Dr Alex Jukes

Alex JukesSenior Lecturer
Programme Leader Animation

Department of Media
Creative Edge Building CE012
01695 584847


Alex’s educational and professional background spans the fields of interactive media design, animation, film & TV production and fine art. Before working within an educational environment he worked within the media industry as a practitioner across a number of fields including 3D modelling, animation, video game production, graphics for television and interactive digital media. In the past he has produced graphic animation sequences for Zenith North and Tyne Tees.


BA (Hons) Fine Art, Newcastle University, 1992
MSc Computer Aided Graphic Technology Communications (CAGTA), Teesside University, 1996
PhD (Animation – by Practice) – ‘3-D CGI Animation and Space as Material’, Royal College of Art


MED 1426 Animation Production
MED 1425 What is Animation
MED 2280 Animation Practice
MED 2287 3-D CGI Animation; Principles and technologies
MED 3240 Animation Specialism (Pre-Production)
MED 3241 Animation Specialism (Production)
MED 3250 Animation Specialism (Audio)

Research Interests

3-D CGI animation
experimental image making
Digital Medium specificity
Experimental Film and Animation
Expanded Cinema
Artist’s Film

Alex’ academic research interests are concerned with materiality of 3-D CGI animation and his PhD by practice at Royal College of Art interrogates this subject. Alex has delivered academic papers nationally/internationally relating to this subject, produced and presented animations, exhibitions and interactive installation works that explore this theme. His book chapter in Experimental and Expanded Animation (Palgrave) was published in August 2018.


Experimental & Expanded Animation (August 2018)
Smith, V and Hamlyn, N. (2017) ‘Space & Experimental Animation’, in Smith, V. (ed), London: Palgrave Macmillan.

CONFIA, Portugal (July 2018)
Proceedings published.

StrangeLove Festival in Folkestone (17th March 2017 – 19th March 2017)
Animation/Art work exhibited at the Sassoon Gallery as a part of the StrangeLove festival.

TATE Liverpool (26th November 2016)
A research project developed alongside the TATE Exchange programme. The work looked at ideas connected to Yves Klein’s notions of space and animation.

RCA Guilbenkin Gallery ‘GRIST’ (30th January 2012 – 6th February 2012) Installation/Animation work shown as part of the GRIST – Work in Progress show at RCA

Installation/Artist Talk (10th – 15th December 2012)Rose Art Centre, Edge Hill University?: This installation aimed to provide a physical manifestation of these ideas and asks viewers to question ideas of space and material in terms of 3D CGI animation.

CSWC Changsha, China, (November, 2nd to 6th November 2012).
Presentation of artist’s work, practical workshop, artist talks as a part of ‘CSWC Animation Festival’

Hockney Gallery, RCA (27th February – 2nd March 2012)
Installation/Animation work ‘Primitive 1’An exhibition that is part of an on-going practice based research project that sets out to explore the material nature of CGI and its relationship with audience expectation. The works invite the viewer to consider a virtual material in terms of weight, structure, texture and environment.

RCA Guilbenkin Gallery ‘GRIST’ (30th January 2012 – 6th February 2012) Installation/Animation work shown as part of the GRIST – Work in Progress show at RCA

MOSI (Museum of Science & Industry Manchester) ‘LOGIC’ Installation/Film Exhibition (28th November 2011 – 19th February 2012)
Part of a group exhibition at the MOSI 1830 Warehouse entitled “LOGIC 11”. The show represents a collective response to the concept of ‘the computer’ by artists working in the areas of animation, interactive art and digital media. Via a series of interactive installations, projections and screen-based works, the artists celebrate the potential of the computer, not as a technical tool, but as a creative catalyst with a unique ability to generate, reproduce, embody and present – images, information, experiences and dialogues.

Installation/Film Exhibition – CUC Novas Gallery Liverpool (17th August – 29th August 2010) ‘Natural Vision’ –
Computer technologies rely on systems, loops and repetition to form the basic language structure within which complex information and ideas can be communicated and conveyed. This series of abstract works consider the pace and rhythms embodied within digital computer environments and how these might be manifest in images and animations beyond or outside of confines of the computer.

Interactive Art exhibition UNIFOR – Fortaleza, Brazil (25th August – 9th September 2008)
The exhibition developed ideas and works dealing with the relationship between art and technology. The exhibition included ‘live’ video interaction, single and multi-screen video, and adapted commercial technologies. Works aimed to provoke ideas, responsesand reactions to the way we engage with digital technologies as well as the notions of ‘seeing’.

Interactive Art exhibition MOSI – Manchester (October– December 2007)
North West Arts Council funded Art-Machine-Vision Exhibition at the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry

Conference Papers

BIGC and EHU joint research Project (2013)
Initiated a first step towards a sustainable, long-term joint research project between Edge Hill University (EHU) and the Beijing Institute of Graphic Communication (BIGC). The aim of the project is to generate a synthesis between two discrete areas of research, both located within the subject of animation, that deal with the language of the digital. Specifically the research lies within the field of computer-generated three- dimensional animation (3D CGI).

Conference Paper (2013) Practice, Process and Paradox, Roehampton University.
A paper presentation for a conference on how practice-based research can be seen a kind of creative work that has been forced to define itself in relation to particular definitions and perceptions of traditional academic research

Artist Talk (February 2013) Cornerhouse Gallery, Manchester?The evening provides an opportunity to discuss current artwork, ideas, research and practice with artists/animators/experimental filmmakers Alex Jukes and James Snazell. During the evening Alex will be discussing, through practical example, the concept of ‘space as material’ in relation to 3D CGI animation, and the ‘myth of virtual’.

