Laws of Motion in a Cartoon Landscape

Andy Holden

The laws of physics simply don't apply in a cartoon landscape – characters defy gravity, force and velocity – and everything is seemingly possible. Andy Holden’s five-year project on the laws of physics in cartoons is described by the artist as "a lecture on cartoons, and also a cartoon lecture". Holden is our guide, drawing on the work of Greek philosophers and Stephen Hawking, he identifies and unpicks ten laws of cartoon physics, including an exploration into the fundamental nature of matter and whether it might have a conciousness. Holden, who first learnt to draw by copying cartoons, argues that ‘the golden age of cartoons’ offered ‘a prophetic glimpse’ into the world in which we now live. Studying them, he suggests, will help us better understand the global, cartoon-like events of our lives today.

About the contributor(s) 

Andy Holden is an artist and musician whose work is characterised by a desire to connect to audiences while retaining his own personal references and motivations. Often concerned with our relationship to the past and how we make sense of ourselves, his pieces tackle history, nostalgia, and philosophical enquiry. Cartoon characters, beer bottles covered in plaster, charity shop finds and knitted sculptures all feature in his work. The ability to evoke both the burdens of existence and a childlike appreciation of the world around defines Holden's unique approach.