marey—physician, physiologist, cardiologist, student of hydraulics, and pioneer in such diverse fields as medical measurement, aviation, and photography and cinema—developed numerous instruments for the recording of bodies moving through space and the mechanical work of energy systems. His earlier work is known as the “graphic method,” which he used to translate motion into notation. Later, he employed to photography for his purposes. Alongside Eadweard Muybridge, he developed chronophotography, which made possible a rationalization of the body’s movements and a science of fatigue. He paved the way for the labor efficiency studies of Frank Gilbreth and Fredrick Taylor, after whom Taylorism was named. The image of the zoetrope used by Ernst for his collage featured the motion studies of Etienne-Jules Marey. It was Marey himself who sculpted that series of plaster pigeons in order to present his motion analyses in a giant zoetrope for the Académie des sciences in 1886.

The zoetrope was used by Marey in the 1880s following the phenakistoscope, which he used to animate the images obtained with a photographic gun. This “hunting rifle” was a further development of the “astronomical revolver” developed in the Paris astrophysical laboratory by Pierre Jules Janssen, which Marey understood as making possible an integration of the element of time into the production of precise images of motion. Built in 1882, it would provide a dozen images in a second, with a shutter speed of 1/700th of a second. Marey’s photographic gun hinted at the fact that his motion studies would also make his moving objects into potential targets, and thus links an actual power over life with the symbolic triumph over death in synthesized movement. 12

X: Tusalava

Len Lye grew up in New Zealand and lived for short periods in Australia and Samoa among other places, before settling in London in 1926. Lye was one of the few people within European avant-garde circles who knew the indigenous culture and art of New Zealand, Australia, and the islands of the South Pacific. The film Tusalava, made between 1927 and 1929—and considered a milestone in the history of animated film— stages a creation story with mythical-hallucinatory and biological-morphological elements. The title is a Samoan expression for something which remains eternally the same, signifying that everything comes full circle, that things are bound to return.

Employing over 4,000 drawings, the film depicts the development of abstract forms resembling cellular organisms to more complex shapes and even a human figure—described by Lye as a “totem of individuality”—and a “cross between an octopus and a spider,” emerging from microbes, worms, or snakes. The images of worms refer to an Australian myth surrounding edible desert worms. Across a screen divided into a negative and a positive section, these figures react, attack, absorb, and devour one another in an increasingly electrified scenario reminiscent of the biological functioning of the immune system—with the dual confrontation finally dissipating in pulsating spirals.

XI: The Skeleton Dance

“We know that this is a projection of drawings onto a screen.

We know that they are “miracles” and tricks of technology and that such beings don’t actually exist in the world.

And at the very same time:

We sense them as living,

we sense them as active, acting,

we sense them as existing and we assume that they are even sentient! 13

In 1929, the Walt Disney studio produced the first episode of Silly Symphonies, their first real success due to the perfect symbiosis of music and image, and the first to use non-post-sync sound. Part of the genius of the Skeleton Dance is that it pictures the very logic of the medium and the principles of the animated universe itself. The most fundamental principle of animation is that the whole animated world is joined together by the “carcass” upon which it is all constructed: the score, the rhythm, the melodies. The animated universe had to be, quite literally, enchanted by a song that involves all voices across the board. It follows that within this framework, cause and effect must be exaggerated, and everything should be more alive than usual.

In other words, more receptive. Not only do the skeletons represent the eerie resurrection of the dead at ghost hour, suggesting that animated film itself resembles a witching hour, but the bones also act as a visual sign of that carcass, which is equated here with the musical score.

For Sergei Eisenstein, Disney’s work was a major reference, and he developed an entire theory of “plasmaticness,” “mutability,” and “animism” in relation to it. Eisenstein’s starting point is neither Disney’s synaesthesia nor his perfect rhythm. Rather, Eisenstein begins with eloquent descriptions of the unstable stability achieved by Disney in his creation of plastic form. This property of unstable stability, which Eisenstein admired for its irresistible attraction, is paradoxical because of the way Disney’s forms seem to exist in a continuous state of self-dissolution. In an analysis of Disney’s animated drawings, Eisenstein shows how this plasmatic property (one shared by the origin elements—water, fire, air and earth) functions within a form strictly delineated by a line’s contour. The line is the form’s limit, but in Disney’s work this line is constantly in motion: stretching, extending itself, dancing.

In terms of their material, Disney’s pictures are pure ecstasy—all the traits of ecstasy (the immersion of self in nature and animals etc.) Their comicality lies in the fact that the process of ecstasy is represented as an object: literalized, formalized. 14 That is, Disney is an example within the general formula of the comical of a case of formal ecstasy!!! (Great!) 15 Eisenstein writes, “Metamorphoses is a direct protest against the standardly immutable”—an odd formulation and perhaps a simplification, but one that invites multiple questions and interpretations.

