Pixillation, a film by Lillian Schwartz


A new arrival at Rarefilmm, Pixillation (1970) is another example of short, abstract film-making which nevertheless may be unique in its combination of early computer graphics with organic effects created by illuminated oils and crystalline growths. This was Lillian Schwartz’s first film (made in collaboration with Ken Knowlton) after she become artist-in-residence at Bell Labs. Many more such films followed, continuing her exploration of computer graphics.

The electronic score for Pixillation is by Gershon Kingsley, a composer best known for the albums he recorded with Jean-Jacques Perrey, and for writing one of the first synthesized pop hits, Popcorn, although it was a cover of Kingsley’s tune that became an international success in 1972. Kingsley made a lot of electronic music but this is the first time I’ve encountered any of it as a film soundtrack. I think it’s also the first piece I’ve heard of his that isn’t a light-weight novelty.

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The abstract cinema archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
Switched-On… hits and misses