In this collection featuring works from the period 1990-1991, the artist makes extensive use of analog video synthesizers, video feedback, and flicker. Sound and music are woven together, and are inspired by esoteric traditions such as Tibetan Buddhism and Occidental alchemy. The videos are scientifically designed to be vehicles for personal transformation. Your neural pathways will be forever changed. More...
In this collection of short avant-garde video works from 1991-1999, the artist weaves music and video together to create abstract visual music. Among the tools employed are rare analog video synthesizers and 3D computer animation. These pieces range from personally transformative to satirical. A unique collection of unusual cultural artifacts. More...
Created through the careful arrangement of photographic paper exposed to high voltage electrical discharges, "Energie!" (2007) by Thorsten Fleisch simultaneously portrays a sense of deep space and the origins of energy and matter.
More of Thorsten Fleisch's experimental animated films can be seen at his website.
"Founded in 1976 at the inception of the media arts movement, the Video Data Bank is the leading resource in the United States for videotapes by and about contemporary artists. The VDB collections feature innovative video work made by artists from an aesthetic, political or personal point of view. The collections include seminal works that, seen as a whole, describe the development of video as an art form originating in the late 1960's and continuing to the present. The videos in our collections employ innovative uses of form and technology mixed with original visual style to address contemporary art and cultural themes."
Person of the Week Harry Smith
Painter, anthropologist, filmmaker, and musicologist, Harry Smith was a leading figure of the mid-twentieth century American avant-garde movement. Known largely for his work with direct techniques and idiosyncratic paper cut-out collage, Smith's films portray his love of pattern and persistent interest in the invocation of other-worldly realms.
Efforts to preserve the rich and varied body of work he left behind--including his unusual collections of string figures, paper airplanes, and Ukrainian Easter eggs--are currently being undertaken by Smith's former assistant and curator of his archive, Rani Singh at the Getty Research Institute. The first comprehensive book of essays on Smith's work, Harry Smith: The Avant-Garde in the American Vernacular, was published by the Getty last year.
Watch "un albor (Dawn)" (1999) by Ying Tan, an experimental animation created to accompany a music score by American composer Jeffrey Stolet. The animation employs abstract visual forms to visualize the magnificent external landscape at the time of dawn in contrast with the dark night of a human soul. The singing text is from a poem by Spanish poet Gustava Adolfo Becquer.
"un albor (Dawn)" was featured in iotaCenter's touring festival KINETICA 4 from December 2002-April 2003. In September 2010, "un albor" was also shown alongside other selections from iotaCenter's collection at the Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk as part of DigitalArt.LA, iotaCenter's collaboration with the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art.
Visit The National Center for Experiments in Television page at Electronic Arts Intermix! Founded in 1971, Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) is a nonprofit arts organization that is a leading international resource for video and media art. A pioneering advocate for media art and artists, EAI's core program is the distribution and preservation of a major collection of over 3,500 new and historical video works by artists. For 39 years, EAI has fostered the creation, exhibition, distribution and preservation of video art, and more recently, digital art projects.
The National Center for Experiments in Television (NCET) grew out of a project initiated at San Francisco's public television station KQED in 1969. NCET was the most overtly experimental and process-oriented of the public television art projects of the late 1960s and early '70's.
"Jean Detheux was born in Belgium, where he received his academic training (Académie royale des beaux-arts de Liège et Institut supérieur d'architecture de Liège). He immigrated to Canada in 1972 and until 1984 taught at various art schools in Canada and the U.S. (Alberta College of Art, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, Concordia University in Montreal, Algonquin College in Ottawa, New York University, Parson School of Design in New York and the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture). Since then, he has devoted himself primarily to his own work.
Since the 1960s he has exhibited his work in solo and in group shows, in both Belgium and North America. He has a passionate interest in philosophy, and in 1981 he was chosen to be a member of the Husserl Circle at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario. He has given numerous talks about the phenomenology of vision and the process of creation. In 1996, as a result of serious allergies from his use of painting materials, he gave up painting for digital technology. This shift brought on an intense period of creativity that has led him to animated film."
