Bringing Legacy to Life 2021 – Animation: Revealing the Automaton Within

Katherine O’Connor

Katherine has taught animation for nearly twenty years at Teesside University and specialises in 2D and stop-motion animation. Currently studying a practice based PhD her work explores links between the Uncanny and Foucault’s Spaces of Otherness. Her most recent conference publications have examined the heterotopic nature of animation as well as the ‘hiding’ place of the uncanny within the animated form, this paper aims to build on this research, looking at questions of agency, alienation and the uncanny within the context of animation technique.


“It is not difficult to see how animation has the ready capacity to facilitate ‘the uncanny’” (Wells, 2006In this paper I will argue that animation is not, on the surface uncanny through its superficial tropes of making animate the inanimate nor is it hidden as a ‘harbinger of death’ (Crawte 2017) within the inertia between each frame, but that it resides in a place that reveals to us the automaton within, making known something repressed at the core of our being, the alienation of the self and questions of agency. 

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