Categories
3_Animation and Non-Fiction In Process Inspiration

Lisa Pau

MFA Experimental Animation

California Institute of the Arts

available for work inquiries – loupau@alum.calarts.edu

Categories
2_Invention, Plasticity and Visual Music In Process

Synaesthesia

“Synaesthesia: From Greek syn (together) and aisthesis (perception). Meaning “joined perception.” Synesthesia is a condition in which one sense (for example, hearing) is
simultaneously perceived as if by one or more additional senses (such as sight). Another form of synesthesia joins objects such as letters, shapes, numbers or people’s names with a sensory perception such as smell, color or flavor. It can affect all of the senses.
Four percent of the population, when seeing number five, also see color red. Or hear a C-sharp when seeing blue. Or even associate orange with Tuesdays. This neurologically-based condition is called synesthesia in which people involuntarily link one sensory perception
to another. “ Darya L. Zabelina Ph.D, Psychology Today (n.d)

But the associations are fixed for any one person. And are automatic. Helps memory. But can it limit imagination and creativity through limiting flexibility of possible associations.

Synaesthetic associations vary between people. This variability offers interesting possibilities for widening human experience.

Categories
2_Invention, Plasticity and Visual Music In Process Inspiration

Len Lye

Leonard Charles Huia Lye (1901 – 1980) was a New Zealand artist known primarily for his experimental films and kinetic sculpture.
see you tube comments on kaleidoscope.

Animation mixing abstraction with manipulated video.
Like an electric storm. Scratching on film.
Uses video of a figure cutout on a background. This 9ne does littlevfor me.
Beautiful abstract animation.4400 drawings. With music added later by another musician see You Tube commehts.
With original music
Very energetic Maori-influenced abstract video. See extensive comments on You Tube.

Categories
1_The Basics of Animated Movement 2_Invention, Plasticity and Visual Music In Process Inspiration

Peter Millard

https://lectureinprogress.com/journal/peter-millard

Peter Millard is a London-based animator. He creates his absurdist animations on paper (all recycled) with oil bar and paint. Then he scans the large images in with a large scanner, sizes them up in After Effects before using Premiere Pro to edit. 

Categories
2_Invention, Plasticity and Visual Music In Process

Mary Ellen Bute

Mary Ellen Bute (1906 – 1983) was a pioneer American film animator, producer, and director. Her specialty was visual music. While working in New York City between 1934 and 1953, Bute made fourteen short abstract musical films. Many of these were seen in regular movie theaters usually preceding a prestigious film.

Filmography from Wikipedia

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2_Invention, Plasticity and Visual Music Animation Techniques In Process Inspiration

Norman McLaren

An artist may be like someone who just hears music and then starts to dance

Norman McLaren (1914 – 1987) was a Scottish Canadian animator, director and producer known for his work for the National Film Board of Canada (NFB). He was a pioneer in a number of areas of animation and filmmaking, including hand-drawn animation, drawn-on-film animation, visual music, abstract film, pixilation and graphical sound.

Experiments in Motion

Tempo: The basics of perception of linear movement: Shows the animator’s table with camera, switch and frame counter. Calibration marks and muscle memory. And shows the difference in perceptions of movement through increasing the number of equal spaced moves of a cut-out circle going from A to B. The greater the number of moves, the slower the movement. We interprete this differently depending on our understanding of context eg whether we think the circle is a large sun moving fast or a small golf ball moving slowly. Ends with interesting abacus type comparison of movements at 1-1000 moves between A and B.

Synaesthesia and experiments in sound

Experimental animation

In this animation McLaren created the sounds through drawing on film. The tall vertical geometric shapes make it seem like a film about speed and impersonality of city life. Reminiscent of Mondrian paintings.

Short films

Cold war allegory. Story of two neighbours who kill each other in a fight about a flower that starts to grow along the fence between them.
A Chairy Story: Amusing story of a man trying to sit on a chair. The chair refuses to be sat on until the chair has sat on the man. metaphor for the importance of equality and politeness and not taking power for granted.
Categories
2_Invention, Plasticity and Visual Music In Process

Research 2.3 Visual Music

Abstract Animation or Visual Music

Abstract animation of music originated in early experiments to develop machines
to link the musical scale with a corresponding scale of colour and light. The first of such machines was developed long before the advent of film, in 1730 by French mathematician Louis Bertrand Castel. His Ocular Harpsichord replaced the pitches of a harpsichord with projected coloured light.

