Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Rocky Morton + Annabel Jankel - "Accidents Will Happen" promo - 1979


Jankel also did this wonderful promo for Tom Tom Club 

And this one for her brother Chas Jankel

"She started her career in the late 1970s at the UK-based film production company Cucumber Studios which she founded with her partner - fellow director Rocky Morton. Jankel and Morton specialized in creating music videos, TV commercials and TV title sequences using a combination of live action, animation and the then emerging art of computer graphics. In this period the duo directed several music videos for performers including Rush ("The Enemy Within"), Elvis Costello ("Accidents Will Happen"), Talking Heads ("Blind"), Tom Tom Club ("Genius of Love", "Pleasure of Love", "Don't Say No"), Donald Fagen ("New Frontier") and Miles Davis ("Decoy").

"In 1985, Jankel and Morton won an Emmy Award for their title sequence for the NBC show Friday Night Videos. And that same year their innovative TV commercial for the newly launched soft drink Quatro gained recognition at the British Television Advertising Awards.

"In 2003, their 1978 music video for Elvis Costello's "Accidents Will Happen" was one of only 35 videos selected for inclusion in the Museum of Modern Art's prestigious "Golden Oldies of Music Video" exhibition. Their music videos are found in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

"In 1984, Jankel and Morton co-authored a book titled Creative Computer Graphics that detailed the history of the craft and essayed its future.

"Jankel co-created Max Headroom, a cult cyberpunk character that evolved into multiple TV productions and became very influential in science fiction TV and impacted popular culture in the 1980s. Jankel and Morton first created and directed The Max Talking Headroom Show - an entertainment program that featured comedic sequences, interviews conducted by the Headroom cyber-character and music videos. (Channel 4 - UK and HBO - US). This led to the TV film Max Headroom: 20 Minutes into the Future, also directed by the duo. The TV film in turn inspired the ABC Max Headroom US TV series.

"Subsequent to the success of Max Headroom, Jankel and Morton moved to Los Angeles. They were considered to co-direct the 1988 horror film Child’s Play, the first film to feature the character of Chucky, before Tom Holland was hired. They together D.O.A, a remake of the 1949 film of the same name, starring Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid. The film received critical acclaim in The Washington Post''[10] and from film writers such as Roger Ebert who described it as "a witty and literate thriller".

"Following D.O.A., Jankel and Morton directed the film, Super Mario Bros., a film loosely based on the video game of the same name starring Bob Hoskins, John Leguizamo and Dennis Hopper. The film was set in a dark post-apocalyptic interpretation of the Mushroom Kingdom, as distinct from the colourful cartoonish setting of the game. It was panned by critics, receiving almost universally negative reviews....." - Wiki 

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Peter Donebauer + Simon Desorgher + Ernest Berk - In Earnest (1979)


Peter Donebauer (born 1947) is an English video artist known for designing and building the Videokalos video synthesizer.... He is best known for his video artwork 'Entering', part of his seven-part 'Creation Cycle'. This was the first video piece to be commissioned and nationally broadcast by the BBC on 'Second House'. It was created in real-time at the Royal College of Art television studio and transmitted via a live microwave link to Broadcasting House where it was recorded for later broadcast.

In 1975-76, Donebauer partnered with Richard Monkhouse to develop the Videokalos colour synthesizer. It decoded the video signal into its red, green and blue components allowing for complex mixing and interlayering of colours and images. The device allowed “video” to be “played live” like a musical instrument.

Utilising the Videokalos synthesiser, Donebauer founded the Video And Music Performers (VAMP) delivering live interactive performances created between video and music performers. VAMP toured the UK in 1978-79 and had a retrospective performance at Tate Britain in 2006.

Donebauer created other commissioned works within The Creation Cycle, including 'Struggling', a part of his Arts Council award produced in 1974, and three works commissioned by the British Film Institute: 'Circling' and 'Teeming' in 1975, and 'Dawn Creation' in 1976. In 1980 he produced 'Moving' for the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and in 1980-81 'The Water Cycle' for Thorn-EMI. Later works include the 'Mandala' Cycle, 1991, and 'Thames Reflections', 2003.

