The spiritualg-Functional loop: Animation redefined in the digital age

Ka Nin Chow

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Can animation bring life to the computer? Can the computer take animation to a new horizon extending from cinema and visual art? This article starts with a scrutiny of the conventional definition of animation and its connection to the continuum of liveliness, followed by an examination of the two furthest points on that scale: lively movement, which is spiritual; and inorganic movement, which is functional. The author shows that, in the digital age, movement of various degrees of liveliness can be significant and meaningful through a wide array of motorg-sensory functions. This brings about a new notion of materiality, which constructs an innovative meaning of animation. The author then argues that, when combined with the unique functions of the computer, animation can find a shortcut between the two extremes of liveliness: spirituality and functionality. Therefore, the field of animation could benefit from an expansion of its digital attributes. Finally, the author discusses a corpus of artefacts created in different historical periods and different media that exemplify the spiritualg-functional loop.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-89
Number of pages13
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2009


  • Animation
  • Computer
  • Materiality of animation
  • Phenomenology
  • Signification
  • Spiritualg-functional

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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