Alla Gadassik: Media Scholar + Animation Curator



Completed: Certificate in Restorative Justice

It’s official, I completed my Certificate in Restorative Justice (focus on Education)! This program is designed with an option to complete in one year, but it took me three years — between raising the funds, allowing myself time to really process the material, and coping with unexpected developments at my institution (which served as the primary case study and focus of my coursework). While the program itself was not necessarily a good fit, studying with Christianne Paras and Krystal Glowatski was a privilege. These amazing mentors were careful to remind us that restorative justice is not a panacea, particularly when it comes to contending with systemic and institutional violence. Everything I’ve learned has been transformative for my relationships with students, my classroom spaces, and the kinds of collegial initiatives I’ve sought out since then. I also get a kick at adding SFU to my list of ‘alumna’ institutions.

Talk: “Elusive Flesh: Figure and Body in Experimental Animation”

Animation is rarely featured in books and catalogues on experimental cinema, and figurative animation is almost entirely excluded. Why? One of my goals as a media scholar and curator is to promote figurative animation as a tradition with a rich history of daring artistic experimentation. This past month (April 2023) I presented my recent writing on experimental figurative animation at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies conference in Denver.

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Curatorial text: “I am the same, I am always changing”

Last year I encouraged artist and curator Celina de Leon to adapt her moving-image work I am the same, I am always changing into a triptych installation. Celina first developed this project as a speculative response to the work of Ana Mendieta in my course on avant-cinema histories. On November-10-2022 it debuted as part of Celina’s first solo show, at the RBC Media Gallery. I am proud and grateful to have written a short curatorial text for this bold and vulnerable work.

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Guest Curator and Judge: GIRAF’18

I’ve been following the Giant Incandescent Resonating Animation Festival (GIRAF) remotely for years, but it wasn’t until they went online during the pandemic that I got to experience their wonderful programming and community feel. This year, I was giddy to be a guest curator and judge with the festival. During the festival, I presented a special programme devoted to animating graphite that came out of the Animate Materials Workshop.

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Event: Nomadic Cosmologies: Conversation with Alisi Telengut

How can animation explore nomadic and indigenous cosmologies?

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News: SCMS Award for Best Essay

I’m stunned and grateful to receive the 2022 SCMS award for best essay in an edited collection. My colleague Perrin Grauer published a lovely profile of the essay and the award here. The published essay, devoted to a feminist history of film editing, owes much to my editors James Leo Cahill and Joshua Malitsky, as well as the staff of RGALI and Muzei Kino archives in Moscow.

Talk: SIGGRAPH Digital Arts Community

On May-27-2022 I had a chance to present the Rear-Window Cinema project at a curated speaker series organized by the Digital Arts Community extension of SIGGRAPH (Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques). The theme of this particular edition was “Expanded and Experimental Animation.”

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Workshop Event: Alternative Grading

On May-12-2022, I co-chaired the following workshop with Malini Guha (Carleton University). The workshop included presentations by Sue Shon (Emily Carr University of Art + Design) and Benjamin Woo (Carleton University). Click continue for more details.

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Book Event: How to Talk About Movement

On February-4-2022 I’ll be moderating a virtual book conversation with Jordan Schonig, author of the book The Shape of Motion: Cinema and the Aesthetics of Movement (2022), and Ryan Pierson, author of the book Figure and Force in Animation Aesthetics (2019). Click on “Continue” for description.

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