- Wiki

"Donebauer collaborated over a two year period with the electronics engineer Richard Monkhouse to build the Videokalos Colour Synthesiser, a portable image processing instrument. He explored performance, improvisation and the spontaneous real-time recording of video as an abstract art form, investigating its similarities to music. He formed ‘Video and Music Performers’ (VAMP) in 1979 and presented video in live video-music concerts, often collaborating with musician Simon Desorgher.

“Frequently described as an electronic painter, I have sought to extend the possibilities of the television screen as an arena for the presentation of coloured imagery of the widest range of types.” (P. Donebauer, Video Artists on Tour programme notes, February 1980). Donebauer’s processing of video – his experimentation with abstraction synthesised video and live performance were clearly innovative of their time. Evidently, Donebauer was working with the painterly moving-image, and a scientific/engineering oriented research process; “I have been using this equipment to attempt to create an art form that is simultaneously sound, colour and visual pattern. Video is unique in allowing degrees of visual and aural spontaneity not possible with film. Thus in conjunction with an electronic music composer, I produce work that is neither music nor visual art but a combination of created sound with created vision.” -  Rewind


Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Overton Loyd - Parliament TV commercials


"Overton Loyd is a American caricaturist, comic artist, animator and illustrator, best known through his association with funk legend George Clinton. He created the comic book inside the sleeve of Parliament's album 'Funkentelechy vs. the Placebo Syndrome' (1977) and illustrated the covers of the band's subsequent three albums. Together with Pedro Bell, Ronald P. Edwards and Diem Jones, he contributed to Clinton's P-funk philosophy and wacky public image. And together with these artists and people like Cal Schenkel (Frank Zappa), Hipgnosis (Pink Floyd) and Lemi Ghariokwu (Fela Kuti) Bell was one of the best known album cover artists who gave one specific musician or band a visual identity. 

"He refers to his style as "funk aesthetic" and/or "bop art." His fine art paintings go by the monicker "urban expressionism". The artist is convinced that art can ignite a breakthrough in communication, allowing people to shift their consciousness, embrace their humanity and access the eternal, which he summarizes in the slogan: "Transform the Norm". 

"Overton Loyd was born in 1954 in Detroit, Michigan. Among his graphic influences are Salvador DalĂ­, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Edgar Degas. He started his career making caricatures at state fairs and illustrations for magazines....  Loyd got in touch with George Clinton, the eccentic brain behind the legendary bands Parliament and Funkadelic. Funkadelic was known for their psychedelic rock sound with funky grooves parodying that very same genre. Parliament combined outer space-themes with catchy dance music. Both bands promoted peace, free love and black consciousness, but with a sense of humor. Clinton's shows were full of funny lyrics, wacky wigs and costumes, complete with giant UFO's landing on stage. The looniness never got in the way of breathtaking musicianship, performed, among others, by guitarists Bootsy Collins and Eddie Hazel, which sometimes went on for three hours in a never-ending party. At that point Clinton already had a home illustrator, Pedro Bell, but Loyd was just as welcome. Bell and Loyd are often confused with each other and it's not hard to see why. Both were the most productive illustrators George Clinton ever worked with, helping out designing album covers, concert posters and other associated merchandising. The main difference is that Bell had a more amateuristic style, while Loyd was more professionally skilled. Also, Bell was mostly preoccupied with artwork for Funkadelic, while Loyd was the main illustrator behind Parliament's records.

"One day Loyd hung out with Parliament in a hotel room when somebody handed out clown noses for the next stage show. He sketched Clinton with one of these noses, which gave him the idea of a Cyrano de Bergerac-like character. Clinton suggested dressing this character like a stereotypical black pimp and named him Sir Noze D'Voidoffunk. On the concept album 'Funkentelechy vs. the Placebo Syndrome' (1977) the evil Sir Noze tries to fight funk music, personified by the heroic characters Dr. Funkenstein and Starchild. But in the end even he can't resist the groove. Loyd turned this story into an 8-page comic book, printed inside the album's sleeve. The sleeve also featured a poster by Loyd depicting Sir Noze.

