Light Shows/Multimedia Shows

3 Expanded Cinema

Early pioneers of expanded cinema included Charles and Ray Eames, whose Sample Lesson (1951) and Glimpses of the U.S.A. (1959) used multiple screens (seventeen for the latter); Stan VanDerBeek, an experimental film animator who began screening multiple projections of random images in his especially constructed Movie-Drome in Stony Point, New York, which he began in 1963; and the art troupe the US Company (USCO), or The Company of US. USCO was formed by Gerd Stern, a poet from San Francisco who around 1962 had begun collaborating with a painter, Stephen Durkee, and then with a technician, Michael Callahan, on multimedia performances. They moved into a disused church in upstate New York and developed multimedia events heavily influenced by LSD that united the cults of mysticism and technology as a basis for introspection and communication,[1] supposedly effecting psychic transformation in their audiences. Touring and proselytizing widely, and frequently visiting Timothy Leary’s estate in Millbrook, New York, the troupe received considerable mass-media publicity. Also associated with USCO were the video artist Jud Yalkut and Stewart Brand, creator of The Whole Earth Catalog. These and similar innovations were brought together at the symposium Expanded Cinema, held at the New York Film Festival in 1966, and explored in a special issue of the avant-garde journal Film Culture, entitled Expanded Arts.