Herb Shellenberger

Animated Abstraction
October 22, 2013
Molodist Film Festival
Kyiv, Ukraine

October 26, 2013
Donetsk, Ukraine

Part of Graphic Hallucinations

"Animated Abstraction" is concerned with filmmakers’ use of animation to create visual abstraction and nonobjective forms.

Len Lye’s A Colour Box (1935) features stencils, paint and optical printing on film to create an eye-popping advertisement for the UK General Post Office. Pioneering Canadian animator Norman McLaren created Lines Vertical (1960) which is just that: vertical lines drawn directly on the film stock, sliding downward and illustrating the dimensions of Maurice Blackburn’s hypnotic musical score. The psychedelic films of John Whitney (Matrix, 1971) were created on a 12 foot tall analog computer the artist made by converting a WWII antiaircraft gun director into a machine capable of producing fantastic patterns. Larry Cuba, a former assistant to the Whitney brothers, used computer animation to map out geometric forms, creating fantastic flashes of light and movement in films like Two Space (1979). The films showed in "Animated Abstraction" present varied views on the structure and methods of animating images.

Symphonie Diagonale, Viking Eggeling, 1924, Germany, 16mm, 5’
Muratti Marches On!, Oskar Fischinger, 1934, Germany, 16mm, 3’
Composition in Blue, Oskar Fischinger, 1935, Germany, 16mm, 4’
A Colour Box, Len Lye, 1935, UK, 16mm, 3’
Glens Falls Sequence, Douglas Crockwell, 1937/46, US, 16mm, 7’
Allures, Jordan Belson, 1961, US, 16mm, 7’
Gulls and Buoys, Robert Breer, 1972, US, 16mm, 7’
Seed Reel, Mary Beams, 1976, US, 16mm, 3’
Lines Vertical, Norman McLaren, 1960, Canada, 16mm, 6’
Two Space, Larry Cuba, 1979, US, 16mm, 8’
Matrix, John Whitney, 1971, US, 16mm, 6’
OffOn, Scott Bartlett, 1972, US, 16mm, 9’
Cosmic Ray, Bruce Conner, 1961, US, 16mm, 4’
Mona Lisa Descending a Staircase, Joan C. Gratz, 1992, US, 16mm, 7’