Check out Artists' Television Access, San Francisco, California's nonprofit, all-volunteer, artist-run, experimental media arts gallery that has been in operation since 1984. ATA hosts a series of film and video screenings, exhibitions and performances by emerging and established artists and a weekly cable access television program.
Persons of the Week Cloud Eye Control
"Cloud Eye Control is a collaborative performance group from Los Angeles comprised of three members: Chi-wang Yang, Miwa Matreyek, and Anna Oxygen. We create original works that uniquely combine interactive media with live performance. Since our inception in 2004 we have created three original works that have been presented both nationally and internationally.
Whether through a re-imagining of Charles Lindbergh's trans-Atlantic flight, the discovery of powerful crystals underground, or one woman's interstellar search for a new home, a common theme in our stories is human adaptation in a technological world. To realize these stories, we project pre-rendered animation and live camera imagery onto various surfaces on the stage, and this imagery functions as scenery and virtual actor. Both high and low tech methods are used to allow the live actor to interact with the media. These methods range from custom-built interactive video software to the physical manipulation of video puppets."
Person of the Week Benoit B. Mandelbrot
November 20, 1924 – October 14, 2010
Benoit B. Mandelbrot was a Franco-American mathematician. Born in Poland, he moved to France with his family when he was a child. Mandelbrot spent much of his life living and working in the United States, acquiring dual French and American citizenship.
Mandelbrot worked on a wide range of mathematical problems, including mathematical physics and quantitative finance, but is best known as the father of fractal geometry. He coined the term fractal and described the Mandelbrot set. Mandelbrot extensively popularized his work, writing books and giving lectures aimed at the general public.
Mandelbrot spent most of his career at IBM's Thomas J. Watson Research Center, and was appointed as an IBM Fellow. He later became Sterling Professor of Mathematical Sciences at Yale University. Mandelbrot also held positions at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Université Lille Nord de France, Institute for Advanced Study and Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique.
Take a look at Phenomenica.com's Snowflake Art! feature. Highlighting high resolution photographs snowflakes, Phenomenica.com illuminates the incredible beauty found in everyday, naturally occurring objects.
The website also features fascinating updates about the universe's "Mysteries, Phenomena, Ancient History and Science".
For information, click here.
Husband and wife duo, J. Otto Seibold and Vivian Walsh, are authors and illustrators of off beat quirky children's books. The duo's book, "Olive the Other Reindeer", eventually was made into a refreshingly unconventional animated holiday film. Their vibrant illustrations and unique story lines transform potential oddities into inexplicable delights.
For more information about Seibold and Walsh's current work visit their website.
Watch the "Cosmic Christmas Teaser" (2010)! This Holiday Season take a trip out to the far reaches of the galaxy for a truly unique multimedia spectacular. The Glendale Planetarium presents Eban Schletter's Cosmic Christmas: A yuletide odyssey played out in the high tech full dome theater.
Featuring live theramin by Eric Shletter, vibraphone by Alexander Burke, a choir, and live animation from iotaCenter Board Member and Spontaneous Fantasia creator, J-Walt!
The final performances will be held on December 19 at 5:00pm and 7:00pm.
For more information about Eban Schletter and Cosmic Christmas, please visit his website.
Visit MILLENNIUM FILM JOURNAL! "Since 1978 the Millennium Film Journal has published articles about independent, experimental, and avant-garde cinema, video, and, more recently, works that use the newer technologies. The Millennium Film Journal is dedicated to avant-garde cinema theory and practice, where the term "cinema" includes all technologies of the moving image."--MFJ
Filmmakers, videomakers, those who use other methods of image production, and all parties interested in advanced or regressive cinema are encouraged to submit articles, reviews, manifestoes, schemas, and proposals.
