Early (50’s to 70’s) attempts of illustrating music with motion patterns, caleidoscopic textures, dots and grids: James Whitney, visual composer, younger brother of John, whose works we’ll write about soon.
We’re talking hand-crafted stuff here: works produced punching grid patterns in 5″ by 7″ cards with a pin.
Only later in his life, the film-maker started using analogue computers.
Yantra (1950-55): dots painted on punched 5″ by 7″ cards through pinholes, to produce a complex flowing motion.
Lapis (1966), (pictured above): produced with computer aided graphics, small circles oscillates in and out in a kaleidoscope manner. The patterns, accompanied by Indian sitar music, are trance inducing and hypnotic.
Dwija (1973), meaning “twice-born” or “soul” in Sanskrit. Completely solarized, its imagery is rear projected and re-photographed, to create a constant flow of hardly definable transformations of color and form.
Wu Ming (1977), meaning “no name” in Chinese, repeats a single action over and over – a particle disappears into infinity, and returns as a wave.
Check the videos:
Variations on a circle (1941-42)
Further reading and related: