Stan Vanderbeek: The Computer Generation (1972)
Documentary from 1972 by John Musilli.
Gygory Kepes’ dream for the new MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies was to create a thriving laboratory for the creation of new artworks and artistic research within the context of MIT. Established in 1967, the Center appointed several long-term fellows in its first decade, including the pioneering experimental filmmaker Stan VanDerBeek.
VanDerBeek became enthralled with MIT’s digital universe. Everywhere, he found computers and intensely creative engineers and scientists pushing the absolute limits of technology. VanDerBeek was as interested in how computers were shaping MIT and the larger society as he was in conducting his own experiments. The Computer Generation is a documentary that captures VanDerBeek’s expansive and fascinating ideas about computers and society and that features clips of his own investigations conducted largely at MIT. “What does an artist do with a machine?” he asks in the film. “Amplify the artist’s thought. And at last the artist is in the electronic matrix, no longer confined to his studio.”