Apple of Iron Exhibition at APT10 - curated / invited retrospective

Rachel Walls (Artist)

Research output: Non-textual outputs, including Creative WorksCreative Works - Recorded or Rendered works


"Apple of Iron was created as an output central to my Master of Animation thesis. It seeks to do what many scholars in animation studies were exploring at the time – revisiting and revising the definitions of what animation is, or how it could be described. This need for new definitions bubbled up in response to the proliferation of digital animation and visual effects in entertainment. As technologies became more accessible and routinely used, they began to take up more and more of the animation world. The traditional taxonomical boundaries of ‘cartoons’ or other older ideas of ‘animation’ clearly were not adequate for modern scholarship, and scholarship in animation was therefore out of step with the media it sought to discuss.

Apple of Iron sought to question the view taken by some academics that somehow computer based animation was ‘lesser’ or illegitimate as an animation form by virtue of its reliance on external labour in the form of computer processing. Rather than identifying a posthuman production mode, there was intent to disavow and cleft away the enormous industry in animation, visual effects, gaming, and experiential / installation art that was indeed populated by animators. As a response to this, I sought in Apple of Iron to not only explore the qualities of animation, but production techniques that were both highly analogue and labour intensive such as direct film animation (where you make images directly on film with a scalpel), oil paint on glass, and collage with the cheapest and least labour intensive, such as applying filters to video frames as a batch process, so that the computer literally did all the work, or printing video frames with a broken printer so the registration was lost and the images mutilated. In many instances these techniques were combined, over and over again, creating images where there was little way to understand how each frame was made, and how much was labour intensive, and how much was not. By doing so I created a new labour of compositing, and as well of editing, to challenge the ideas of whether decisions frame-by-frame in animation need to be created or merely assembled. The film is a proof of that concept, and a rebuttal to the notions of some animation forms being invalid." Rachel Walls
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBrisbane, QLD
PublisherQueensland Art Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA)
Media of outputArtwork
SizeInclusion in APT10 exhibition at QAGOMA
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventThe 10th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT10): APT10 CINEMA: THE MAGIC ARTS AUSTRALIAN ANIMATION FROM THE 1970S TO NOW - Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia
Duration: 04 Dec 202125 Apr 2022


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  • Making Apple of Iron

    Rachel Walls (Participant) & Zilia Zara-Papp (Facilitator)

    09 Dec 2021

    Activity: Engagement & professional developmentExternal research and teachingAcademic

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