The 22nd Annual Society for Animation Studies Conference

Paul Taberham

Cross-modal verification, weak synaesthesia, and the case of visual music.

To most v
iewers, the enjoyment of both animation and live-action film is largely contingent on the comprehension of a conventional narrative. As such, the abstract films of Oskar Fishinger, Len Lye and others should be highly esoteric - yet one may contend that they are more accessible than most films within the avant-garde. My paper will address this disparity by drawing from research within cognitive science to account for the appeal of visual music. I will outline, in an accessible way, two cognitive procedures that every human is hard-wired with that visual music exploits. One is called cross-modal verification, and the other is cross-modal abstraction.

Biographical statement:
I started my PhD in January 2007 at Kent University. As of 2010, I will be in my writing-up year. Prior to this, I studied filmmaking at Salford University and worked as a freelance editor.
My thesis examines spectatorship of avant-garde film within the framework of cognitive science. Audio-visual relations are explored as well as narrative comprehension. Animation comprises a significant, though not exclusive part of my research. This proposed paper draws the main ideas from two different chapters of my thesis, both of which address visual music.