Immersive cinema and art combines in Dreamlands 1905–2016 will run at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York from October 28, 2016–February 5, 2017.
The exhibition will be the most technologically complex project mounted to date at the Museum of American Art, embracing a wide range of moving image techniques, from hand-painted film to the latest digital technologies.
The exhibition will connect different historical moments of cinematic experimentation, creating a story that unfolds across a series of immersive spaces.
One of the fascinating artists shown at the Renzo Piano-designed Whitney building includes Jordan Belson (1926-2011) who first trained as a painter before discovering his love of cinema (an excerpt from one of his videos called “Music of the Spheres” is shown in the link below). Belson was determined to become a filmmaker, he experimented with remarkable success with traditional single-frame animation techniques, resulting in innovative works rarely screened until today.
Beginning in 1957, Belson began a collaborative and extraordinarily creative enterprise that would alter the course of his career- a series of pioneering “son et lumière” shows designed and executed with the composer and sound artist Henry Jacobs in San Francisco’s state-of-the-art Morrison Planetarium. For two years Belson and Jacobs dazzled Bay Area audiences with their “Vortex Concerts”, intricate live performances that transformed the planetarium into a unique kind of cinematic space, harnessing the scientific technology as well as projection and sound apparatus to creative a heroic early expression of “expanded cinema”. Anticipating both the psychedelic light show and the art of the VJ.
(Harvard Film Archive is a division of Fine Arts Library of the Harvard College Library. Copyright © 2016 President and Fellows of Harvard College).
Jordan Belson latest film “Epilogue” was commissioned for the Visual Music exhibition at the Hirshhorn – Smithsonian and completed in 2005. It was produced by Center for Visual Music with support from the NASA Art Program. CVM has a current project to preserve, transfer and digitize Belson’s work, in HD versions.
If you wish to help fund this project, visit http://www.centerforvisualmusic.org/Belson/
Main photo: Hito Steyerl (b. 1966), Factory of the Sun, 2015. Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York. Photo by Sarah Wilmer