Last weekend we took the kids to a few small art galleries in Bergen. At two, Jessica has been well-trained, and loves to go to “art zeums” (art museums), and Scott and I are all for encouraging family outings that we grownups actually would have enjoyed without kids as well. At Hordaland Kunstsentrum we discovered the artist Len Lye, whose movies seem strangely digital but were made in the 1930s. Here’s an example – I especially love the bit from just after two minutes in and onwards.

2 thoughts on “len lye’s 70 year old “flash” style animations

  1. M-H

    As a kiwi I have heard of Len Lye, although I’ve never seen much of his work. You know he used to paint directly onto the film? Thanks for posting the film.

  2. KDS

    Thanks for sharing this movie. Although modern music videos boomed around the eighties, he history of the combination of movie projection with sound performances started in fact in MDCLIX with the invention of the “magic lantern” by the Dutch genius Christian Huygens. An astonishing number of tricks were used with this forerunner of cinematography to project a visual story with somewhat coarse movement, but with great artistic effect to accompany a tale or song. (In the early 1990s I was lucky enough to work in the same department as Prof. W. Wagenaar, who attained fame for demonstrating these magic lantern techniques.) Len Lye is an important figure in the long history of music videos. Lye was very much ‘avant garde’ in the sense that he used seemingly primitive techniques, but he applied these with great skill and artistic feeling, producing stunning results that are perhaps unrivaled in its genre.

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