Artist Talk  (20th November 2012), FACT, Liverpool?A presentation and discussion that proposes an exploration of the hypothesis that the physical qualities of 3D CGI lie in its identity with ‘space’. That it is the spatial concerns, conceptual and constructional, that can be interrogated and regarded as material, not the vestiges and degradation of process. It is intended that an investigation into the potential physicality or materiality of ‘space’ made visible through an application of Structural/materialist film principles, and discussed as an amalgam between virtual and physical, will add to recent academic discourse and research surrounding ‘digital materialism’. www.fact.co.uk.

A research collaboration with Beijing Institute of Graphic Communication, China (November, 6th to 9th November 2012).
This event offers similar gains as above. BIGC is a Nationally recognised institution for its excellence in subjects of Art and Design. The institution has distinction in its research and approaches to teaching. Collaboration at this point will provide opportunities to progress a joint application for research funding, drawing on debates inspired by the work in question and exploring its influence on creative practice in the field of 3D CGI. This will include an application for an ‘International Partnership and Mobility Scheme’ grant (deadline in February), and the progression of joint event in July 2013, which in turn will act as a foundation for Sino-UK animation festival scheduled to be held at Edge Hill in July 2014. It is anticipated that this will provide further fertile ground to establish, monitor and report associated impact.

Changsha, China – presentation of artist’s work, practical workshop, artist talks (November, 2nd to 6th November 2012).Provides an opportunity to interact with academics, students, staff and Interested members of the public. Impact will come through engagement with ideas and through developing on on-going discourse around possible alternative approaches and application of 3D CGI animation. Maintaining and monitoring relationships and contacts will be important in measuring impact. The international perspective that this event offers will help to situate this research within a broader cultural context, particularly in terms of process, production and aesthetic considerations.

Animation Explosion Symposium (Birmingham 2011)
20th Century artists, avant-garde/experimental filmmakers, animators and image- makers, across every decade, have sought to challenge the dominant aesthetic of contemporary cinema and confront the ideological and political associations embodied in representational film/video. This presentation seeks to continue this polemic within the context of the digital, specifically 3D computer generated animation, and builds upon the theoretical and practical discourse relating to medium, material, expression and technology developed by artists and filmmakers working in the 1970s and 1980s. This research work aims to challenge and debate the dominant, largely commercial,aesthetic relating to the field of 3D computer generated (CG) animation and seeks to develop alternative approaches to the creation and presentation of 3D CG animation.

AVANCA: 2011 International Festival/conference for cinema, TV, video and multimedia.
An academic paper that considers how work developed by Structural/Materialist filmmakers and artists in the 1970s might provide a framework for exploring new methods and processes for working with 3D computer generated animation.

Presentation, Bournemouth (18th – 20th July 2008)Presentation considered VJing as a bold, contemporary, cultural phenomenon that often defies categorisation by both critics and creators. Although labelled as neither, film, art or animation this sensuous and spectacular form is intrinsically linked, historically, visually and culturally, to all three. The presentation considered relationship between VJ and the field of animation where experimental works by VJ artists relate directly to abstract animations, past and present, using sound, music, timing and rhythm to provide central themes.

Helsinki, Lume Media Centre “Cross-overs in Audiovisual Arts and Interactive Media” (June 2004)
The paper considers the role of perception as an integral component in visual production. How does perception contribute to or govern a response to digital graphical characters, how close can we get to replicating the human form before the information presented to us works against our acceptance of the character as being perceptually real.

Shefield Hallam University “Pixelraiders 2 Conference” (March 2004)A paper that considers the relationship between photo-realistic CGI representation and our inability to engage with such models on a human level. One of the central issues raised in the creation of digital images concerns the much-debated relationship between, simulation, representation and presentation.

Farnham Castle International Conference Centre “Animated ‘Worlds’ Conference (July 2003)
Traditionally cinema has relied heavily upon realistic visual representation to convey the notion of the real. In adopting digital technology as part of a filmic language the tendency has been to develop and apply the digital in a way that reinforces both pictorial realism and cinematic illusion. In studying the relationship between the visual realism of film-based CGI and our acceptance of the film as real we believe that a paradox exists, i.e. the closer we get to a CGI photo-realistic quality the more difficult it is to accept the scene, and in particular photo- realistic characters within the scene, as “real” in a cinematic sense.

Professional Bodies & External Activities

2018 – 2022         External Examiner
University of the West of England, BA Animation – Lens and Moving Image field

2013 – 2015         External Examiner
Nottingham Trent University, Foundation Degree in Computer Games & Interactive Media

Aug 2013             External Panel Member
Northumbria University, validation of MA Animation/Motion Graphics

2012 – 2016         External Examiner
Middlesex University, BA Visual Communication and Design; Media Arts; modules leading to BA 3D Animation and Games

Feb 2012              External Panel Member
Leeds Metropolitan University, Validation of BA (Hons) Animation

Sept 2011            External Panel Member
Nottingham Trent University, validation of the MSc / MA Games and Play

2010 – 2014         External Examiner
Solent University, BA Animation and Digital Media

2010 – 2012         External Examiner
Newcastle University, MRES Digital Media and Interactive Arts

Sept 2009            Member of the judging panel for the Nottingham Creative Business Awards.

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