CGI's emergence + evolution is explored from the Information Age's Big Bang to the digital Wild West
The Artist & The Computer: A Proto-CGI FestivalThe Cinefamily (611 North Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036) Map it $12
While CGI may seem like a recent technological innovation, a group of digital daredevils and visionary animators are responsible for pioneering the vanguard craft that began to emerge at the dawn of the Information Age. Divided into two segments, the Cinefamily's examination of the proto-CGI universe tracks the experiments conducted in research facilities (Bell Labs, Boeing, MIT) throughout the cutting-edge sphere, a veritable playground for artists, programmers, scientists, engineers, filmmakers, and a host of other visionaries at the forefront of this nascent technology. Thursday's screening focuses on the medium's incubation period in the early 60's to its coming-of-age moment in the late 80's through a compilation of archival tests, commercials, film excerpts, and digital ephemera, from its primitive incarnation as fledgling green-on-black imagery to its playful and psychedelic adolescence, through to its ripening into a mature, sophisticated technology. Friday's follow-up explores early computer auteurs and their experiments in the digital Wild West, highlighting the vision and conviction of a handful of tenacious pioneers—namely John Whitney, Sr., Larry Cuba, John Stehura, Lillian Schwartz, Ed Emschwiller, and Stan Vanderbeek—whose clever, crafty manipulation and mastery of 1s and 0s is to be thanked for today's blockbuster CGI entertainment and big-bucks advertising.
6/19 - The Artist & The Computer #1: Pioneers of CGI, 1963-1990
6/20 - The Artist & The Computer #2: Auteurs and Experiments
“As an artist using a machine I can’t even fathom the speed of, I have to bring to it imagination, intuition and emotion. It’s the same intuitive approach as oil painting. The only things missing are the smells of the paint.” — Lillian Schwartz