We’ll be up at Press Play in Newcastle this weekend, taking part in their closing do along with People Like Us and Warp Films. Seeking something playful to fit the bill we encountered the work of Al Jarnow, a self-taught animator who has been plotting his own special path from a Long Island attic for over thirty years. His first commercial gig was a ‘Y For Yak’ film for Sesame Street, and he went on to make over 100 films with the Childrens Television Workshop including this futuristic 1979 riff on Powers of Ten (please excuse the pixelvision):
Alongside the public TV commissions Jarnow continued to make his own work, informed by a deep fascination with maths and geometry, and like the best experimental films each one follows an idea to its natural conclusion. Celestial Navigation begins by charting the movement of sunlight across his attic wall, and winds up on Salisbury Plain exploring the shadows cast by Stonehenge. Shorelines creates visual music with hundreds of seashells, and Cubits is a head-spinning fugue for lovers of logic built around one rotating cube:
We’ll be showing some contemporary work in a similar vein as well as a couple of earlier films that helped to pave the way, including the mixed-media sketches of Robert Breer, and there’ll also be a flipbook competition on the night with a chance to win a fabbo dvd of Jarnow’s work recently put together by US label Numero Group.