Here are pyrotechnics of the keyboard, but with only a camera to "play the tune." To make this film, Norman McLaren employed novel optical techniques to compose the piano rhythms of the sound track. These he then moved, in multicolor, onto the picture area of the screen so that, in effect, you see what you hear. It is synchronization of image and sound in the truest sense of the word.
I discovered the world of Polish animator Piotr Kamler after searching on YouTube for films scored by composer Bernard Parmegiani, whose music I came across via UbuWeb. Parmegiani and Kamler were both colleagues of musique concrète mastermind Pierre Schaeffer, and they participated in the experimental research arm of the French television station O.R.T.F. founded by Schaeffer in 1960. Some have dubbed the abstract films and animations created under Schaeffer's management of the O.R.T.F. "concrete cinema." Today I will be posting films by Kamler produced during his tenure in this department as well as some examples of his later work. These clips originate from the 2007 DVD Piotr Kamler, à la recherche du temps.
Beryl Korot describes the impetus behind the innovative 1970s publication Radical Software, elucidating the history of video in art and the impact of mass media on society. Emerging from an independent video community that included media visionaries such as Marshall McLuhan and groups such as Televisionaries, Videofreex, People’s Video Theater, and Global Village, the first issue of Radical Software debuted in Spring of 1970 as a publication by the Raindance Corporation. Beryl Korot and Phyllis Segura (Gershuny) acted as Editors, while Michael Shamburg served as Publisher with Ira Schneider as co-Originator. Early contributors included Nam June Paik, Buckminster Fuller, Ant Farm, Frank Gillette, and Paul Ryan, among others. After eleven issues, Radical Software ceased publication in the Spring of 1974 and is now an invaluable time capsule of an era. This video is published on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the first issue.
I would like to consider a notion that I have felt was intuitively true but have never explored in depth: that the 8-bit or "low-res" aesthetic of much contemporary electronic art can be thought of as a form of digital materialism. By employing the phrase "digital materialism," I draw upon a specific term that has circulated within the sphere of avant-garde filmmaking from the 1970s onward. In this context, materialism describes a sensibility, most explicitly theorized in the writings of London-based filmmaker Peter Gidal, in which the physical materials of film technology are made visible within the work itself, and thereby become decisive components of a reflexively cinematic but predominantly non-narrative experience. Materialism reverses the usual Hollywood practice of hiding the mode of production so as not to disrupt the suspension of disbelief necessary to enter into a staged, fictional world.
-- EXCERPT FROM "THE MATTER OF ELECTRONICS" BY ED HALTER
[Originally published in the catalog for the exhibition PLAYLIST at LABoral in Gijón, Spain curated by Domenico Quaranta, available in pdf form here. Subsequently republished to Vague Terrain above.]
Plotted on newsprint with cyan, magenta, and yellow edding 1380 brush-pens. 9" x 9".
A portrait of Eliane Radigue, produced by the Austrian IMA (Institute for Media Archeology), which observes Eliane in her workspace, operating the ARP and talking about the process of composing and recording.
Digital Arts and New Media (DANM) Technical Coordinator