Saturday, November 16, 2013

Spindrift (1966, reconstructed by Mika Taanila in 2013)

Photo: Kiasma
Spindrift. SE/FI 1966. Created by Jan Bark and Erkki Kurenniemi. An abstract cybernetic computer animation shot on 16 mm. 2K DCP and 35 mm reconstruction of the original film.
    P+SC+DP+S+M: Jan Bark.
    Analogue computer programming: Erkki Kurenniemi.
    Technical operations manager for telephotography: Måns Reuterswärd.
    Electronic camera: Wulf Meseke.
    Editor: Thomas Öhrström.
    Sound technician: Beng Nyqvist.
    Musicians: Bengt Berger (tabla), Jan Bark and Bengt Ernryd (tambura).
Black and white, 14 min

"The original film is missing. The version seen here is a reconstruction edited by Mika Taanila for this exhibition. It is based on the original script and raw material found in the archives of Svenskt visarkiv / the Centre for Swedish Folk Music and Jazz Research. Music by Jan Bark was edited into the film by Petri Kuljuntausta".

Spindrift (Revisited 2013)
ED: Mika Taanila.
Sound mastering: Petri Kuljuntausta.
2K scanning: Samuli Kytö.
P: Perttu Rastas.
PC: Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma / National Audiovisual Archive.
Screened from computer files at a Kiasma screening room in the Erkki Kurenniemi exhibition, 16 Nov 2013

"Experiments with an analogue computer", Teekkari student magazine, 1 Nov 1963, No: 3-4B.

"Kurenniemi programmed an analogue computer to generate the visuals for Spindrift. These illustrations published in Teekkari magazine in 1963 were produced on the same computer in Helsinki University's Department of Nuclear Physics. In the accompanying text Kurenniemi explains that the images are by-products of differential equations."

Jan Bark: Synopsis for the film Spindrift (copy). Script for Spindrift (copy). Original script and synopsis: Svenskt visarkiv / Centre for Swedish Folk Music and Jazz Research.

"Jan Bark, writer and composer of Spindrift, outlined his project for Sveriges Radio with this synopsis in 1968. Next to it is a copy of the original script. At the end of the scropt Bark describes Spindrift as 'kinetic music heard with the eyes'. Traditional Indian instruments (tamburas and tabla drums) are featured on the soundtrack which has been manipulated by slowing the tempo and adding electronic effects. The vocals are by Gayathri Rajapur." (From the Kiasma exhibition information)

AA: A wonderful discovery: probably the earliest Finnish computer animation, more precisely, a Swedish-Finnish co-production of Jan Bark and Erkki Kurenniemi, programmed by Erkki Kurenniemi at Helsinki University's Department of Nuclear Physics and shot from a computer screen in Helsinki in 1965-1966, now reconstructed by Mika Taanila from footage found at Svenskt visarkiv.

Rough notes: - A computer screen with lines like in fingerprints - the lines start to get distorted - with the Indian music moving mandala figures appear - the transformations are often quite quick - I think of psychedelia - and Harry Smith - the figures are like flower patterns on icy windows - moving Lissajous curves appear - like in the credit sequence of Vertigo, computer programmed by the Whitney brothers - I think of Oskar Fischinger - and Walther Ruttmann - the figures are very versatile, and the rhythms of the metamorphoses keep changing - there are vertical figures - horizontal figures - diagonal figures - static figures - moving figures - dotted figures - checkered figures - growing figures - diminishing figures - black on white - and white on black - bleached images - images resembling X-rays - there are fast, emergining, rotating, and pulsating movements - throbbing maelstroms - dancing jellyfish - galaxies - nebulae - black holes - white noise - this is a non-figurative, ornamental, patterned work - visions of the ocean - visions of heaven - bending - like neon lights in a big city - crescendoes - ritardandi - accelerandi - overspeed - ultra-rapid edits - contractions - swellings - like meteors in the night sky - like electric power fields - like thunderballs - like lightnings - like the big bang.

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