CineLab • Seminar

Speculative hybrid storytelling: Experimental animation as a critical practice

Kelly Sears

In “Speculative hybrid storytelling: Experimental animation as a critical practice”, Kelly Sears will look at the intersection of animation, media archaeology, and the mutability of archive as history. Through a selection of past and current work, she will explore connection between concept and process and in her collage animation practice.

Kelly Sears creates hybrid fiction and nonfiction photo-collage animations. She animates appropriated source imagery that suggests an official process, order, or account—ranging from instructional guides to chronicles of specific histories. By cutting up, collaging, and untethering the images from their intended purpose, she shapes alternate narratives by transforming the histories, behaviors, and ideologies embedded in these frames.

Her films have been screened at festivals such as Sundance, Slamdance, South by Southwest, American Film Institute, International Film Festival Rotterdam and museums such as MoMA, The Hammer Museum, and the Eye Filmmuseum in Amsterdam. Her films have been screened in solo programs at the Pacific Film Archives, Anthology Film Archives, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the San Francisco Cinematheque. Her films have won awards at festivals such as Slamdance, Ann Arbor, Black Maria, Chicago Underground, and Oak Cliff, among others.

She’s an Associate Professor in Cinema Studies and Moving Image Arts at the University of Colorado Boulder.

In progress website

With her talk she will be screening her films:

The Drift, 2007
Once It Started It Could Not End Otherwise, 2011
Phase II, 2022
The Lost Season, 2023

And sharing about a new work in progress, working title, Operation Vic.

This seminar is the second in the Artificial Atmospheres project from the working group in Art and Technology, CineLab – IFILNOVA. Artificial Atmospheres researches the relationships between artistic practices, primarily time-based media such as moving image and sound, with a special focus on media archives, and the development of new technologies, especially in machine learning, with the main purpose of analyzing, evaluating and critically discussing the way in which the alliance between art and technology poses new challenges and offers new ways of responding to contemporary issues related to social, political and economic paradigms. This project explores streams of work, research, and thought through the lens of various artists and artistic practices, as well as practice-based research into and through creative fields.

This seminar is open to the public. To join the session via Zoom, use this link.

For further information or questions, please contact Maile Colbert at

Event supported by the Foundation for Science and Technology (Fundação para a Ciência e para a Tecnologia) of the Portuguese Ministry of Education and Science under the projects UIDB/00183/2020 and UIDP/00183/2020.