The Royal College of Art has announced the appointment of Dr Birgitta Hosea as its new Head of Animation. She succeeds Professor Joan Ashworth, who stepped down in July 2015.
A London-based media artist who combines animation, video and interactive technology in live performances, installation and short films, Birgitta Hosea is currently Course Director of MA Character Animation and PhD Supervisor at Central Saint Martins, UAL. Dr Hosea has also been a visiting academic in the UK, USA, China, Azerbaijan, Romania, Austria and Sweden as well as a consultant to the Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts. She has previously been artist-in-residence at the Department of Animation and Digital Arts, University of Southern California, Los Angeles; the Centre for Drawing, Wimbledon College of Art and Yarat, Baku, Azerbaijan.
Dr Hosea‘s research interests lie in the area of expanded animation and are reflected in her approach to teaching and the development of the discipline. She regularly contributes to international conferences, and has published widely on animation and digital art in academic journals and book chapters. Dr Hosea’s PhD, on ‘Substitutive Bodies and Constructed Actors: A practice-based investigation of animation as performance’, was awarded by Central Saint Martins in 2012.
Hosea has exhibited in numerous international galleries and festivals – most recently the Venice Biennale. In her work, she seeks to imagine new ways in which animation could be combined with the living body and emerging technologies. Expanding animation out of the screen and into the present through the use of interactive technology, holographic projections onto live performers, database characters and live video feeds, this has taken many forms – such as a lunch party where participants are invited to have a conversation with a cartoon character, and a séance with a medium who channels digital doubles and emits electronic ectoplasm.
Hosea’s work is included in the Tate Britain archive. She has also curated shows for the Folkestone Triennial Fringe, Deptford X (UK), Yarat (Baku, Azerbaijan) and was part of the curatorial team for the UK Pavilion at the Shenzhen Architecture and Urbanism Biennale (China).
Birgitta Hosea is a member of NAHEMI (National Association of Higher Education in the Moving Image) and BECTU; a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and an Adobe Educational Leader. In 2010, she was awarded an Adobe Impact Award, in 2009 a MAMA Award for Holographic Arts and in 2004 an honorary fellowship of the Royal Society of the Arts (fRSA). Her professional background lies in art direction, motion graphics and animation for idents, pop promos, TV series, short films, corporate videos and live performance and her client list includes Adobe, BECTA, Bishi, Cartoon Network, Design Lab, Saatchi & Saatchi, MTV, Musion Holographic Systems and Nickelodeon.
Dean of the School of Communication Professor Neville Brody said: ‘Dr Birgitta Hosea is an enormously talented individual with a truly global perspective, and I’m delighted that she has accepted the position as Head of Animation. With a track record that spans both academia and practice, she will be an outstanding addition to the Communication team.’
Professor Naren Barfield, Pro-Rector (Academic) said: ‘After a rigorous international selection process, we are delighted to welcome Birgitta as the new Head of Animation. Highly regarded, she has worked at an international level for some of the most well-known creative institutions in the world. Birgitta’s wide expertise in the field will be crucial in ensuring the programme will build on the best traditions of animation, but will also open up new and emerging fields of enquiry in the area.’
Dr Hosea said: ‘It’s a great honour for me to accept the position to head up such an internationally renowned programme, which has a long and greatly respected tradition of producing independently minded graduates who have extended the language of animation. I look forward to working with the talented programme team, excellent students and the UK animation industry to further build on these achievements.’
Dr Hosea will join the College in January 2016. Her appointment marks the conclusion of an international search in the field of Animation.
Featured image: Composition of stills from Time Channel, Dr Birgitta Hosea.