Artists discovering animation in the mid-1960s and early 1970s did so in a culture of pop art and psychedelia, and a discursive field strongly shaped by Marshall McLuhan’s media theory. They responded by creating overwhelming works of graphic collage, violent flickering colors and sensory overload. The first program in this series includes several extremely rare films by Francis Lee, Irene and Don Duga, Fred Mogubgub and Dan Agnew, each startling works from the late 1960s with subjects and techniques that anticipated the boom of independent animation in the following decade. A rarely-seen experiment in three-dimensionality by Paul Sharits is followed by Bill Brand’s stroboscopic colourfield film Circles of Confusion. Each animator featured in this program—from Stan Vanderbeek’s dark, moving painting Oh, to the remote control zapping of Paul Glabicki—is invested in showing the enhanced qualities the animated film has towards facilitating visual and aural abstraction, flickering color and symbolizing the transmission and reception of media images.
Film-Makers’ Showcase Francis Lee/Fred von Bernewitz, 1963, 3m, 16mm
The Pop Show Fred Mogubgub, 1966, 7m, digital
Oh Stan Vanderbeek, 1968, 9m, 16mm
AMERICA IS WAITING Bruce Conner, 1981, 4m, 16mm
Jungle Madness Don Duga, 1967, 6m, 16mm
Scanning Paul Glabicki, 1976, 3m, 16mm
Pesca Pisca Irene Duga, 1968, 3m, 16mm
Doppler Effect Version II Dan Agnew, 1968, 4m,16mm
Evolution of the Red Star Adam Beckett, 1973, 7m, 16mm
3D Movie Paul Sharits, 1975, 8m, 16mm. Preserved by Anthology Film Archives, New York.
Circles of Confusion Bill Brand, 1974, 15m, 16mm
Q&A with filmmaker Fred von Bernewitz and Richard O’Connor, expert on the films of Fred Mogubgub