Call: Images of Animate Movement. Representations of Life


Images of Animate Movement. Representations of Life

May 26 – 28, 2011
eikones NCCR Iconic Criticism – Power and Meaning of Images
Basel University

The fascinating paradox that we can see life in abstract images is the starting point of this conference. In a drawing of just a few lines, we can immediately recognize a human figure walking. A moving quadrangle can be seen as a crawling caterpillar. And some well-placed moving points are directly joined together in the form of a dancing couple. Again and again, we are astonished that we can actually see a creature moving in the image – even when the image is of such a reduced and simple nature or when it is not even a temporal moving image. How this impression of animate movement can be explained is what is explored at this conference: how can a simple line or form suddenly transform into something so specifically meaningful? How is this transition – this coming to life – to be described? How can it be constructed in the first place?

For centuries, the investigation and representation of the movements of human beings and animals have been an important scientific and artistic project. Different types of often very abstract representations have been used to capture and analyse such animate movements. This conference focuses on the construction, the perception and the use of these images of animate movement with their different degrees of abstraction in a variety of disciplines and contexts. The central question is how a specific movement can be represented schematically in such a way that we instantly experience it as animate and alive.

The conference brings together different domains of knowledge in order to approach the phenomenon of animate movement and its images in its complexity in a new way.

The conference is free, but please RSVP to:
Pirkko Rathgeber pirkko.rathgeber(at)
Sigrid Leyssen sigrid.leyssen(at)

Concept: Sigrid Leyssen, Pirkko Rathgeber

Downloads: Bilder animierter Bewegung Programm, Bilder animierter Bewegung Poster dt, Bilder animierter Bewegung Poster eng

eikones NFS Bildkritik, Rheinsprung 11, CH – 4051 Basel

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