In the history of human forms, for instance, does architecture not embody that which is “standardly immutable”? Is the “standardly immutable” in capitalist modernity that which is measured and quantified, the object of instrumental reasoning or the reified commodity?

Eisenstein offers some answers. “America and the formal logic of standardization had to give birth to Disney as a natural reaction to the prelogical.” 16 He continues:

In the history of literature and art, this is not the first time: similar traits of past ages gave birth to quite similar phenomena. Such was the case with La Fontaine as a protest against the logic of Cartesian philosophy. Disney is a marvelous lullaby for the suffering and the unfortunate, the oppressed and the deprived. For those who are shackled by hours of work and regulated moments of rest, by a mathematical precision of time, whose lives are graphed by the cent and the dollar. [...] Disney’s films are a revolt against partitioning and legislating, against spiritual stagnation and greyness. But the revolt is lyrical. This revolt is a daydream. Fruitless and lacking consequences. 17

XII: My Frontier is an Endless Wall of Points

Artist Joachim Koester calls his My Frontier is an Endless Wall of Points “a psychedelic documentary.” It is a 16mm film projection based on the work of poet and painter Henri Michaux, whose lifelong preoccupation with movement and its notation seems to almost mirror that of Etienne-Jules Marey.

Between 1955 and 1960, Michaux experimented with writing and drawing under the influence of mescaline. In Michaux’s experiments under the influence of mescaline, the mind and hand turn into a robo-seismograph recording the movements and vibrations induced by neurological excitement, reaching beyond the sign and language into the materiality of the image and the pure, infinite, and abstract flow of time.

Koester short-circuits Michaux by using his notational drawings as raw material for a time-based animation, a “structuralist” film: a representation of the essence of the cinematographic apparatus.

There are animated images and there is image-animism. And, perhaps it is right to say that they often overlap and that animated images also bring image-animism to the fore. But, the fact that in motion pictures or animated cartoons, and even in some still pictures, carefully crafted illusions employing aesthetic effects of the lifelike also preclude discussions of the latter. In the category of image-animism, what is at stake is not an illusion of life, but the effect of images on life: their spiritual, sensory, and affective powers, as when an image performs the cultic function of banishing divine forces, or in modern terms, to use a phrase by Walter Benjamin, when mass cultural images “hit the spectator like a bullet.” 18

XIII: Paralysis, Not Animation

What happens when an animated image steps out of the safe zone of aesthetic effects and immersion into an illusion of life? When does it cross from animation into a zone of animism? This is illustrated in an incident from an episode of the vastly popular anime series Pokémon in the late 1990s. At first, what it has to tell us about animation or vivification and petrification or immobilization seems counterintuitive. Let’s listen to Spyros Papapetros:

“Her eyes rolled back and she went into convulsions” […] “One moment they were happily munching on their dinner and watching their favorite cartoon show on television; the next moment, hundreds of children across the country were shaking and convulsing and being rushed to hospital.” The event occurred in Japan on the night of December 16, 1997, during the televised broadcast of an episode of the popular animation series Pokémon […] Physical symptoms included mild reactions, such as “dizziness, headaches, and nausea,” which subsided in one or two hours. But there were also more severe effects, such as “convulsions, fainting, seizures or difficulty in breathing that lasted for more than twenty-four hours” and caused approximately seven hundred of the afflicted youngsters to be hospitalized. Medical experts diagnosed the phenomenon as “optically stimulated epilepsy”: epileptic fits caused by rapidly moving images, which are experienced primarily by individuals between the ages of five and nineteen, when the body has a lower threshold to seizure. [...] But while most [...] explanations address the psychopathological history of the afflicted subjects, the idiosyncratic properties of the object itself—specifically, the scene of the infamous cartoon episode—are also particularly telling. The action takes place inside the hard drive of a computer where teenage warriors aided by friendly Pokémon have converged to battle computer viruses. The enemy viruses fire missiles and the rabbit Pikachu responds by ejecting from its serpentine tail a vaccine bomb that produces a thunderous explosion. A white gust is followed by rapid flashes of blue, red, and violet colors. Then a bigger explosion covers the frame with a cloud of black smoke. In the final scene, the teenage warriors emerge dumbfounded, along with the victorious Pokémon, from the burned ruins of a building. However, by that point, many of the young viewers were anesthetized and were unable to witness the jovial conclusion. As animation experts explained, similar visual techniques—called “pakapaka”—had been repeatedly used in Japanese cartoons to cause a sense of tension. But in that particular segment the flashes, alternating in every second, were double the normal number, and combined with the intensity of the colors, the photostimulation became overbearing. [...] After a four-month suspension, the program was back on air in Japan and soon around the world. […] But what can we ultimately learn about animation from the Pokémon incident? First, that we can never know much about animation—at least not from firsthand experience. In fact, the very idea of knowledge becomes obsolete the moment animation occurs. Think of the young victim’s testimony: “The lights seemed to encompass me . . . next thing I knew my mother was telling me I lost consciousness.” Animation is experienced as an epistemological and spatiotemporal seizure; body and mind shut down and surrender entirely to the effervescence of the image. The image, in this case, is animated not because it is a cartoon, but because of the overwhelming power that it has upon the subject. [...] The clouds of black smoke covering the screen just before the end of the episode duplicated the “blackout” of the anesthetized spectators, and practically eliminated all spatial distinctions between the real and the virtual domain.

