Animation, Video Games and Virtual Experience:
Sport and the Artifice of Moving Image Media

The Supporters Club, Hotel Football, Manchester
Nov 14th / Nov 15th 2017 [09.30 - 17.30]

Keynote Speakers:

Life Imitating Art
Drawing on research and expertise from 2014’s major exhibition Pitch to Pixel: The World of Football Gaming, this talk highlights key points of intersection and overlap in the realms of sports, broadcasting and video gaming: Expect a pixelated, glitchy, insight into the emergence of new technologies, changing modes of representation, cross-industry investment and the obsessive pursuit of realer than real environments and experiences, all of which are ”…in the game”.

John O’Shea: Senior Exhibition Manager, National Science and Media Museum.
John is a curator, producer and artist working nationally and internationally, exploring emerging technologies and new artforms. He has curated and produced projects for FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology), Futureverything, Abandon Normal Devices and Liverpool Biennial and worked in partnership with gaming companies such as EA SPORTS, Sports Interactive and Nintendo.

In 2011/12 he was artist in residence at the University of Liverpool Clinical Engineering Research Unit on a Wellcome Trust funded project "Pigs Bladder Football" where he created the world's first bio-engineered football, grown from living pig bladder stem cells, part of the Cultural Olympiad.
He previously established the “Out of Play” digital arts programme at the National Football Museum (Manchester, UK) culminating in Pitch to Pixel, a major exhibition of football and computer gaming.


Action Replayed!: How Watching Sport Changed the Way We See the World
The emergence and global dissemination of the new medium of photography notably coincided with the rise of organized sport in the modern world. Contrary to popular perception, sport was one of the earliest themes embraced by early photographers, although limitations in early photographic technology inevitably restricted the possibility for capturing sporting action.

Significantly, it was a strong desire to achieve this goal that motivated some of the earliest attempts to animate photographic images into coherent sequences, thus allowing the detailed study of sporting motion. Whilst much attention has been paid to the technological innovations of the two most significant pioneers in this field, the Anglo-American Eadweard Muybridge, and the Frenchman Étienne-Jules Marey, relatively little has been said regarding how both extensively utilised sporting action as both primary inspiration and subject matter for their work. Their sequences of photographs representing sporting action, from Leland Stanford’s thoroughbred racehorses at his Palo Alto stables to the gymnasts of the Joinville Military Academy in Paris, introduced new ways to capture fast moving imagery and thus shaped subsequent film-making and animation practices throughout the twentieth century.

At the same time this work opened a new field facilitating the use of animated imagery to study and perfect training regimes and protocols for high-performance athletes. This paper will look at the impact of sport on the early development of chronophotography considering the impact this had on subsequent developments within animation and sport.


Registration for the Symposium is now open at:
Loughborough University tickets

Conference Fees:
£80 Full Two Day Pass
£45 One Day Pass
£40 Student Full Two Day Pass
£25 Student One Day Pass

General enquiries to:

Professor Paul Wells


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