September-December 2000: Newsletter #3 December 2000

Newsletter #3 December 2000

From: Larry Cuba (cuba@WELL.COM)
Date: Wed Dec 13 2000 - 00:23:47 PST

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    The iotaCenter....... Newsletter # 3 ....... December 2000
    Abstraction / Animation / Music


    1. New Books and Videos Added to iotaCenter Store
         Just in Time for Your Holiday Shopping
    2. More Screenings for KINETICA 2
    3. Jules Engel Animation Drawings Available
    4. Michael Friend Joins Board of Directors

    News from The iotaCenter Discussion List
    5. The iotaCenter Blasted in Vicious Indictment
    6. Copyright Infringement Battle Raging

    A. About The iotaCenter
    B. Subscribe/Unsubscribe Information

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    1. New Books and Videos Added to iotaCenter Store
         Just in Time for Your Holiday Shopping

    In addition to the collected works of Oskar Fischinger
    available on VHS in two volumes, we've added a
    30-minute documentary on Fischinger, produced in
    1977 and featuring Elfriede Fischinger and William
    Moritz being interviewed by John Canemaker.

    Other documentaries from this "Camera Three" series
    are available on Len Lye, John Whitney, Hans Richter,
    and Norman McLaren.

    We've also added the catalogs from several exhibitions
    of abstract films:

    "Articulated Light" (The Harvard Film Archive, 1995),
    "First Light" (The Anthology Film Archive, 1998), and
    "KINETICA 2," The iotaCenter's current travelling exhibition.

    Check out the rest of the new additions online:

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    2. More screenings for KINETICA 2:
    A Centennial Tribute to Oskar Fischinger

    KINETICA 2 was successfully screened at
    The Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley
    Harvard Film Archive, Cambridge, and
    The National Gallery of Art, Wash.DC

    Upcoming screenings are listed below.
    More details will be posted on our website
    at as they
    become available

    The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
    Dec. 13, 20, 2000, Programs 2 and 3
    Information: 216-421-7340
    Advance Ticket Sales: (216) 421-7350 or (888) 262-0033

    Animac Festival, Cinema d'animacio, Lleida Spain
    Feb 1-4, 2001, Programs 1 and 2

    Northwest Film Forum
    Experience Music Project, Seattle, WA
    March 14 and 21, 2001, Programs 1 and 3

    Madison Cinematheque,
    University of Wisconsin at Madison, Madison, WI
    April 14, 2001, Programs 1 and 2

    For those who didn't receive The iotaCenter's last newsletter,
    the description of this program is repeated here:

    This year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of
    Oskar Fischinger (1900-1967), one of the most prolific and
    influential artists of the avant-garde film movement.
    To commemorate Fischinger's centennial year, The iotaCenter
    produced a three-part screening series for New York's
    Museum of Modern Art.

    The Film Archive of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and
    Sciences has spent the last year restoring Fischinger's major
    films from the original 35mm nitrates. This retrospective series
    is the debut for many of these beautiful brand new 35mm

    The series also features a presentation by art historian and
    Fischinger biographer, William Moritz, and a program of film
    and video by a few of the many artists Fischinger influenced
    and inspired with his work.

    This series is the second installment of The iotaCenter's annual
    touring program, KINETICA. For a complete schedule and more
    information on Fischinger and this series, please check our website:

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    3. Jules Engel Animation Drawings Available

    Artist/Animator/Educator, Jules Engel, has donated
    several drawings to The iotaCenter's fundraising

    The drawings are from his films "Play Pen" and
    "The Meadow" and can be viewed online at:

    Those interested in purchasing a drawing should
    contact Cindy Keefer via phone at 310 842 8704 or
    via email at

    "Jules Engel is an artist who creates a visual
    environment in which he fervently pursues an
    absolute choreography of line and color through
    the language of abstraction. An early California
    modernist, Engel crosses the formal boundaries
    of painting, printmaking, film and sculpture as he
    intuitively deconstructs the notion of movement
    as rhythm."

    from Exhibition Notes by Janeann Dill

    "While at Disney, Engel designed the choreography
    for the Chinese mushrooms in Fantasia. He was
    also a founding member of the innovative animation
    studio, United Productions of America (UPA). As a
    partner with Herb Klynn in their animation studio,
    Format Films, Engel received an Oscar nomination
    for an animated film scripted by Ray Bradbury,
    Icarus Montgolfier Wright."

    from Jules Engel, The Mentor by Janeann Dill

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    4. Michael Friend Joins Board of Directors

    At a meeting held on November 12, 2000,
    The iotaCenter's Board of Directors elected a
    new member to the board, Michael Friend.

