"Around Perception is a groundbreaking experiment on computer-based animation, consisting of 11 audiovisual events designed to baffle cognition and unrest comfortable notions of reality. Unlike most of his later films, Hébert chose not to collaborate with top-notch experimental musicians and created the soundtrack himself. In this, he followed a method also used by Norman McLaren: to scratch sound directly onto the film itself. The relation between sound and picture, however, is not as symbiotic as in McLaren's Synchromy: although there are organic reactions between the two domains, one is not a direct translation of the other. This, of course, need not be seen as a weakness. Indeed, with its fast-paced changes of color and geometrical patterns, and the employment of Columbia-like richly crafted electronic tones, Around Perception works as a tremendously hallucinatory exercise in trompe l'oeil (and l'oreille) techniques. Or, as stated by Hébert himself at the beginning of the film, an exercise 'for the mind and against the mind'."
(The Sound of Eye)
Fig.1 "Around Perception", Director: Pierre Hébert, Year: 1968, Time: 16 mins, Music: Pierre Hébert.
"Ročno izdelan eksperiment z utripajočo animacijo v slogu praskanke na filmski trak. Prikazuje skupino štiriindvajsetih abstrahiranih podob, ki se na zaslonu razporejajo in prerazporejajo v različnih kombinacijah. Rezultat je spreminjajoč se vzorec zvoka in slike, ki ima za oko in uho drugačen ritem.
A hand-made, scratched-on film experiment in intermittent animation. The images are a group of twenty-four visuals, all non-representational, which arrange and rearrange on the screen in many combinations. The result is a changing pattern of sound and image that has its own rhythm for eye and ear. "
(Animateka International Animation Film Festival, Ljubljana, Slovenia)
Pierre Hébert (NFB), Kanada/Canada, 1966, 35 mm, 3'30''
29 January to 24 April 2011, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, Massachusetts, USA.
"Drawing with Code brings together a selection of computer-generated art by the form's earliest and most important practitioners from the 1950s to today. The Providence-based collection of Anne and Michael Spalter is one of the largest and most important of its kind in the U.S. and shines a new light onto a darkened corner of the art historical record.
In our current digital environment when just about everyone holds the processing power of a full computer in their pocket, it is difficult to remember a time when computer technology was not involved in every aspect of our lives. In the arts-visual, cinematic, musical, dance, and theater-the computer has become not only an accepted, but in many cases, an intrinsic tool for artistic expression. The artists featured in Drawing with Code emerged in the early computer-era when the technology was rudimentary by current standards and its capabilities rarely extended beyond the world of computation. Merging their interests in art and coding, these practitioners came to be known as 'Algorists,' artists who employed original algorithms to create images. In addition to works on paper, Drawing with Code presents the work of two filmmakers, Lillian Schwartz and Stan VanDerBeek, who were brought into Bell Labs Research by Kenneth Knowlton to make some of the first computer art animations. These six animations were collaborations using Knowlton's BEFLIX (Bell Flicks) programming language for bitmap computer-produced movies.
The artists in Drawing with Code represent some of the earliest innovations in computer-generated art from the U.S., Europe, and Asia, pioneering a new form of collaboration between technology and art that pushed the boundaries of both.
Featured artists: Yoshiyuki Abe, Manuel Barbadillo, Jean-Pierre Hébert, Desmond Paul Henry, Sven Höglund / Bror Wikstörm, Sture Johannessen, G. F. Kammerer-Luka / Jean-Baptist Kempf, Hiroshi Kawano, Kenneth Knowlton, Ben F. Laposky, Manfred Mohr, Vera Molnar, Frieder Nake, George Nees, Lillian F. Schwartz, Stan VanDerBeek, Roman Verotsko, Mark Wilson, and Edward Zajac.
This exhibition is organized by guest curator George Fifield, Director, Boston Cyberarts Inc. and is part of the 2011 Boston Cyberarts Festival."
(deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, 2011)
Fig.1 Ben Laposky (1954–1956). 'Electronic Abstraction 4', oscilliscope, high speed film, photo paper, 16 1/2 inches x 13 inches, Collection of Anne and Michael Spalter.
"This display provides an overview of the first decades of the computer's history in art and design. It includes some of the earliest computer-generated works in the V&A's collections, many of which have never been exhibited in the UK before. From the 1960s until the early 1980s, digital pioneers worked directly with computer hardware and software to produce graphic images unlike anything that had gone before. Some artists went on to use increasingly sophisticated software packages, while others continued to work directly with the hardware itself.
The display includes plotter drawings, screenprints, digital inkjet prints, photographs and animations, as well as important documentary material from the time. It features pioneers working in science and industry during the 1950s and 60s, such as Frieder Nake, Georg Nees and Herbert W. Franke. Artists who worked with the computer in the 1970s and 80s include Paul Brown, Harold Cohen, Manfred Mohr and Vera Molnar. The show also encompasses more recent works by James Faure Walker, Jean Pierre-Hébert, Roman Verostko and Mark Wilson
Digital Pioneers offers a historical context for contemporary digital practice, and is scheduled to coincide with the V&A exhibition Decode: Digital Design Sensations."
(The Victoria and Albert Museum, UK)
Fig.1 Herbert W. Franke, Squares (Quadrate), screenprint, 1969/70. Given by the Computer Arts Society, supported by System Simulation Ltd, London. Museum no. E.113-2008
"Drawing on Film will survey the practice of "direct film"—the process of drawing, scratching, or otherwise manipulating film stock to create images without a camera. The exhibition will present works spanning from the late 1930s to the present and will highlight an overlooked facet of experimental film. Many of the works to be exhibited are seminal films in the history of the genre—including Len Lye's A Colour Box and Norman McLaren's Blinkity Blank—while other, more contemporary works are being screened for the first time. By showcasing films from over seven decades, Drawing on Film will present an overview of the rich legacy of direct film.
The exhibition will transform the Drawing Room into a screening room with a program[me] of films by eleven artists that will screen multiple times each day. In addition, individual installations, one by Jennifer Reeves and one by Jennifer West, will run for one week each. Two separate evening screenings will feature works by Stan Brakhage and by Dieter Roth and Amy Granat, respectively."