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Out of sight: using animation to document perceptual brain states

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posted on 25.06.2015, 10:11 by Samantha Moore
It is acknowledged that the genre of animated documentary is particularly suited to depicting the subjective point of view (Wells, 1997, Honess Roe, 2013). It has also been suggested that animated documentary may have a tendency toward collaborative working methods (Ward, 2005: 94). This PhD work explores and expands these suggestions and presents the development of a methodology adapted from what has been termed collaborative ethnography (Lassiter, 2005) when using animation to document perceptual brain states. The claim to originality in this thesis lies in the methodological approach taken through the documenting of idiopathic perceptual brain states, previously unrepresented in animation. It involves a shifting of the roles of subject and director to collaborative consultant and facilitator respectively, and differentiates between the recording of an animated document and the creation of an animated documentary . It rejects the sound reliant template of the 'animated interview' (Strøm, 2005: 15) as the dominant model of creating animated documents, which assumes both that the indexical is crucial to documenting, and that this can only be achieved in animation through the use of indexical sound. It agrees with Tom Gunning s argument that Charles Sanders Pierce's original idea of the index as part of an interconnected triad of signs (index, symbol and icon) has been abstracted from its richer signifying context and extracted a simplified version of what Pierce intended it to mean (a trace or impression left by an object) to become a 'diminished concept' (2007:30-1), essentially a short hand coda in this instance for document . The practice in this work challenges this by presenting an alternative; using a collaborative cycle methodology.


Loughborough University



  • The Arts, English and Drama


  • Arts


© Samantha Moore

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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at:

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.