Footnotes

1 Richard William Hill, “The Dangers of Petrification, or ‘The Work of Art and the Ages of Mineral Reproduction’,” in Animism vol. 1, ed. Anselm Franke (Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2010), 136.

2 Ibid.

3 Adapted from Natascha Sadr Haghighian, “Knotting Against the Machine,” Deserting from the Culture Wars, ed. Maria Hlavajova and Sven Lütticken (Cambridge: MIT, 2020), 174.

4 Aimé Césaire, Discourse on Colonialism (New York: NYU Press, 2001), 58.

5 Edwin Carels, “Biometry and Antibodies Modernizing Animation/Animating Modernity,” Animism, vol. 1, ed. Anselm Franke (Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2010), 65.

6 Rosalind Krauss, The Optical Unconscious (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1994), 209.

7 Marcel Broodthaers, “Un Autre Monde,” Le Patriote illustré, vol. 74, no. 10 (Brussels: March 9, 1958), 389.

8 Ibid.

9 Avery F. Gordon, “Execution of Czolgosz, with Panorama of Auburn Prison (1901),” Animism, vol. 1, ed. Anselm Franke (Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2010), 77.

10 Ibid., 78-9.

11 Ibid., 76.

12 Edwin Carels, “Biometry and Antibodies Modernizing Animation/Animating Modernity,” Animism, vol. 1, ed. Anselm Franke (Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2010), 65.

13 Sergei Eisenstein, Eisenstein on Disney, ed. Jay Leyda, trans. Alan Y. Upchurch (Calcutta: Seagull, 1986), 55.

14 Ibid, 42.

15 Ibid, 43.

16 Ibid, 42

17 Ibid, 42, 4.

18 Spyros Papapetros, On the Animation of the Inorganic: Art, Architecture, and the Extension of Life (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012), 1–2.

Credits

Curator
Anselm Franke

Audio Guide
Script by
Anselm Franke

Produced, composed,
and mixed by
Nicholas Bussmann

With the voices of
Anselm Franke
Lindy Annis
Aaron Snyder
Natascha Sadr Haghighian

Platform
Designed by
Other Means

Developed by
Jules Laplace

Produced by e-flux
Anton Vidokle
Amal Issa
Rachel Ichniowski

With thanks to
Estate Marcel Broodthaers
Inês Carvalhal
Caitlin Chaisson
Brian Kuan Wood
kurimazutto
Len Lye Foundation
Ngā Toanga Sound & Vision
Andreas Petrossiants
Présence Africaine Editions

Episodes

Episode 1: A Report on Migrating Souls in Museums and Moving Pictures

November 2020

Artists

Marcel Broodthaers
Walt Disney
Jimmie Durham
Edison Studios
Max Ernst
J.J. Grandville
Candida Höfer
Ken Jacobs
Joachim Koester
Len Lye
Étienne-Jules Marey
Chris Marker and Alain Resnais
Studio OLM
Natascha Sadr Haghighian

Episode 2: TBD

Coming Soon

Artists

Episode 3: TBD

Coming Soon

Artists

Episode 4: TBD

Coming Soon

Artists

Venues

Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp (M HKA) and Extra City, Antwerp, Belgium

