Experimental Animation at the Dawn of the Digital Age: British and American Film Shorts, 1967-75 | Nasher Museum of Art | Screen: Special Showings | Indy Week
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Still from "Threshold" by Malcolm Le Grice

Courtesy of the Nasher Museum of Art

Still from "Threshold" by Malcolm Le Grice

Experimental Animation at the Dawn of the Digital Age: British and American Film Shorts, 1967-75 

When: Thu., July 30, 7 p.m. 2015




In 1985, Andy Warhol used a Commodore Amiga to digitally recolor Debbie Harry at the personal computer's debut at Lincoln Center. It was a pop moment for the art of computer graphics, but filmmakers and scientists had already been exploring it for more than 15 years. To complement Colour Correction, an exhibit of British and American screen prints (including Warhol's) from 1967 to 1975, the Nasher screens 11 experimental animations from the same period. This is digital art as it crawls from the analog ooze, not long after Stan Brakhage symbolically exhausted celluloid's possibilities by drawing on it frame by frame. As in music, these early adventures in visual synthesis are primitive and prophetic. John Whitney's geometric screen-savers dance to cosmic tones by the likes of Terry Riley. His Matrix 1 (1971) suggests purgatory as a station ID bumper for a TV show that never begins. Stan VanDerBeek programs poems into corroded graphics on a hulking mainframe. Others tinker with printers (Malcolm Le Grice, Threshold) and color synthesis (Peter Donebauer, Entering). The work is literally experimental; no one is sure what all the wayward new technology can do. This is ground zero for modern video artists such as Paul Chan and Cory Arcangel, who seek ways to recapture that naïve wonder at a time when anything is possible. 79 p.m., free,

2001 Campus Drive, Durham, 919-684-5135, www.nasher.duke.edu. —Brian Howe

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