viznut's amazing discoveries

[2007-07-03]

The new artforms of the new glorious Space Age

I've been reading the PDF version of a book named Expanded Cinema. This book was written in 1970 by Gene Youngblood and it discusses hot new concepts such as video art, computer art and interactive art.

[Book cover]

I find the book intriguing in quite many ways.

First of all, it has some crazy and optimistic visions of the future, some of which seem totally out-of-place from today's standpoint, while some seem surprisingly relevant at least after some mental processing. Some of the stuff reminds me of Erkki Kurenniemi's out-of-this-world prophecies from the same era.

Second, it covers many concepts that are relevant to the demoscene, such as algorithmic generation and experimental visual techniques. As the book was written in the pre-microprocessor era, the discussion of these topics is refreshingly "twisted", conjuring up some unique viewpoints when associated with today's ideas.

Third, it has a lot of stuff about some pioneering works of video and computer art. I still need to actually look into these, at least in order to familiarize myself with the early developments.

This book has provoked quite many thoughts, and I think they are worth separate weblog entries. So, I'll return to them at some later day, once I've processed them well enough.