January 22–May 2, 2010

Artists

Agency
ART & LANGUAGE
Christian W. Braune & Otto Fischer
Marcel Broodthaers
Paul Chan
Didier Demorcy
Walt Disney
Lili Dujourie
Jimmie Durham
Eric Duvivier
Thomas A. Edison
Harun Farocki
Leon Ferrari
Victor Grippo
Brion Gysin
Igloolik Isuma Productions
Luis Jacob
Ken Jacobs
Joachim Koester
Louise Lawler
Len Lye
Étienne-Jules Marey
Daria Martin
Angela Melitopoulos & Maurizio Lazzarato
Wesley Meuris
Henri Michaux
Santu Mofokeng
Vincent Monnikendam
Tom Nicholson
Reto Pulfer
Félix-Louis Regnault
Jozef Robakowski
Natascha Sadr Haghighian
Paul Sharits
Jan Švankmajer
David G. Tretiakoff
Rosemarie Trockel
Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven
Dziga Vertov
Klaus Weber
Apichatpong Weerasethakul

Curated by
Anselm Franke with Edwin Carels (Researcher, KASK/HoGent) and Bart De Baere (Director, M HKA)

Publication
Animism, vol. 1, ed. Anselm Franke (Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2010)
With contributions by Irene Albers, Bart De Baere, Oksana Bulgakowa, Edwin Carels, Brigid Doherty, Masato Fukushima, Avery F. Gordon, Richard Hill, Darius James, Gertrud Koch, Maurizio Lazzarato, Vivian Liska, Angela Melitopoulos, Philippe Pirotte, Florian Schneider, Erhard Schüttpelz, Michael Taussig, Marina Warner, Martin Zillinger

Lectures
Esther Leslie, Laurent Mannoni, Isabelle Stengers

Kunsthalle Bern

May 15–July 18, 2010

Artists

Agency
Art & Language
Adam Avikainen
Marcel Broodthaers
Walt Disney
Jimmy Durham
Armen Eloyan
Leon Ferrari
Simryn Gill
Walon Green
Lutz & Guggisberg
Brion Gysin
Luis Jacob
Ken Jacobs,
Joachim Koester
Len Lye
Mark Manders
Santu Mofokeng
Angela Melitopoulos & Maurizio Lazzarato
Otobong Nkanga
Reto Pulfer
Józef Robakowski & Wiesław Michalak
Paul Sharits
Jan Svankmajer
Yutaka Sone
Rosemarie Trockel
David Gheron Tretiakoff
Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven

Curated by
Anselm Franke with Philippe Pirotte (Director, Kunsthalle Bern)

Generali Foundation, Vienna

September 16, 2011–January 29, 2012

Artists

Agency
Marcel Broodthaers
Adam Curtis
Didier Demorcy
Walt Disney
Jimmie Durham
Eric Duvivier / Henri Michaux
Thomas Alva Edison
León Ferrari
Walon Green
Victor Grippo
Candida Höfer
Luis Jacob
Ken Jacobs
Joachim Koester
Yayoi Kusama
Len Lye
Chris Marker / Alain Resnais
Daria Martin
Angela Melitopoulos & Maurizio
Lazzarato
Ana Mendieta
Vincent Monnikendam
Jean Painlevé
Hans Richter
Roee Rosen
Natascha Sadr Haghighian

Curated by
Anselm Franke with Sabine Folie (Director, Generali Foundation)

Publication
Animism: Modernity Through the Looking Glass, ed. Sabine Folie and Anselm Franke (Vienna: Generali Foundation, 2011)
With contributions by Sabine Folie, Anselm Franke, Maurizio Lazzarato and Angela Melitopoulos, Isabelle Stengers, Elisabeth von Samsonow

Lectures
Diedrich Diederichsen, Maurizio Lazzarato, Sypros Papapetros, Elisabeth von Samsonow

Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW), Berlin

March 16–May 6, 2012

Artists

Adam Avikainen
Artefakte//anti-humboldt
Angela Melitopoulos and Maurizio Lazzarato
Tom Holert
Martin Zillinger and
Anja Dreschke
Dierk Schmidt
Jimmie Durham
Daria Martin
Paulo Tavares
Agentur
Len Lye
Walt Disney
Ken Jacobs
Marcel Broodthaers
Didier Demorcy
Vincent Monnikendam
Candida Höfer
Yayoi Kusama
Victor Grippo
León Ferrari
J.J. Grandville
Rosemarie Trockel
Erik Steinbrecher
Daniel Spoerri
Istvan Orosz
Lars Laumann
David Maljkovic
Anna und Bernhard Blume
Roee Rosen
Hans Richter
Jean Painlevé
Walon Green

Curated by
Anselm Franke in collaboration with Irene Albers (Free University Berlin)

Publication
Animismus: Revisionen der Moderne, ed. Irene Albers and Anselm Franke (Zürich: Diaphanes, 2012)
With contributions by Irene Albers, Nurit Bird-David, Oksana Bulgakowa, Edwin Carels, Diedrich Diederichsen, Sergei Eisenstein, Anselm Franke, Harry Garuba, Alf Hornborg, Bruno Latour, Maurizio Lazzarato, Angela Melitopoulos, Erhard Schüttpelz, Gabriele Schwab, Isabelle Stengers, Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, Elisabeth von Samsonow

Conference/Lectures
David Abram, Cornelius Borck, Avery F. Gordon, Harry Garuba, Alejandro Haber, Tom Holert, Maurizio Lazzarato, Esther Leslie, Thomas Macho, Angela Melitopoulos, Tobie Nathan, Spyros Papapetros, Erhard Schüttpelz, Gabriele Schwab, Isabelle Stengers, Michael Taussig, Paulo Tavares, Elisabeth von Samsonow, Ranem Willerslev

e-flux, New York

April 26–July 28, 2012

Artists

Marcel Broodthaers
Walt Disney
Jimmie Durham
Harun Farocki
Tom Holert
Luis Jacob
Ken Jacobs
Joachim Koester
Len Lye
Chris Marker
Daria Martin
Angela Melitopoulos & Maurizio Lazzarato
Ana Mendieta
Vincent Monnikendam
Spyros Papapetros
Alain Resnais
Natascha Sadr Haghighian

Curated by
Anselm Franke

Publication
e-flux journal no. 36 (July 2012)
With contributions by Cornelius Borck, Avery F. Gordon, Harry Garuba, Alejandro Haber, Tom Holert, Maurizio Lazzarato, Esther Leslie, Angela Melitopoulos, Spyros Papapetros, Isabelle Stengers, Michael Taussig, Paulo Tavares, Rane Willerslev

Lectures
Thomas Keenan, Spyros Papapetros

OCT Contemporary Art Terminal (OCAT), Shenzhen

August 24–October 27, 2013

Artists

Adam Avikainen
Al Clah
Alain Resnais
Ana Mendieta
Angela Melitopoulos
Angela Ricci Lucchi
Candida Höfer
Chris Marker
Daria Martin
Dierk Schmidt
Erhard Schüttpelz
Ehler Voss
Erik Steinbrecher
Hans Richter
Harun Farocki
Heinz Schott
Jean Painlevé
Jimmie Durham
Joachim Koester
Ken Jacobs
Len Lye
León Ferrari
Marcel Broodthaers
Maurizio Lazzarato
Natascha Sadr Haghighian
Otobong Nkanga
Paulo Tavares
Tom Holert
Vincent Monnikendam
Walt Disney
Yayoi Kusama
Yervant Gianikian

Curated by
Anselm Franke

Publication
Animism (Beijing: Beepub, 2013)
With contributions by Diedrich Diederichsen, Anselm Franke, Rane Willerslev

Ilmin Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea

December 6, 2013–March 2, 2014

Artists

Adam Avikainen
Al Clah
Alain Resnais
Ana Mandieta
Angela Melitopoulos
Angela Ricci Lucchi
Candida Höfer
Chosil Kil
Chris Marker
Daria Martin
Dierk Schmidt
Donghee Koo
Dongyeop Lee
Erhard Schüttpelz
Ehler Voss
Erik Steinbrecher
Hans Richter
Harun Farocki
Heinz Schott
Heungsoon Im
Hosang Park
Jakrawal Nilthamrong
Jean Painlevé
Jimmie Durham
Joachim Koester
Ken Jacobs
Len Lye
León Ferrari
Marcel Broodthaers
Maurizio Lazzarato
Natascha Sadr Haghighian
Otobong Nkanga
Park Chan-kyong
Paulo Tavares
Sangdon Kim
Suki Kim
Susan Schüppli
Tom Holert
Vincent Monnikendam
Walt Disney
Yayoi Kusama
Yervant Gianikian

Curated by
Anselm Franke with Hyunjin Kim (Chief Curator, Ilmin Museum of Art)

Publication
Animism (Seoul: Ilmin Museum of Art, 2013)
With contributions by Anselm Franke, Hyunjin Kim, Suki Kim

Ashkal Alwan, Beirut, Lebanon

February 26–April 3, 2014

Artists

Artefakte
Marcel Broodthaers
Walt Disney
Jimmie Durham
Harun Farocki
Tom Holert
Luis Jacob
Ken Jacobs
Joachim Koester
Len Lye
Chris Marker
Daria Martin
Angela Melitopoulos & Maurizio Lazzarato
Ana Mendieta
Vincent Monnikendam
Spyros Papapetros
Alain Resnais
Paulo Tavares

Curated by
Anselm Franke, as part of Home Workspace Program 2013-14 led by Jalal Toufic and Anton Vidokle