The History of Crossover Art
- Digital Art - John Whitney


John Whitney is a filmmaker, composer and visual artist, who started using the computer in 1961. Whitney tried to find a way to connect visual information to music. He was striving to invent a "synthesizer for the future". Developed with Dr Jack Citron, the Whitney-Reed RDTD (Radius-Differential Theta Differential) was the tool with which John Whitney was able to able to redefine audio-visual composition. For Whitney it was the beginning of the future of his vision of digital harmony, one which he left for future artists to continue. "I've struggled to define my vision. The union of color and tone is a very special gift of computer technologies."

John Whitney: RDTD. 1989

Fig.: John Whitney: RDTD

 

Watch the Quicktime Video of a rendering of "RDTD".

FILMOGRAPHY

Untitled film of lunar eclipse.
1939. 5 min. Color. Silent. 8mm

Twenty Four Variations. (with James Whitney)
1939-40. 5 min. Color. Silent. 8mm

Three Untitled Films. (with James whitney)
1940-42. 5 min. ea. Color. Silent. 8 mm.

Film Exercise #1. (with James Whitney)
1943. 5 min. Color.
Sound: Synthesized pendulum music.

Film Exercise #2 and #3. (with James Whitney)
1944. 4 min. Color.
Sound: Synthesized pendulum music.

Film Exercise #4. (with James Whitney)
1944. 7 min. color.
Sound: Synthesized pendulum music.

Film Exercise #5. (with James Whitney)
1944. 5 min. color.
Sound: Synthesized pendulum music.

Celery Stalks at Midnight
ca.1952. 3 min. Color. (oil-wipe technique)
Music: Will Bradley-Ray McKinley Orchestra,
Celery Stalks at Midnight.

Hot House
ca.1952 3 min. Color. (oil-wipe technique)
Music: Dizzy Gillepsie Quintet.

Mozart Rondo
ca1952. 3 min. Color (oil-wipe technique)
Music: Mozart's Rondo a la Turca.

Old MacDonald Had a Farm
ca.1952. 3 min. Color. (oil-wipe technique)
Music: children's song

Chimes Blues
ca.1952. 3 min. b/w. (oil-wipe technique)
Music: Turk Murphy

Third Man Theme
ca.1952. 3 min. b/w. (oil-wipe technique)
Music: Zither by Anton Karas.

Down home rag.
ca.1952. 3 min. b/w. (oil-wipe technique)
Music: Red Nichols, Down Home Pig

Egyptian Fantasy.
ca.1952. 3 min. b/w. (oil-wipe technique)
Music: Sidney Bechet and his New Orleans Footwarmers
Egyptian Fantasy

I Want to Linger.
ca. 1952. 3 min. b/w. (oil-wipe technique)
Music: Pete Daily.

Drums West.
ca. 1952. 3 min. b/w. (oil-wipe technique)
Music: Shelly Manne.

Lion Hunt.
1955. 3 min. Color. Sound. 35mm.
(Produced at UPA Studios)

Blues Pattern
1955. 3 min. Color. Sound. 35mm.
(Produced at UPA Studios)

Performing Painter.
1955. 3 min. Color. Sound. 35mm.
(Produced at UPA Studios)

Catalog. (Collection of Computer Graphic effects)
1961. 7 min. Color.
Music: Ornette Coleman.

Hommage to Rameau. (Computer Graphics)
1967. 3 min. Color.
Music: Rameau's La Timide and Premier Tambourin from
Pieces De Clavecin En Concerts.

Permutations. (Computer Graphics)
1968. 8 min. Color.
Music: Indian tabla music by Balachandra on 16mm prints.

Experiments in Motion Graphics
(Silent film to accompany his lecture to the 1967 Aspen Design conference).
1967. 13 min. Color.
Sound: Narration added in 1968.

Osaka 1-2-3. (Computer Graphic).
1970. 3 min. b/w.
Music: Kabuki Music.

Matrix I. (computer-graphics).
1971. 6 min. Color.
Music: Antonio Soler sonatas arranged and performed on piano by Delores Stevens.

Matrix II. (Computer-graphics).
1971. 6 min. Color.
Music:From Terry Riley's Rainbow in Curved Air.

Matrix III. (Computer Graphics).
1972. 11 min. Color.
Music: From Terry Riley's Rainbow in Curved Air.

Hex Demo. (Silent computer graphic film to accompany lecture on Digital harmony).
1973. 3 min. b/w.

Arabesque (Computer Graphics).
1975. 7 min. Color.
Music: Manoocheher Sadeghi.

Permutations II. (Computer Graphic footage of Permutations, re-edited).
1979. 7 min. Color.
Music: Original score composed by William Kraft.

Spirals.
1988

Victory Sausage.
1988-92

Pianna Split.
1988-94

Nicolas' Birthday.
1988-91

Prelude #VI - Claude Debussy 1988-93

Debussy tuer
1988-93

To Milton Babbit
1990-91

Four Bagatelles- Six Short Duets.
1988-93

IBM Show
1987

Sonatina in Four Movements
1988-94

J'azz Age
1988-91

Moondrum. Twelve Works for Videodisc.
1989-1995.