Jordan Belson

Jordan Belson (born 1926, Chicago, Illinois) is an American artist and filmmaker who has created nonobjective, often spiritually oriented, abstract films spanning six decades.

Belson studied painting at the University of California, Berkeley. He saw the 'Art in Cinema' screenings at the San Francisco Museum of Art beginning in 1946. The films screened at this series inspired Harry Smith, Belson and others to produce abstract films. Belson's first abstract film was Transmutation (1947). His first films were made with his scroll paintings. Belson's work was screened later as part of the 'Art in Cinema' series.

He was the recipient of a grant from the Museum of Non-Objective Painting, which later became the Guggenheim (Oskar Fischinger recommended him to the MoNOP curator Hilla von Rebay). Much of his work is meant to evoke a mystical or meditative experience.

In 1957 he began a collaboration with sound artist Henry Jacobs at the Morrison Planetarium in San Francisco, California that lasted until 1959. Together they produced a series of electronic music concerts accompanied by visual projections at the Planetarium, the Vortex Concerts. Belson as visual director programmed kinetic live visuals, and Jacobs programmed electronic music and audio experiments. This is a direct ancestor of the 'Laserium©'-style shows that were popular at planetaria later in the century. These shows involved projected imagery, specially prepared film excerpts and other optical projections specifically developed for use on the hemispherical screen. Not just an opportunity to develop new visual technologies and techniques, the sound system in the planetarium enabled Belson and Jacobs to create an immersive environment where imagery could move throughout the entire screen space, and sound could move around the perimeter of the room.

Belson also created special effects for The Right Stuff (1983).

Belson is still making films and fine art today. His latest film 'Epilogue' was commissioned for the Visual Music exhibition at the Hirshhorn/Smithsonian, and completed in 2005. It was produced by Center for Visual Music with support from the NASA Art Program. The New York Times described it as having 'lush and misty optics'.

External links Jordan Belson DVD Jordan Belson at IMDB



United States

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