Dr Birgitta Hosea


  • Dr Birgitta Hosea is head of Animation at the RCA. A London-based media artist, her practice combines animation, video and interactive technology in live performances, installation and short films.

  • Biography

  • Birgitta Hosea is an artist, curator and practice-based researcher working with time-based media and experimental drawing. Her work, which is included in the Tate Britain archive, explores presence, time, affect and digital materiality. It ranges in form from video installation and animated performance art through to drawing on paper. She has been the recipient of numerous awards and artists’ residencies and has exhibited widely in the UK and internationally, most recently (in the last 6 months) in EMPIRE II, Venice Biennale & Brussels Art Week; Beyond Noumenon, New Media Arts Centre, Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, Chongqing, China; Holland Animated Film Festival and Animfest Athens. She is currently preparing work for the Karachi Biennale, Pakistan (Oct 2017) and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chengdu, China (Nov 2017).

    Initially, Birgitta studied Film and Drama at Glasgow University and Theatre Design at Glasgow School of Art. A few years later, she followed a Foundation course in Computing and Fine Art with an MA in Digital Imaging and Animation at Sir John Cass School of Art, London Guildhall University. Her professional background lies in direction, art direction, motion graphics and animation for idents, pop promos, TV series, short films, corporate videos and live performance for clients such as Adobe, SAP, Trois Palmes Film Festival, Nickelodeon, Chiat Day, Focal Press and Musion Holographic Projection Systems. She also freelanced for Adobe for 13 years as a senior presentation artist, an Adobe Certified Expert and event organiser of Adobe Inspired Media, a monthly networking event for creative professionals. Subsequently, her interdisciplinary practice-based PhD at Central Saint Martins on animation as a form of performance synthesised these fields of practice.

    Formerly Course Director of MA Character Animation at Central Saint Martins, she has been a visiting tutor at PNCA, Portland, Oregon, USA; Yarat, Baku, Azerbaijan; Sichuan Institute of Fine Arts, Northwest Minority University and Chengdu University, China, where she is a Visiting Professor. She supervises several PhD students and has examined PhDs in the UK, South Africa and Singapore. Her writing on animation, drawing, performance, film and digital art has been published in a number of academic journals and anthologies and she regularly presents at international conferences. She is currently co-writing a book on performance drawing for I B Tauris: Performance Drawing: New Practices since the 1960s for publication in 2019.

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  • Practice

  • 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. 

    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.

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  • External collaborations

  • Editorial boards, book and peer reviews

    2014: Scientific Committee Member, CONFIA 2015, 3rd International Conference on Illustration and Animation, Braga, Portugal

    2014 onwards: Editorial board member, Animation Journal

    2014 onwards: Peer reviewer, Animation: Interdisciplinary Journal

    2013 onwards: Peer reviewer, Animation Journal

    2012 onwards: Peer Reviewer, Co-Design journal

    2003 onwards: Reviewer of book proposals and technical checker: animation, motion graphics and digital video titles, Focal Press / Elseveir

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  • Publications, exhibitions and other outcomes

  • 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).

    Publications: books

    Hosea, B. (2015)’Off the Rails: Animating Train Journeys’ in Chris Pallant (ed.) Animated Landscapes: History, Form and Function, London: Bloomsbury

    Hosea, B. (2015)'Animation Installation: The Affect of Place’, The Boundless Space: Transcending the Threshold Conference Proceedings, Asia Animation Forum, Bucheon International Animation Festival, Korea

    Hosea, B. (2015)'Animation Installation: The Affect of Place’, CONFIA 2015: 3rd International Conference on Illustration and Animation Conference Proceedings, Braga, Portugal

    Hosea, B. (2012) PhD Thesis, ‘Substitutive bodies and constructed actors: a practice-based investigation of animation as performance’ Download from UAL Research Repository.

    Hosea, B. (2006) The Focal Easy Guide to Flash 8 (Focal Press)

    Hosea, B. (2004) The Focal Easy Guide to Flash MX 2004 (Focal Press)

    Publications: academic journals

    Joint paper by Hickman, R., Hamiduddin, I., Hosea, B., Roberts, S., Hall, P., Jones, P., & Osborne, C. (2013) ‘Animating the Future Seamless Public Transport Journey’, Built Environment, 39 (3), October, 369–384(16)

    Hosea, B. (2010) ‘Drawing Animation’, Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal, November issue

    Joint paper by Foá, M., Grisewood, J., Hosea, B. & McCall, C. (2010) ‘ARC: I draw for you’, Studio International

    Hosea, B. (2009) ‘Performativity, Post-animation and How I Became a cartoon Character’, Illuminace, 21 (4)

    Joint paper by Foá, M., Grisewood, J., Hosea, B. & McCall, C. (2009) ‘Drawn Together: Collaborative Performance’, Tracey: Contemporary Drawing Research

    Hosea, B. (2008) ‘TV 2.0: animation readership / authorship on the internet’, Animation Studies: Peer-reviewed Online Journal for Animation History and Theory

    Publications: conference papers (peer-reviewed)


    • ‘Mindfulness and Animation’ (with Graham Barton), APES15: Animation and Public Engagement SymposiumNewcastle
    • ‘Re-animating the Archive’ (with Alison Green), Discovering Communities, Discovering Collections: National Archives / Research Libraries UK Conference, Manchester
    • ‘Imagined Landscapes: Animating Train Journeys’, Fantasy/Animation: A Conference on Media, Medium and Genre, Kings College, London
    • ‘Involuntary Animation’, Beyond the Frame: Society for Animation Studies 27th Annual Conference, Canterbury University
    • ‘Mindfulness and Animation for Developing Sustainability Literacy’ (with Graham Barton), Pedagogic Research Institute and Observatory (PedRIO) Annual Conference, Plymouth University


    • Live Animation: Animating in the Moment’, Sino-UK Creative Animation Knowledge Exchange Conference, Edgehill University
    • ‘Exploring the Performance of Drawing’ (with M. Foá), Draw to Perform Symposium, Central Saint Martins, London
    • 'Conversing with Cartoon Characters', Open Story Symposium, University of Brighton
    • ‘Visitation: an encounter with the unrepresentable’, Haunted Landscapes: Nature, Super-Nature and the Environment Symposium, University of Falmouth


    • 'The Medium is the Messenger', Mediamorphosis: Documenting, Publishing and Disseminating Objects and Experiences, University of Sussex, Brighton; Colloquium of Performance Research Conference, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, London; and Hostings 9, University of London
    • ‘Exploring the Performance of Drawing’ (with M. Foá), Draw to Perform Symposium, ]Performance Space[, London
    • 'Conversing with Cartoon Characters', Animated Body - Animation, Embodiment and the Senses: 5th Animation Postgraduate Research Group Symposium, Royal College of Art, London
    • 'Animation Innovation: Doctoral Research and New Knowledge', Sino-UK Education Forum, China Academy of the Arts, Hangzhou, China



    • ‘Drawing Animation’, peer reviewed paper presented at Animation Evolution: Society of Animation Studies 22nd annual conference, Edinburgh
    • ‘Drawn Together’, peer reviewed poster presentation at the Drawing Research Network Annual Conference, University of Brighton
    • ‘Out There in the Dark’, peer reviewed performative presentation at Animation Deviation Conference, University of the West of England




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  • Awards and Grants

    • Adobe Impact Award, 2010
    • MAMA Award for Holographic Arts, 2009
    • Honorary fellowship of the Royal Society of the Arts (fRSA), 2004

Selected work


Current and recent research

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.