Calculations: Pioneers of Computer Animation

Posted by | Conversations at the Edge | Posted on | May 4, 2006

Thursday, May 4, 2006, 6pm

Larry Cuba, Calculated Movements (1985).
Larry Cuba, Calculated Movements (1985).

Decades before Hollywood CGI spectaculars, artists worked with computers to create an aesthetic specific to the machine. At IBM, Bell, and in their own home-built labs, they generated visionary spectacles from mathematical precision– stroboscopic patterns, kinetic rhythms, and volumetric illusions. Tonight’s program is a cross-section of films by these early pioneers — from John Whitney’s stunning, analog-computer-generated Catalog (1961) and the pulsating geometry of Lillian Schwartz’s Enigma (1972) to the dense digital metaphysics of John Stehura’s Cybernetik 5.3 (1965-69) and the allegorical characters of Peter Foldes’ Hunger (1973). Also on the program: Hummingbird (1967, Charles Csuri); Sunstone (1979, Ed Emshwiller); Calculated Movements (1985, Larry Cuba); Poemfield No. 5: Free Fall (1966, Stan VanDerBeek); Permutations (1968, John Whitney). 1961-1985, various directors, Canada/USA, ca. 64 min, 16mm.

[FRAY]

Tonight’s show is an instance of [FRAY], a distributed series of screenings, discussions, student initiated projects and a conference. [FRAY] traces intersecting hyperthreads of time, screen and code-based experimental New Media art hosted by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Department of Film, Video, and New Media.

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