Back in the sixties when computers were about to make their colossal breakthrough in the territory of art, Henry Flynt coined the term concept art for a new art-form based in mathematics. For digital pioneers such as Stan Vanderbeek, John Whitney or Larry Cuba, the computer was "the supreme mathematical instrument", a new media meant to trigger aesthetic intuitions. Tonight we will present what could be considered a pure form of conceptual work (by Henry Flynt's standards). We are screening the digital masterpiece Calculated Movements, a vectorial animation created by Larry Cuba while programming the wireframe structure for the infamous Star Wars' Death Star.
Minimalize: Video-Dance Nr1 by Walter Verdin Video b/w, stereo sound, 11'27'', 1981
It's hard to explain how a successful pop artist, embraced by stardom, suddenly devotes his life to unglamorous work. In the early 80's, Walter Verdin was hit by success, as a member of one of the most interesting bands to ever compete in the Eurovision Song Contest. Shortly after having represented Belgium with "Pas de Deux", Verdin became a video practitioner adopting video as his sound instrument. For many years he devoted himself to a new field called Video-Dance, creating a pioneering body of work that revealed an acute and unstoppable sense of rhythm.
"Land", by Maarten Ploeg Commodore Amiga file transferred to video.Colour, stereo sound, loop, 1992
In an old edition of Enciclopédia Luso-Brasileira, the entry word computer (then called ordenador) is illustrated with a vector-based drawing of a face. It shows the first computer-generated drawing, depicting the kind face of a samurai. That funny looking picture can be seen as the computer's first attempt at a self-portrait, a clear demonstration of its highly complex level of self-determination.
Maarten Ploeg was a multi-talented genius born in the flat lands of Holland. Trained as a visual artist, he was part of the punk music scene in the late seventies (Soviet Sex, Blue Murder and Astral Bodies), as well as a pioneer in computer art and in the art of TV piracy. He was co-founder of PKP TV, a channel that hacked regular broadcasting and of Park 4DTV (http://www.park.nl/), a still operational art platform.
"The Basis of Make-Up I-III" by Heinz Emigholz 16 mm film transfered to video, color, sound, 90', 1983-2005
The Basis of Make-Up I-III is the primal soup that stands behind Heinz Emigholz abundant body of work. This life-size film compilation, depicts two decades of notebooks in an unstoppable flickery flow. The blend of collages, workaday writing and filming is intersected by elaborate drawings halfway between medical and technical illustrations which somehow encapsulate the author's highly personal time and vision.
"An image vortex where Ideas fall" - Alexandre Estrela after Ezra Pound