Photo © Larry Cuba

Larry Cuba
*1950 in Atlanta (US), lives and works in Santa Cruz (US)

»Animation Notebook 2010«
2010, generative animation, video, 70 min.

»Animation Notebook 2012«
2012, generative animation, video, 13 min.


In the 1970s, back in the »mainframe era« before personal computers were developed, just getting access to a machine to work on was a major hurdle for artists. This changed in the late 1990s when PCs conquered the majority of households. Larry Cuba, who had been working on computer technology since 1974, was finally able to work in his studio at home. In 2013, a computer failure halted the project he was working on for several years, a project conceived during a residency at ZKM in 1995. Fortunately, we still have his notebooks full of experiments that now, twenty-two years later, return to their place of origin for their first public presentation, and offer the viewer some glimpses of the research process itself.

The principle behind the films is simple: algorithms are written to generate animation. The code is based on algebra and a hierarchical structure of picture definitions and functions. There is no predefined visual goal or target in mind; moreover the animation emerges from the execution of the algorithm with each successive experiment. In this sense, each parameter represents an axis in a multidimensional space of possible results.

In essence, Cuba's artistic practice explores the intriguing relationship between verbal representation of processes (code) and visual expression of form in motion (animation).

»Animation Notebook 2010«, 2010, video still, photo © Larry Cuba
»Animation Notebook 2012«, 2012, video still, photo © Larry Cuba
»Animation Notebook 2012«, 2012, video still, photo © Larry Cuba