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About Us


iota is a public benefit, non-profit arts organization founded in 1994. Our mission is to inspire both new and existing artists in a historically dispersed and constantly changing technological environment. We aim to do this by foregrounding and contextualizing historically underrepresented experimental works, enriching current scholarly and academic inquiry into the artists and works in our collection, and providing our community of patrons with a foundation with which to a) study historical work and b) create new work. In other words, the end of one work’s life cycle can inspire the beginning of another.

iota is dedicated to fostering a community of artists by engaging them with our four programs: community, exhibition, research and preservation. We work with other like-minded organizations to exhibit and distribute underrepresented experimental works; foster research and discovery by maintaining an archive, library and online presence; and preserve the films, artwork and paper material in our collections.

Collections and Curatorial Focus

Although iota’s interests span many interconnected areas of historical experimentation, the medium for which we have the richest collections and resources is experimental film and video work with a special emphasis on abstract film, animation, and films from West Coast artists.

Abstract Film and Animation: Historically, the artistic exploration of abstraction in the moving image has taken on many forms with a wide variety of names: Lumia ... Visual Music ... Mobilcolor ... Absolute Film ... Video Synthesis ... Rhythmic Light ... Abstract Animation. Today the medium is commonly referred to as “Visual Music.” We believe that there is a vast amount of interconnectedness between these varied techniques and titles, and that their common artistic goals can unite them into a single art of light and movement. As the first arts organization to dedicate its mission to visual music, we continue to expand our resources and collections in this area.

West Coast Experimental Filmmakers: According to the bulk of literature covering the history of avant-garde filmmaking in the US, New York filmmakers constitute the bulk of the canonical filmmakers in this genre. In his 1960 graduate thesis for UCLA, Robert Pike wrote about the “West Coast Experimental Film Movement” as a movement distinct in form and focus from its east coast counterpart. Pike later formed a distribution company called Creative Film Society, which collected (amongst other genres) a substantial number of experimental works with a distinct emphasis on West Coast artists. In 1996, iotaCenter worked with Pike’s wife Angie to negotiate the donation of of a large number of these films - including works from such artists as Pat O’Neill, Kenneth Anger, John and James Whitney, Ernie Pintoff and Patricia Marx - to our collection.

iotaCenter Timeline
The interactive timeline of the iotaCenter can be found here

Who We Are

Board of Directors
Jeremy Speed Schwartz
Larry Cuba
Audri Phillips
Roberta Friedman
Sara Petty
Pam Turner
Paul Shepherd
Angela Diamos

Paul Shepherd      Executive Director
Mary Kopp Store Manager
Jeremy Speed Schwartz Webmaster

Advisory Council
Murtha Baca Dennis Miller
Adam Hyman Noel Palazzo
Seth Kaufman Vibeke Sorensen
Janet Keller Mark Toscano
Victoria Meng
Judith Meriens

Taz Morgan
Gina Marie Napolitan
Stephanie Sapienza
Elyse Kolin
Benjamin Miller(USC)
Victoria Meng (UCLA)
Doug Chaffin
Amy Sloper (UCLA)
Keren Albala (USC)
Derek Leverette(USC)
Ryan Lovelace (USC)
Dan Racusin (Calarts)
Mary Beth Reed (Calarts)
Michael Ward (USC)
David Wishard (USC)

Research Associates
Pam Turner
Janeann Dill, Ph.D, MFA

Amy Alexander (2013)

Become a Member
iotaCenter is proud to launch our Membership Program. After soliciting feedback from the members of our Advisory Council, we have formulated a plan to drive forward our by creating a tiered set of membership options tailored to the needs of our current community. For more information on the different levels and how to join, please visit our Membership Page.

The iotaCenter Email Discussion List
Established in 1999, the iota email list now has over 400 members. Subscribe to our discussion group list and join the dialogue. Send a blank email to:
You can explore the archive of our discussion group online here:

Mailing address:
The iotaCenter
10401-106 Venice Blvd #330
Los Angeles, CA 90034

Phone: 310 842 8704


Donate to The iotaCenter through Paypal

Write or call for more information

The iotaCenter is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation.
Music is the supreme example of movement become pattern. Music is time given sublime shape. If for no other reason than its universality and its status in the collective mind, music invites imitation. A visual art should give the same superior shape to the temporal order that we expect of music.
-John Whitney

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iotaCenter is a non-profit organization that provides this information as a public service to film artists and the larger community. We have made sincere efforts to get permission from all rights holders. Please contact us at if you are a rights holder whom we have not yet been able to reach. For all other inquiries, please contact us at

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