"Bell designed the covers for Parliament's next three albums too: 'Motor Booty Affair' (1978), 'Gloryhallastoopid (Or Pin the Tale on the Funky)' (1979) and 'Trombipulation' (1980). Apart from the cover of 'Motorbooty Affair' Loyd created cardboard cutout figures and illustrations of the characters who played a role in the lyrics, including 'Mr. Wiggles' and 'Rumofsteelskin'. He also sang backing vocals on the record and designed costumes for the accompanying tour. To top it all off, Loyd also created a TV commercial to promote 'Motorbooty Affair' , which was his first experience with animation. Inside the sleeve of 'GloryHallaStoopid' (1979) was a comic strip inspired by the album's concept, presented in the shape of a flower bud. Each bud featured a comic strip panel, which one could read in clockwise fashion.

"Over the decades Loyd remained involved with Clinton's entourage, designing costumes, stage shows and album covers for his various musical endeavours. By the 1980s Parliament and Funkadelic were disbanded, and Clinton embarked on a solo career. In 1982 he released the hit single 'Atomic Dog'. The computer animation in the music video by Peter Conn was created by Loyd. Although the single was recorded in 1982 it still took until 17 February 1984 until the video aired on MTV, because at the time the network only gave rock and pop music airplay, thereby excluding all other genres. Thanks to Michael Jackson's monster success in 1983 MTV had to abandon this policy, giving musicians like Clinton airplay. The video won Billboard's "Best Use of Computer Graphics" award. 

".... "While the artist is closely associated with George Clinton, he also designed album or single covers for other musical acts, among them 'With Respect' (1990) and 'Waltz Of A Ghetto Fly' (2003) by Mr. Fiddler. He furthermore livened up the covers of 'Love Sign' (1973) by The Counts, 'Zapp' (1980) by Zapp, 'L.A. Connection' (1982) by L.A. Connection, 'Packet Man' (1990) by Digital Underground, 'Lil Trig' (1991) by Hen-Gree & Evil-E, 'Television, The Drug Of The Nation' (1991) by The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, 'Funkology' (1994) by Dazz Band, 'Jazzonia' (1998) by Bill Laswell's Jazzonia, 'Journey To Anywhere' (2000) by Ugly Duckling, 'Weapon of Choice' (2005) by Nutmeg Party and 'Fish Feet' (2009) by Ron English....

"Inspired by Keith Haring, Loyd started to paint citizens of the Homeless District in Los Angeles and posted these acryllic paintings all through the neighbourhood. His intention was to transform the dilapidated district into a kind of secret popUp gallery, though clear in sight. After noticing some people took them away, he added messages of empowerment for the collectors to carry with them. Over the years Loyd has also collaborated with Gustavo Alberto Garcia Vaca, ManOne and Jim Mahfood. Since the early 1990s his artwork has often been exhibited.

"Overton Loyd, Pedro Bell, Ronald P. Ewards and Diem Jones provided George Clinton's music with a cartoonish visuality in a time when music videos were still rare and most advertising had to be done through tours, radio airplay and record sleeves. Their funky album covers were precursors of the cartoony album covers by some hiphop artists in the next decades. Loyd was a huge influence on comic artists and designers Gerone Spruill, Anya Davidson, Tim Fielder, Dawud Anyabwile and U.S. graffiti artist and muralist Stephen Powers, aka ESPO who once said: "Overton Loyd is as important to me as Henri Matisse."

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Chel White - Choreography for Copy Machine (Photocopy Cha Cha) (1991)


(via Andrew Parker)

"Choreography for Copy Machine (a.k.a. Photocopy Cha Cha) is a four-minute animated film by independent filmmaker by Chel White. All of the film's images were created solely by using the unique photographic capabilities of a photocopier to generate sequential pictures of hands, faces, and other body parts. Widely considered the first noteworthy animated film using this technique, the film achieves a dream-like aesthetic with elements of the sensual and the absurd. The Berlin International Film Festival describes it as “a swinging essay about physiognomy in the age of photo-mechanical reproduction.[5] Filmfest DC calls it, "true art in the age of mechanical reproduction; a rhythmic celebration of a photocopier’s cinematic potential." The Dallas Observer says, "(The film) takes a game we've all played with our hands, faces, and other body parts and raises it to the sublime." The Austin Chronicle writes, "(the film) pulses with a grinding sort of ghostly sexuality.” Alive TV says, "Your relationship to your copy machine may never be the same.” And The Washington Post describes the film as “(a) musical frolic which wittily builds on ghostly, distorted images crossing the plate glass of a copier.”" - Wiki