Ernest Pintoff, born December 15, 1931, was an American film and television director, screen writer and producer. A central figure in Modernist Animation, Pintoff won an academy award for his short animated film "The Critic," (1963) a satire on modern art written and narrated by Mel Brooks. Pintoff taught design and painting at Michigan State University. His interest in animation and film extended throughout his lifetime.
Watch a clip from "Machi" by Morgan Fisher from the 2010 DVD compilation "The Light Painter." For the last twenty years, alongside his more publicized work in the field of music, Morgan Fisher has been developing and refining a technique he calls "Light Painting." While many have used this term, in Morgan's case this consists principally of abstract or absolute photography created by moving the camera during extended exposures in front of various types of light sources.
For more information about Morgan Fisher and his work visit his website.
Check out Vidiots Annex, Santa Monica's reknowned independent video rental store's latest endeavor to bring Film Studies to the people! Vidiots owners’, Patty Cohen and Cathy Tauber, say that the Annex is an organic development inspired by the many customers who love to come up to the counter and chat with the store’s knowledgeable staff about their latest discoveries. For its 25th anniversary, Vidiots will now offer the perfect place to continue those cinematic conversations.
Vidiots Annex is also the site of The iotaCenter's Members Showcase, an entire screening devoted to our members. Join us on December 10 at 8pm!
Persons of the Week Kathy Geritz, Steve Seid, and Steve Anker
BAM/PFA Film Curator, Kathy Geritz, BAM/PFA Video Curator Steve Seid, Dean of the School of Film/Video at CalArts Steve Anker are responsible for the expansive and revolutionary Radical Light: Alternative Film and Video in the San Francisco Bay Area, 1945–2000 ! Taking a look at the history of Avant-Garde Film and Video in the Bay Area, Radical Light includes a thoroughly researched and illustrated book, an extensive film and video series presenting both famous and overlooked pieces, and a captivating gallery exhibition of archival ephemera and paper works at the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive.
The Radical Light Book, Film, and Video Tour will travel throughout the United States in 2011–2012. For more information about the tour click here!
For more information about the curators and their project, check out this featured interview.
A Film (2010)
A film poem about love, the work embodies the blurred moments between dreaming and waking life. A journey through melancholy and joy, childhood and adulthood, the film stems from the notion that life is a circular journey.
Song for a Deaf Ear (2008)
A meditative exploration of the insanity of war, specifically in Lebanon, the artist's home country. In 2007, Bizri returned to Lebanon with his camera and created this film around the death of his neighbors 20 years prior. A collage of home videos, new footage, and fading images, the film undeniably affecting.
A film about famous Syrian singer, Asmahan, the filmmaker rearranges two of the actor's famous B-films to create a new narrative reflecting the star's life in colonial Egypt. Dream sequences and found footage explore the material quality of film itself, placing an emphasis on the effects of formal arrangement.
These films ad much more can be viewed at our Library & Study Center in Culver City, CA. Please set up a viewing appointment by contacting us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Learn more about Bizri and his work at his website.
Best described by Needleman himself, the video "is totally about symmetry. First, the subject matter is symmetrical: the Capitol Plaza in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Second, I flipped the footage on itself, so the scenes in the frame are symmetrical: the left and right halves perfectly mirror each other. Third, the temporal structure of the video is symmetrical: rhythmic, slowly overlapping scenes progress to the midway point (the only calm moment in the video) and then they flow in reverse to the beginning (now the end). Fourth, in the second half of the video, a deeper level of symmetry is added when the top half of the frame and bottom half begin to mirror each other, in addition to the left right symmetry. This forms a pulsating kaleidoscopic effect that is either the apotheosis of symmetry or a satire of it. Or perhaps both."
For more information about Needleman and his work, visit his website.
These films and much more can be viewed at our Library & Study Center in Culver City, CA. Please set up a viewing appointment by contacting us at: email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you are a rights holder whom we have not yet been able to reach. For all other inquiries, please contact us at email@example.com