CONTENTS

 
   about
   MICHAEL BETANCOURT NEWS
   movies: AESTHETICS
   movies: NEWS & REVIEWS
   movies: SHOWS & SCREENINGS
   random art notes
   random how-tos
   research: AVANT-GARDE MOVIES
   research: MOTION GRAPHICS
   research: VISUAL MUSIC
   theory: CRITICAL OBSERVATIONS
   theory: DIGITAL CAPITALISM
   theory: GLITCH & POSTDIGITAL
   theory: working notes

 

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SEARCH ARCHIVES

archives begin in 1996

  

'Dreams That Money Can Buy' Book

story © Michael Betancourt | published May 1, 2014 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



research: AVANT-GARDE MOVIES

Hans Richter's 1947 film Dreams That Money Can Buy (available for download here) was accompanied by a 24 page soft cover book with a collage on the cover by Max Ernst, and illustrated throughout with photographs from the color film. This book is relatively expensive to own, but is a very valuable source of information on the film, including materials on/by all of Richter's collaborators.

download a pdf here






 
Modernist 'Purity' & Avant-Garde Film

story © Michael Betancourt | published September 18, 2011 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



research: AVANT-GARDE MOVIES

Clement Greenbergs essay, Modernist Painting, appearing as a Voice of America pamphlet in 1960, then reprinted in 1966, implicitly conditions how artists understood the idea of formal during the beginning of the institutional period for the avant-garde film. His basis in philosopher Immanuel Kants self-critical approach tempers the construction of Modernism:




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Optical Printing and Digital Computers

story © Michael Betancourt | published August 31, 2011 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



research: AVANT-GARDE MOVIES

I have been describing my own working process as 'using the computer like an optical printer' since I made the digital transition in 2000. This approach is based on the fundamentals described by Raymond Fielding at the very end of his book Special Effects Cinematography that I read during the two month faculty strike that happened my first semester as an undergraduate at Temple University. Since I wasn't able to take classes, I spent my time reading things that interested me.

With the revolution in digital video that started in the 1990s, the historical basis for these technologies is now quite distant. But these technologies evolved from an application of the digital computer to historical techniques and approaches, thus enabling ever greater control over the image. Writing in 1984, Raymond Fielding considers the optical printer as a variety of mechanical, analog computer. We can recognize the limiting factors of analog mediamost especially generation loss, grain, and errors (dirt, etc)that disappear when producing these same effects with digital means:



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On Knowlton & VanDerBeek's Computer Animations

story © Michael Betancourt | published August 21, 2011 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



research: AVANT-GARDE MOVIES

Kenneth C. Knowlton (1931 ) worked in the Computer Techniques Research Department at Bell Labs in Murray Hill, New Jersey starting in 1962; he collaborated with experimental animator Stan VanDerBeek (1927 1984) on film experiments done in the artist-in-residency program. This was concerned with the use of computers to create graphics, and while there he produced twelve films between 1963 and 1967. He developed the first programming language specifically meant for animation: BEFLIX, a portmanteau of bell flicks. The animations this language created used a limited number of pixels arranged into a grid 252 by 184 in size, with seven shades of grey. Finished films had color added through optical printing.




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Abstract Film & Video: The Contemporary Period

story © Michael Betancourt | published August 14, 2011 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



research: AVANT-GARDE MOVIES

There was only a brief consideration of the contemporary period of US abstract film/video in 3 periods of Abstract Film and Video, but its analysis bears greater expansion. By focusing on the dominant characteristics of the three periodsexperimentation, consolidation and institutionalizationthe marginal position of abstract film emerges clearly at the start of the third period. The potential contemporary period reverses this marginalization, and so deserves a longer discussion.




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