Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Lillian Schwartz

This is the first post in a new section which looks at heroes and instigators of computer and video art. The series will begin with Lillian Schwartz.
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Lillian Schwartz is a pioneer of computer generated art. A trained illustrator and painter, she began experimenting with the computer as a tool for the creation and manipulation of works of art. Throughout the seventies and eighties she created numerous visionary films exploring abstract computer animation usually with killer soundtracks. Over this time she collaborated with other talents such as Kenneth Knowlton, John Claude Risset and Max Mathews as well as other
leading scientists, engineers, physicists, and psychologists and developed work with Bell Labs and Experiments with Art and Technology (EAT).

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I was lucky enough to see many of her outstanding works at Lovebytes festival many years ago and again in Leeds at the Evolution festival a couple of years later. Her work is often incredibly playful and defined an abstract aesthetic which celebrates computer imagery on its own terms.

Speaking from my own experience, it depends on my mood at the time of editing images into their final film form that decisions as to which of the many elements are brought out of their general order, out of their appointed array, and raised together to a new order and form.
Even among the more recent artists Delacroix, Cezanne, and Matisse, the same desire for system and regularity for an ordered universe seem to dominate."

Lumen Arts and curator Greg
Kurcewicz have put together a touring film and video programme of her work - A Beautiful Virus Inside the Machine - which is still shown occasionally.

Look out for it if it passes through a town near you.....


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