In the twentieth century abstract animation, also known as “Visual Music” and “Absolute Film” was pioneered by the animators Mary Ellen Bute, Hans Richter and Oskar Fischinger. These artists developed methods and devices to translate visual imagery into and alongside sound.

From the 1960s onwards, artists such as John Whitney (the father of computer
animation) used computer technology to enable the creation of sound and
complex, abstract moving images. Contemporary artists code and connect via
midi and software programs such as Max MSP, Processing and Isadora to
perform in real-time or to compose.

Music and forms for Sequential structuring

Abstract animators work on the basis that all processes when removed from their concrete context, become inherently universal and repeatable: ‘pure movement’. There can be said to be three key ‘movement strategies’ that govern the creation and structuring of abstract animation:
evolution, deconstruction and patterned movement.

When watching abstract animation work, expectations connected with viewing narrative work should be suspended. As no story arc is present and the structure is more like music than literature, the mind is able to wander. The viewer enters a different type of experience; perhaps more like that of watching clouds. Thoughts emerge and disappear.

Len Lye for example recalled being enthralled with their fast, scurrying motion of clouds after a rain storm.

“All of a sudden it hit me – if there was such a thing as composing music, there could be such a thing as composing motion. After all, there are melodic figures, why can’t there be figures of motion?”

Len Lye, edited by Roger Horrocks and Wystan Curnow, Figures of Motion (1984)
Auckland University Press, Oxford University Press.

Mary Ellen Bute: Rhythm in Light

Rhythm in Light (1934) was Mary Ellen Bute’s first completed film, appearing the same year as Schillinger’s discussion of synchronization in Experimental Cinema. It had been preceded by several studies and an earlier attempt to film
Schillinger’s ideas using standard animation techniques that was abandoned because the imagery was too complex for standard production with hand animation. Rhythm in Light reflects this shift from the painterly and cel animation
techniques employed by the absolute filmmakers (Ruttmann, Eggeling, Richter) in the 1920s in favour of the same procedures of abstracting from reality by using already abstract subjects employed by Laszlo Moholy-Nagy. Running just under three minutes long, following the opening credits it proclaims itself a “A Pictorial Accompaniment in abstract forms” followed by the explanation that “It is a
pioneer effort in a new art form – It is a modern artist’s impression of what goes on it the mind while listening to music.” The explanatory element in Bute’s film is
a common feature of American abstract films of the 1930s produced for commercial distribution—an element also shared by Fischinger’s An Optical Poem (1936).

Harry Smith
Oskar Fischinger, Wax Experiments (1921-1926)

Oskar Wilhelm Fischinger (1900 – 1967) was a German-American abstract animator, filmmaker, and painter, notable for creating abstract musical animation many decades before the appearance of computer graphics and music videos. He created special effects for Fritz Lang’s 1929 Woman in the Moon, one of the first sci-fi rocket movies, and influenced Disney’s Fantasia. He made over 50 short films and painted around 800 canvases, many of which are in museums, galleries, and collections worldwide. Among his film works is Motion Painting No. 1 (1947), which is now listed on the National Film Registry of the U.S. Library of Congress.

Viking Eggeling
Hans Richter
Walter Ruttman

Walter Ruttmann (28 December 1887 – 15 July 1941) was a German cinematographer and film director, and along with Hans Richter, Viking Eggeling and Oskar Fischinger was the most important German representative of abstract experimental film. He is best known for directing the semi-documentary ‘city symphony’ silent film Berlin: Symphony of a Metropolis. His audio montage Wochenende (1930) is considered a major contribution in the development of audio plays.

1921. This piece has soft modulated bold but flowing shapes that often evoke simple landscapes. The paper-like shapes, often with torn edges, are sometimes semi-lucent and sometimes merge into each other or divide. The dreamlike effect is enhanced by the flickering boil of the background.
A much darker ‘night’ piece in blues, blacks and reds. Similar flowing shapes, but often jabbed and ivershadowed from the top by sharp triangles and oppressive ‘city’ squares and rectangles.
1925. A very rhythmic piece around danving black andcwhite lines – African in reference. With a sensuous blue section, and more violeht red and black.
1924. A more geometric piece in blue/black, black/white and red. Mysterious shapes evocative of ancient pyramids and temples flow in and out superimposed, sometimes showing power, sometimes sensuously. Much of the effect js achieved by very subtle differences in colour, sharp/soft/ragges/translucent edge lines.
1922 ‘the champion’ advertisement for Excelsior Reifen tyre company using abstract shapes with cartoon narrative.