The 22nd Annual Society for Animation Studies Conference

Edwin Carels

Chris Marker: animator and avatar

“If I
could, I would withdraw into Second Life forever, like Brandon on Tahiti.” (C.M.) The aim of this paper is to explore the ways in which Marker throughout his career has applied a particular notion of the animated image to his own creative process. From his well informed writing on animation in the early fifties, to the design of his alter ego - the cartoony cat Guillaume - to his recent avatar Murasaki on Second Life: Marker makes a strategic use of animation. Refusing the label of filmmaker, Marker – like any animator- plays upon the interval to trigger memory and generate his own, mythical time by accumulating individual images to provoke a subjective perception in the viewer.

Biographical Statement: I’ve started the third year of my phd-research for Ghent University. (The living line: animation and the visual arts - a media-archeological enquiry). The oeuvre of Marker will comprise a chapter in this. After having curated a large exhibition on Marker and written on him within the framework of the visual arts, I would very much appreciate the opportunity to test these ideas in the company of animation scholars. As a curator and filmprogrammer I apply an expanded notion of animation, working on exhibitions and projects with Robert Breer, The Quay Brothers, Priit Pärn etc. See also my presentation at the ‘Pervasive Animation Conference’ (Tate, March 2007)