A Beautiful Virus Inside the Machine: Animation Works by Lillian Schwartz, 1970-1978 | Chicago Reader

A Beautiful Virus Inside the Machine: Animation Works by Lillian Schwartz, 1970-1978

These fascinating early experiments in computer animation, made at Bell Labs by Lillian Schwartz with Kenneth Knowlton and other collaborators, are lush and perceptually engaging, even if they don't always succeed on a rhythmic level. The best use electronic music and drifting abstract forms to evoke an original and trippy sci-fi ambience. In Enigma (1972) a grid of lines begins to flicker with multiple colors in quasi-mechanical pulses that suggest a machine is generating the images. Apotheosis (1972) offers complex shapes derived from MRI scans. In Metamorphosis (1974) a Salieri symphony shifts in and out of sync with geometrical shapes that move and mesh at different speeds. There's a lot to look at here, even if strong meanings aren't readily apparent. 53 min.

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