Note: If you see this text you use a browser which does not support usual Web-standards. Therefore the design of Media Art Net will not display correctly. Contents are nevertheless provided. For greatest possible comfort and full functionality you should use one of the recommended browsers.

Themesicon: navigation pathPhoto/Byteicon: navigation pathAnimation in the Internet
Filmbyte: Each His Own Producer: Animation in the Internet
Project/Website: Animation in the Internet
Karin Wehn


The many thousands of animated short films that are showcased at websites such as online cinemas or that are distributed through file sharing systems, are conclusive proof that the animated film has not only found a new home on the Internet, but is also experiencing a renaissance. Following an action theory/system-theory model shows that the films were first produced, then distributed, then watched, and finally «processed» in further communicative actions (for example, reviewed in film critiques or used as themes in other media, etc.). In this respect, the films exist in mutual, interchangeable relations to social systems such as art, everyday culture, technology, and economy. Starting from this model the lecture addresses the question of how these four action areas change with regard to animated film’s media-shift from film and television to the Internet; which new animation techniques evolve, how they influence the materiality of film and how social practices change with animated film.

Crucial web-animation techniques which were either developed exclusively for the Internet, or which flourish and matter most there as a result of the


prevailing distributive or communicative conditions, include

• Digitalized short films: often prize-winners at festivals or dissertation films, but also valuable historic films;

• Brick films: Stop-Motion animated films with sets and figures made of Lego;

• Flash Animations: produced with the vector-based animation software Macromedia Flash, suitable for cartoons, cut-out animation, interactive elements, but also programmed animations;

• Machinima: 3D animated films produced by redesigning the virtual environments of computer games (especially first-person shooters), exploiting the real-time rendering of these games for the film production, as well as

• Demos: Demos originate from cracked computer games of the 1980s, to which crackers then added a leader with their pseudonym. This established itself as an art form in its own right. Demos are programmed, usually abstract animations which are also rendered in real time and which exhaust the boundaries of the hardware and seek a perfect synthesis of image and

icon: next page