    Michael Friend is an accomplished and widely respected
    film archivist and film historian. He has worked for
    the UCLA Film and Television Archive, Universal Studios,
    and the American Film Institute. He as been a consultant
    for Sony, the Hearst Corp., the Andy Warhol Foundation
    and a host of other media and technology films.

    He was Director of The Film Archive at The Academy of
    Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and serves as the chair
    of the Technical Commission of the International Federation
    of Film Archives. He has also taught film at UCLA and USC
    and lectured extensively on issues of media history and

    We are most fortunate to have Michael with us to
    help guide and direct the future of The iotaCenter.



    The iotaCenter maintains an ongoing discussion
    via email and the web. Below are a couple of recent
    subjects of conversation.

    An archive of all the messages posted to the iotaCenter's
    discussion group is available here:

    To join the group, please use the form on our site:

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    5. The iotaCenter Blasted in Vicious Indictment

    The iotaCenter's online discussion list was the
    target of a vicious indictment in an essay by
    Ron Pellegrino entitled, "Visual Music and the
    iota List."

    In describing our group, Mr. Pellegrino used such
    inflammatory language as "followers," "appropriators,"
    and "intellectual property thieves."

    Rather than rebut his unfounded charges
    here, I'll post my comments to the list itself.

    Mr. Pellegrino writes that he, "... joined the iota list
    at its inception searching for other artistic
    perspectives on plumbing the depths of visual
    music and as a field test of the tenor of those
    expressing interest in visual music."

    After Mr. Pellegrino spent "about a year and half of
    researching the iota list," he unsubscribed and published
    his evaluation on his site: "The Electronic Arts of Sound
    and Light."

    When I started the discussion list, I was gratified to
    have Mr. Pellegrino involved. Because of his pioneering
    work in this field, I considered him one of our elder statesmen
    and was appreciative of his support.
    It's disappointing to find that rather than joining our effort to
    form a coalition of all practitioners of our artform,
    he was merely testing us and so ready to disown us
    at the tender age of one and a half.

    The full text of his article can be found here:

    Please post your comments about this article by
    sending an email to

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    6. Copyright Infringement Battle Rages

    As an homage to Oskar Fischinger, and a test
    of his own abilities with FLASH (the software for
    web-based animation), Chris Casady created
    a Flash-based animation of a segment of the
    film, "Allegretto."

    He posted the animation as a Quicktime clip
    on his website along with a short clip of
    Fischinger's original version of "Allegretto"
    for comparison.

    Oskar Fischinger's daughter, Barbara Fischinger,
    representing the current copyright holder of
    "Allegretto," The Fischinger Trust, requested that
    Mr. Casady remove the material from the web
    and destroy all the files.

    Mr. Casady has complied by removing the clips
    from his website, but these events have sparked
    a lively debate on both the legal questions involved
    and whether the parties acted in the best interest
    of either themselves or the community.

    You can check out the progress of this discussion
    by visiting the list's archive or you can join the fray
    by becoming a member of the list via the links
    mentioned above.

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    A. About The iotaCenter

    "Color Music," "Visual Music," "MusiColor,"
    "Mobilcolor," "Lumia," "Absolute Film," "Video Synthesis,"
    "Image Processing," "Abstract Animation,"...

    The iotaCenter is a non-profit organization dedicated
    to preserving, promoting and celebrating the art of sound
    and light and movement in all its many forms and under
    all its various names.

    The iotaCenter's Research Library in Los Angeles
    houses the world's largest collection of materials devoted
    to abstraction in film, video, performance, installation and
    computer-animated art. Its website is the neighborhood
    center for a growing worldwide community of artists,
    writers, scholars and supporters involved in this art form.

    More information on The iotaCenter and abstraction in
    media art can be found at

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    B. Subscribe/Unsubscribe Information

    If you are not interested in receiving further issues of
    The iotaCenter's Newsletter, please reply to this email
    with the word "unsubscribe" on the subject line.

    If this email was forwarded to you, you can receive future
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    Send a blank email to:

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    If you have any questions about this email or any of the
    activities of The iotaCenter, please write to me at
    I welcome your comments.
    Thank you.

    Larry Cuba

    The iotaCenter
    3765 Cardiff Avenue #305
    Los Angeles, CA 90034
    (310) 842 8704

    For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <>.

    Booking information and comments.

    ©1996-2004 Ron Pellegrino and Electronic Arts Productions. All rights reserved.