Since the invention of cinematic media, artists have been experimenting with ways to formalize musical relationships between moving images and sounds. Driven by a desire to create synesthetic experiences in their audience, experimental film makers in the 1920s and 30s took their cues from abstract painters such as Kandinsky and composers such as Scriabin to develop a new cinematic language that combined both sound and visuals. During the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, this style was further developed by artists such as Oskar Fischinger, John and James Whitney, and Mary Ellen Bute and came to be referred to as visual music—a music for both the eyes and the ears. Through the subsequent introduction of computational media, audiovisual relationships became easier to implement and sprouted a lively field of artistic research.
This program of visual music shorts will showcase a broad selection of computer-generated synesthetic films, ranging from early 1970s experiments in computer animation by Lillian Schwartz to current-day realtime rendered live cinema by Telcosystems. Over the course of 7 short films, we will travel through brightly flickering video landscapes, precisely calculated black and white abstract patterns, shimmering sinusoidal oscillations, and experience an underwater journey like no other—all set to soundtracks that enhance and are an integral part of their audiovisual experiences.
Guiding our afterparty will be Theory of Noise, making a long anticipated return to the Elevator controls.