Animation I 1973 Color 14 min, sound

(2m18s excerpt)

Animation I was made with a computer, "Scanimate", that is able to control the scan lines of a television and to cue information into certain lines. The computer is programmed for three independent visual transformations or channels, similar to audio "tracks". One program of the tape is off-air, using television images, predominantly the questioning of Haldeman by Sam Dash, with the accompanying soundtrack. A second track is done with the Kodaliths, like film negatives. These were placed in front of a lit screen and shot with film that could shoot negative type. The third track involves numbers and letters 1,2,3,4 and A,B, C, D - which cue in information for the entire tape. Thus, showing these as images is like revealing the outline for a script, each figure representing a section of it. The playback on the machine is based on moves that can be divided into 5 parts. Each of which can be animated in a different way. Because "Scanimate" cannot store information or play with more that one part simultaneously it had to be run through three separate steps unlike Animation II.


The soundtrack is composed of texts from newspapers and magazines of July, 1973, including the story of Robert Smithson's death in a plane crash in Amarillo, Texas, and small "human interest" items. These are intercut with commercials and electronic interference. The overall feeling of the tape is political because of this content and because it uses organs of mass media, newspapers and television.