Ron Green Animation-3: Jennings' and Turing's Machines

Film/Video

Ron Green 
Animation-3: Jennings' and Turing's Machines

Film Studies Lecture Series

Ohio State's Program in Film Studies offers students and the campus community the opportunity to think historically and critically about the entire culture of global cinema. The program partners with the Wexner Center's media arts department on cosponsored lectures and selected screenings.

Tue, Mar 5, 2013 4 PM

Ohio State History of Art Professor Ron Green discusses cinematic animation from the perspective of evolving machines, specifically through the work of British documentarian Humphrey Jennings and WWII code breaker Alan Turing.

Jennings documented WWII as a natural culmination of the Industrial Age, which he called “Pandaemonium.” Turing’s contributions to code breaking (especially of the German Enigma machine code) are often credited with saving Britain and helping the Allies win. He also, inadvertently, enabled nuclear war by contributions to the development of the computer. As a result, today’s media artists inherit the power and implications of a new kind of animation, one that is perhaps beyond their understanding, and thus beyond their control. For media artists, their closest, most essential tools are an awesome and fearsome sublime.

This talk is drawn from Green’s ongoing examination of the film/video loop, a repeating form of cinema that has emerged as a pervasive element of modern media, from the looped installations of gallery-based moving image art, to the serial structure of all cinematic frame-by-frame motion, to the algorithms of software, and even to the subliminal, serial, nanosecond, electronic clockworks of computer hardware, which are everywhere singing below our consciousness at superhuman frequencies.

Cosponsored with Ohio State’s Film Studies Program.