Running Time: 65 mins (films) + 30 mins (Scree)
Computer animation did not begin with Tron. This is a rare chance to see work from four pioneers in the field.
John Whitney’s early films were made using a modified analog computer, originally used to control anti-aircraft guns in the war, then at IBM he worked by directly filming his computer console. Swirling, spirographic results like Catalog (1961) leave you floating in space. Lillian Schwartz’s work can be more chaotic, notably the mixed-media meltdown of Pixillation (1971), while Larry Cuba achieved ethereal effects by synchronising dots of light with a Japanese flute in 3/78 (1978). We end with the rapturous Allures (1961) by Jordan Belson, sometimes called the first VJ. The visuals for this were actually made without a computer, but it’s so lush we had to squeeze it in.
Followed by a half-hour performance from Scree, an experimental audio-visual project investigating the properties of feedback loops and chaotic systems. Audio samples are combined and fed back into themselves through hardware, software, and the internet, to create evolving textures and teetering resonances that may be as beautiful as they are unpredictable. The video meanwhile is created in much the same way, basic primitives manipulated and combined with live streamed feedback loops. Audio will be analysed for video control data, as video will be for audio control data, and Scree will attempt to steer the organism and keep it from self-destruction.