Call for Papers: Animation (in) Flux Symposium, Edinburgh August 2024


In-person Symposium, held at Edinburgh College of Art

Hosted by Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh & Abertay University, Dundee in association with CoSTAR Realtime Labs

29th & 30Th August 2024

As new developments in computing have led to the promise/threat of games and animation generated in minutes by AI, there has been much discussion around the state of flux of these industries. However,  both animation and games have never not been in flux – they have always been driven by technological advancements and innovation in spite of technology, seeking to develop new toys/tricks and tools to bring imagination to life. In 1991, Cholodenko suggested that all “film “as such”, is a form of animation”, and with advances real time processing in video games, live action and the rise of virtual production, the boundary between media is shifting and becoming somewhat permeable.

Whilst the historical context suggests time of technological shifts present opportunities for artists and designers to innovate  there remains concerns over the role of the creative and the animator. Typically a ‘below the line’ (Caldwell, 2008) role for many in production studio terms, the uncredited nature of much of the labour has long been a contentious issue – as are the concerns that technology will reduce or remove jobs – none more so than now with the potential of generative AI in the creative industries.

This conference seeks to unpack and highlight some of these points of intersection and concern examining the opportunities and challenges faced across animation, virtual production and video games development and invites proposals which may consider (but not limited to) the following areas:

  • Animation History and the ‘rise of the machine’
  • Technological innovation and creative endeavour in games history
  • (In)visibility of labour
  • Labour in the creative industries and AI generation
  • The ontology of animation in a changing state
  • The rejection of CG and return to craft practice in animation and retro gaming.
  • Opportunities for new forms of animation and gaming
  • IP and Virtual performance
  • Democratisation of media production

We invite paper and panel proposals for 20 minute presentations/1 hour panels which address the broad subject above in terms of case studies, discussions of nationhood and provocations of the global language of animation (if one exists)?

Deadlines for submissions:

  1. Interested individuals should submit an abstract of no more than 250 words for 20 minute presentations with the following information:
  • Title and 100 word version of abstract for publication.
  • A biographical statement, up to 100 words, indicating how the proposed paper fits into your overall research agenda and experience.
  • Complete contact information, including name, institutional affiliation (if any), postal address, e-mail address(es) and telephone number(s).
  1. Alternatively, panel proposals of 3/4 speakers each are also encouraged. One individual should act as the Chair of the panel and collate abstracts and contact information for all panel members before submission. Please include the following information:
  • Overall panel title/theme
  • Name and contact information for the panel Chair (clearly identified)
  • Titles and abstracts of each paper
  • Contact information for each presenter (mail, email, phone)
  • Biography (100-word) and contact information for each presenter (mail, email, phone).
  • Photo of each presenter suitable for publication.


  1. Practice which addresses the topics listed above – there will be a room devoted to showing work which engages with these themes. Please outline your work in abstract form and method of display for discussion and consideration with the organisers. Please provide links to imagery or video documentation showcasing the work or the look/feel/experience the work will take if in development.


All abstracts will be selected via a blind peer reviewed panel and successful speakers notified by Friday 24th May. We welcome paper submissions by Postgraduate and early career researchers. Please be aware that spaces for paper presentations are limited. Late proposals will not be considered until all other proposals have been read.


Proposals must be submitted here


Any questions or queries please contact Nichola Dobson at by 5pm Wednesday 8th May.


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