“Anime Host"

Presented By: Verina Gfader, City University of Hong Kong

There is a story around anonymous materials (Reza Negarestani) that comes with the anonymity of dust’s particle composition. Dust not unlike the sparkle in early Disney scenes; the archaic equipment evoked by early hardware of cinema inducing grains; dust as in sand and light particles; and the dust of intermediate materials “provid[ing] crucial evidence of anime’s production process” (Joon Yang Kim). Let me here be clear about the migratory quality of dust as it derives from my knowledge of sand specifically as a property of the animate/inanimate image . . . This is an enquiry into the speculative geography of dis/integration and drift that can be identified in dust/sand. And further, the implications such geography would pose for what we call ‘the animation of the present.’ Animation as in moving images; as a stipulator, life-giving impulse; and as an unknown force in remaining outside any definite legibility. This performance lecture contemplates on forms–and legends–of theorizing anime through what can be called the expanded animation of today = an animation environment. As it happens, new media are increasingly pushing animation studies toward more holistic ways of thinking about animation as an ‘animating force of any kind’ (Timothy Morton, 2013), something that could be said to exist in a liminal space between inanimate and animate, that is, between perceptually stilled and perceptually and experientially brought to motion, and thereby expressing a lively or living quality. How do we respond to anime, proposed as a host of many languages, geographies, and materials belonging to entirely different kingdoms? In what way can anime, in its nature of hosting our desires toward the unknown, perform its legibility, if at all? As my endeavour heads toward what be described as anime’s hospitality (through art, geography, ecology and theories of time) –there is equally a deep curiosity in thinking “anime” as a phantom, ghostly in appearance, a spectre elsewhere: with us and among us.