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• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.

Archive for the ‘Harry Smith’ tag

 

Language of the Birds: Occult and Art

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Astrological Ouroboros (1965) by Paul Laffoley. Language of the Birds is an occult-themed art show at 80WSE, New York University, that opened this week and runs to 13 February, 2016. Curator Pam Grossman has assembled a stunning collection of work by artists, occultists, and occult-artists old and new: Kenneth Anger * Anohni * Laura Battle […]

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Number 10: Mirror Animations, a film by Harry Smith

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Another Harry Smith film that’s very similar to the one featured here a couple of weeks ago, Number 11, which is also entitled Mirror Animations. Smith wrote a description for this one: “An exposition of Buddhism and the Kaballah in the form of a collage. The final scene shows Agaric mushrooms growing on the moon […]

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Number 11: Mirror Animations, a film by Harry Smith

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A very short collage animation from 1956 that Smith later expanded into a version running 12 minutes. The artwork crams a great deal of occult and religious symbolism into its 3-minute running time—alchemy, the Kabbalah, Buddhism, Eliphas Levi’s Baphomet, and so on—while Misterioso by Thelonious Monk is playing. Watching this makes me realise that there […]

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Carabosse, a film by Lawrence Jordan

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Collage animators may not be as plentiful as collage artists but this branch of filmmaking has attracted a number of heavyweight talents including Harry Smith, Jan Lenica, Walerian Borowczyk and Terry Gilliam. Lawrence Jordan worked for a time as an assistant to Joseph Cornell but he’s been making short films since the 1950s, many of […]

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Meeting Harry Smith by Drew Christie

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A short anecdotal film by artist and animator Drew Christie in which musicologist John Cohen relates his first encounter with mercurial polymath Harry Smith, a man small in stature but large in interests and influence. Christie is something of a polymath himself since he also provides the banjo soundtrack. There’s more art and animation at […]

Posted in {animation}, {film} | 1 comment »

 


Science Friction by Stan VanDerBeek

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Ubuweb seems to have the best collection of films by experimental filmmaker Stan VanDerBeek (1927–1984) but not the one I was looking for, unfortunately, an abstract thing entitled Moirage. Searching around turned up Science Friction (1959), one of a number of collage animations VanDerBeek made in the 1950s. The juxtapositions of collage have always been […]

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Weekend links 55

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From the Ornamental Age series (2009) by Seher Shah. Seher Shah has recently updated her website giving us a better view of her extraordinary art. • The Demon Regent Asmodeus, my short film of Alan Moore’s reading from the first Moon & Serpent CD, has been posted to YouTube. In other self-promotion news, Mahakala, a […]

Posted in {animation}, {art nouveau}, {art}, {books}, {dance}, {design}, {electronica}, {fashion}, {film}, {gay}, {magazines}, {music}, {politics}, {science}, {work} | Comments Off

 


Heaven and Earth Magic by Harry Smith

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Harry Smith’s hour-long collage film is one of the filmmaker’s major works and it can now be viewed in a rather rough form at Ubuweb. Smith made the first version in 1957 then tinkered with it for the next five years. If its effects seem rather primitive today it should be borne in mind that […]

Posted in {abstract cinema}, {animation}, {film}, {occult} | 2 comments »

 


Sam Amidon in Manchester

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The phrase “breathless hush” might have been created for the rapt anticipation that greets some of the artists who play the Cross Street Chapel in Manchester. The circular space is a perfect arena for detailed electronica of the kind presented by Machinefabriek and company last year, or acoustic performances such as tonight’s astonishing set by […]

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Harry Smith revisited

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Harry Smith in the middle of the Twentieth Century with some of his drawings. The first European exhibition of work by artist, writer, filmmaker, collector, Kabbalist, ethnographer…okay, polymath Harry Smith, opens today at the Reg Vardy Gallery, Sunderland. The exhibition runs from 2nd May–8th June 2007. In addition, there’s a companion exhibition, Harry Smith Anthology […]

Posted in {animation}, {art}, {film}, {music}, {occult}, {painting}, {sculpture} | 2 comments »

 


Ten films by Oskar Fischinger

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After complaining a couple of days ago about the difficulty of seeing works of abstract cinema, it turns out that a collection of Oskar Fischinger’s great animations appeared earlier this year. Decades before computer graphics, before music videos, even before Fantasia (the 1940 version), there were the abstract animated films of Oskar Fischinger (1900–1967), master […]

Posted in {abstract cinema}, {animation}, {art}, {film} | 2 comments »

 


Lapis by James Whitney

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Lapis (1966). Proof of the conservative nature of cinema as an artistic medium can be found in the way its abstract practitioners don’t merit anything like the attention received by Piet Mondrian or Jackson Pollock. In cinema narrative is all, and it’s ironic that when artists such as Julian Schnabel or Robert Longo turn to […]

Posted in {abstract cinema}, {animation}, {art}, {film}, {technology} | 12 comments »

 


The art of Harry Smith, 1923–1991

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Renaissance Man

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Ask anyone for a definition of this term and most people would immediately mention Leonardo Da Vinci (can his reputation survive Dan Brown?) or Michelangelo, the two most highly-regarded geniuses of the Italian Renaissance. While Leonardo’s numerous achievments are well-documented, Michelangelo’s work as a painter and sculptor tends to overshadow his other talents as an […]

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