[AB 06] The Mastery Machine: Digital Animation and Fantasies of Control

By Mihaela Mihailova.

In the article by Mihaela Mihailova, discusses the relation between the animator’s desire for a godlike persona as depicted in Peter Lord’s 1991 pre-digital Claymation short film Adam. The creator’s absolute control over the draw images was the ultimate goal of control. However, due to the up rise of the digital age, this ‘godlike persona’ has been overshadowed by the rise of the machine. The omnipotent creator has not evolved into the fantasy of the omnipotent technology. Mihailova concludes “we no longer dream about omnipotent creators – we dream about omnipotent creators and their omnipotent machines”. This idea is linked with the undead media, whereby Sven Lutticken discusses the use of more traditional techniques to be a secondary tool to the creation of animation, as the primary drive is through digital technologies. The computer-generated animation represents the promise of reclaiming a sense of control – both from technology and over technology. Mihailova addresses the vital role animation plays in other modes of cultural production due to the proliferation and cross-pollination of digital media. It is useful in understanding the animator’s possible attitudes and their perception and utilisation of the mediums they use to produce their works.


Mihailova, Mihaela. (2013) The Mastery Machine: Digital Animation and Fantasies of Control, Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal 8(2), pp. 131-48.


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