A workshop with the title 'The Heider-Simmel Animation in Contemporary Cinematic Narratives: A Workshop on Story and Form' will be offered on Friday Oct. 21st, 2016, by Dr. Georgios Dimitriadis (School of English, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki).
This workshop is going to take place at Room 417 (New Philosophy Building 4th floor) between 18:30-20:30.
*Please do bring your tablet or laptop with you*
**A certificate of attendance will be provided**
The places available for this workshop are limited. So If you're interested in attending, please forward your emails to:
This event is organized by the School of English Book Club 'Transparent Windows.' For more information about our group please click on the following link: http://www.enl.auth.gr/trans_windows_en.html.
What is it that we recognize in a narrative? What connects a fictional world with that of our everyday reality? Can we project familiar events onto any visual scenario? This workshop will be a short journey to the foundations of narrative, underneath external form and events. The famous Heider-Simmel animation (1944), a psychological experiment examining the way subjects interpret any motion as motivated action, will be used to underline that, in storytelling, the exterior form of actants and setting is irrelevant as long as the “storyline” is based on a recognizable series and parsing of events. The implications for narrative theory are significant: we do not need realistic form in order to compose or recognize a visual narrative. This finding relocates narrative to schematic levels of the human mind, i.e. elementary patterns of cognition passed down to us by both personal experience and human evolution as a whole. Relieving a story from the necessity of form expands the boundaries of narrative comprehension well beyond the limitations of the text itself or even literary theory in general. Especially with regard to visual narratives such as cinema, this model permanently subordinates exterior form to narrative structure, essentially allowing cinematic narratives to evolve visually towards any possible direction as long as basic rules of storytelling are not bent. In the present context, this Transparent Windows workshop will be an opportunity for participants not only to discuss narrative as the cornerstone of fictional worldmaking especially in cinema, but also to have a first-hand experience of some of these points put into practice.
Giorgos Dimitriadis holds a BA in English Language and Literature, an MA in English Literature and a PhD in Cinema Studies, which focuses on visual perception and cognitive theory applied to digital cinema. His research involves aspects of cinematic world-building, with special interest in the ways visual mechanics affect the cognitive functions of the human mind and viewers’ comprehension of fictional cinematic worlds. His published work revolves around various aspects of new technologies in cinema, narrative comprehension, worldmaking theory and visual culture, and his teaching experience includes courses on literature, culture, research & academic writing. He has also been involved in training seminars on the application to teaching of cinema and visual media in general. He is currently an instructor at the School of English of Aristotle University.