Stan VanDerBeek (1927-1984) shares with artists like Josef Albers,
Aldous Huxley, John Cage, Robert Rauschenberg, and Buckminster Fuller
the legacy of having developed their practice at Black Mountain
College, the creative mecca where these and other thinkers pushed the
edges of visual art, music, literature, technology, and consciousness.
His experimental films of the 1950s blurred dada collage and science
fiction, and he was an early adopter of both analog processes and
computer animation, establishing for him a godfather-like position in
the origin-narratives surrounding new media. His often rough aesthetic
anticipated glitch-fetishism by several decades and drove the
surrealist aesthetic into new territory; yet this is not to say that
his works didn’t go down smoothly. (The internet is full of video evidence of his colorfully dreamy proliferations.)
I am always elated to “discover” another artist from Black Mountain College.