American experimental filmmaker Stan Vanderbeek began his career in the 1950’s after having studied art and architecture in New York and North Carolina.
His earliest period (1955-1965) is marked by his animated painting and collage films which the artist and critic Daryl Chin regarded as having an “enormous vitality, bounding inventiveness and incendiary wit which was shared by such other collagists as Robert Breer, Bruce Conner, Dick Preston.” Films such as Science Friction (1959, 10’), Breathdeath (1963, 15’), A la Mode (1959, 7’) and Achoo Mr. Kerrooschev (1960, 2’) are from this period.
In the 1960’s, in the context of his expanded cinema research, Vanderbeek started his audacious project of the “Movie Drome” theater, a space that allowed him to create an appropriate environment for his synesthetic works, which included film, performance and dance among other disciplines. The filmmaker spent about 10 years developing this project, which consisted of a huge dome that surrounded the audience and engulfed them in the images projected all around them.
From the mid-1960’s, Vanderbeek ‘s appetite for exploring new technologies increased and tools such as video played a major part in the filmmaker’s work. This can be seen in his computer-animated films from this period such as Symmetricks (1972, 6’) and the Poemfield series of 8 computer generated animations (1966-1971). His work with computers and experiments with holograms reflected his desire to use the most complex technology to get as close as possible to the functioning of the human nervous system.
In addition to his creative work in the fields of film and video art, Vanderbeek was a faculty member and artist-in-residence at a number of major universities. He died in 1984.
A documentary film by Pip Chodorov on the history of experimental film. Includes a 56 page book on the film.
Nine films by Stan Vanderbeek.