Podcast: Paul Roquet, “Desktop Reveries: Hand, Software, and the Space of Japanese Artist Animation”

[Videos mentioned in the podcasts are available for viewing below.]

Independent animators often pride themselves on an intimate, hand-drawn aesthetic. But they increasingly rely on computer software not only to accelerate their workflow, but to manipulate the look and feel of their drawings. Compositing software enables subtle but decisive shifts in the spaces portrayed, through manipulations of color, texture, line, and movement. Seeking to unravel the analytical split between the “drawn” and the “digital” in animation and media studies more broadly, Roquet’s project moves back and forth between two desktops: the hard surface of the drawing table and the pixelated surface of the screen. This talk focuses on how the physical and perceptual affordances of both interfaces appear reimagined in the textures, movements, and tactility present in the animations themselves. Through a phenomenology of the contemporary desktop, Roquet seeks to ground the contemporary audiovisual imagination in the materiality of the tools and techniques at hand.

Paul Roquet is Assistant Professor of Japanese Studies in the Global Studies and Languages Section at MIT. He is the author of Ambient Media: Japanese Atmospheres of Self (Minnesota 2016) as well as numerous essays on Japanese audiovisual and literary aesthetics.

Andrew Whitacre

About Andrew Whitacre

Andrew conducts the communications efforts for CMS/W and its research groups. A native of Washington, D.C., he holds a degree in communication from Wake Forest University, with a minor in humanities, as well as an M.F.A. in creative writing from Emerson College. This work includes drawing up and executing strategic communications plans, with projects including website design, social media management and training, press outreach, product launches, fundraising campaign support, and event promotions.