Pasadena, CA

John Whitney — Matrix III, 1972.

When American John Whitney founded Motion Graphics Incorporated in 1960, he’d already spent two decades working as a mechanical animator and inventor — a career that won him a Guggenheim Fellowship, and saw him working on such seminal visual effects as Saul Bass’ glorious title sequence for Hitchcock’s Vertigo. Using a converted WWII antiaircraft gun director, Whitney built his own 12-foot analogue computer in the 1950s, becoming in the process one of the primitive forebears of computer animation.

Whitney graduated to digital processes by the ’70s, when he created this gorgeously hypnotic film in collaboration with Terry Riley.

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