Expanded Cinema by Gene
Yomgblood - Published by Studio Vista Ltd 1970. Pages; 331 - 334.
Introduction by R. Buckminster Fuller.
"Digitala Pionjarer", by Gary
Svensson, Linkopings Studies in Arts and Science, Linkopings University,
Sweden. Publisher: Carlsson Bokforlag, 2000.ISBN 91 72 03 992 2. ISSN
0282-9800.211 pages. Sjolander
pages: 64-65, 104- 113, 129.
in Late 20th-Century Art", by Dr. Michael Rush, Harvard University,
Publisher 1999. Pp. 92 -93 of 224 pages. ISBN
The Collection Of The Qingdao International Art Exhibition -
China 1999. Catalogue; pp. 11, 296, 316.
Published by Chinese Artist's
Organisation. ISBN 7-5305-1101-7
Art and Australia ( June 1992 Winter/issue,
3 full pages ) - Fine Art Press Pty Ltd. Australia.
The Courier Mail,
Queensland, Australia. Saturday, January 25, 1992; 'Artist to fine tune the
of art', by Sonia Ulliana.
Essere (Vol. 4 1968) by Pierrluigi
Albertoni. Tribunale di Milan, 'La Mec-Art' by Pierre Restany (pp. 13, 15
17, 64, 65)
Video (Monthly Magazine - January 1979) Linkhouse
Publication Group Pty Ltd. UK, 'Video Art at New
Castle' by Mandy McIntyre
Konstrevy (Volume 1) 1963 'Photographic Development' by Kurt
Bergengren. (Pp. 10 - 13, and original
cover art: 'Ready Maid/Pop Art'.
Publisher; Bonniers Bokforlag Sweden.
National Swedish Encyclopaedia - (
'Focus' ) 1967, Publisher; Bonniers Sweden. See 'S' for, Sjölander
Other articles in Europe, Australia, China and USA have been published as
well as radio and television
programs (e.g. catalogue text for
installations/exhibitions) by writers as: Pierre Restany, Paris, Öivind
Fahlström, N.Y., Kristian Romare, Belgium, Prof. Björn Hallström, Stockholm,
Pontus Hultén and others.
1961, (regional Art Gallery Sweden) - Light paintings. Debut. Solo
Exhibition. Catalogue foreword by Oyvind Fahlstrom.
White Chapel Art
Gallery - London, UK. 1963. Light paintings. Selected group exhibition.
Lunds Konsthall (Regional Fine Art Gallery in South Sweden, Lund) 1965.
Simultaneously installation of an outdoor exhibition in Stockholm on
billboard space of Monumental
size. Solo installations.
The 5th Biennale
of Paris, France 1967. Selected group exhibition. Catalogue foreword by Pierre
Gallerie Apollinaire - Milan, Italy 1968, Invited to exhibit
with contemporary all-Italian artists. Selected
Serpentine Gallery, London, UK. 1975. Selected group exhibition
Galleries, Biddick Farm Arts Center, Washington Tyne and Wear, New Castle. UK.
1976 and 1979.
Selected group exhibition/installation incl. Bill Viola, Ed
Museum of Modern Art, Stockholm Sweden, 1981. Electronic
Art, International Exhibition incl.
seminars. Selected group exhibition.
International Video Art exhibition KULTURHUSET Stockholm Sweden 1982.
group exhibition incl. Nam June Paik, Bill Viola, etc etc
of Modern Art - Stockholm Sweden, 1985. 'Swedish Contemporary Art' - Six months
exhibition. Selected group exhibition.
Ethnographic Museum, Stockholm,
Sweden, 1987 and 1988. Video/multimedia installa-tion; 'Body
New Guinea' - 'The South Pacific Festival of Art', Solo installation.
Gallery Umbrella, North Queensland, Australia, 1991. 'Space - the Image of
1997 - China International Sculpture
Invitation Exhibition in Changchun, Jilin province. 'Peace,
Group exhibition. Foreign artists from 10 nations. Permanent
installations of stone sculptures at the
Culture Square in the City of
1999, CHINA, Qingdao, " Trancentury China International
Masterpieces Exhibition '99, August.
Paintings. Qingdao Municipal Museum.
From the Experimental Television Center http://www.experimentaltvcenter.org/ture-sjolander
"The role of Photography" B/w Commissioned by the
National Swedish Television in 1964.
Multimedia/electronic experiment. 30
minutes. Televised 1965.
ELECTRONIC PAINTINGS - TELEVISED 1966 - 1967 -
"TIME" - b/w, Commissioned by the National Swedish Television.
Electronic paintings televised
in September 1996. 30 minutes. A video
synthesizer was built. The same technical system was later
used to create
MONUMENT one year later, 1967.
In principle this process is similar to
methods used by Nam June Paik and others, some years later..
Nam June Paik
visited Elektronmusikstudion in Stockholm July/August 1966, during the festival
of Now" and static pictures from TIME were demonstrated for Paik.
TIME is the first ’video art'-work televised. It was created by manipulation
of the electronic signals and
'exhibited/installed’ through television,
At the same time painting on canvass and paper was made from the
static material, in silk-screen
prints, for a large numbers of Fine Arts
Galleries and Museums 1966, as a matter of irony in ’limited
signed and numbered.
MONUMENT b/w 1967. Electronic paintings televised in
five European Nations; France, Italy, Sweden,
Germany and Switzerland in
1968. MONUMENT reached an audience of more than 150 million viewers.
televised electronic painting was developed into an extended communication
artwork including creation of tapestries, silk/screen
prints, posters, LP/Record Music, paintings on
canvass, and a book,
exhibited in several international Fine Arts Galleries. See text in Gene
Youngblood’s book "Expanded Cinema" 1970.
"SPACE IN THE BRAIN" 1969, 30
minutes. First color electronic signal original painting. Described in
as a Space Opera. Based on authentic material delivered from NASA. Space in the
Brain was a
creation dealing with the space out there - the space in our
brains and the electronic space. It was
contemporary to Clarke's 2001,
except that the Picture itself was scrutinized and focused, in SPACE IN
BRAIN. Static material from the electronic paintings was also this time worked
out into other
medias and materials.
A bestseller posters was produced
1970 and distributed worldwide by Scandecor, Uppsala, and an
named: "Man at the Moon" with Hansson & Karlsson, which was also Televised
after the Moon landing, commissioned by National Swedish
Excerpts from letter from Sherman Price, RUTT ELECTROPHYSICS, March 12,
1974, to the International
Section of Swedish National Television,
I am writing a detailed magazine article about the
history of video animation.
From literature available I gather that a video
film program, "MONUMENT", broadcasted in Stockholm
in January, 1968, was the
first distortion of video scan-line rasters achieved by applying tones from
wave form generators.
This is of such great importance - historically -
that I would like to obtain more detailed documentation
of the program and
of the electronic circuitry employed to manipulate the video images.
understand from your New York office that there may have been a brochure or
about the program.
I will be happy to pay any expense
for publications, photocopies or other documents about the
program and its
production - particularly with regard to the method of modulating the deflection
voltage in the flying-spot telecine used.
“AVideo synthesis" is becoming
a prominent technique in TV production here in the United States, and I
think it will be interesting to give credit to your broadcasting system and
personal for achieving this
Letter from the Manager
of THE PINK FLOYD, 1967, September 11th, 1967.
Dear Messrs Sjolander &
Having seen your interesting Stockholm exhibition of portraits of the
King of Sweden made with
advanced electronic techniques I have been struck
by the connection between this new type of image
creating and the
music-and-light art presented by The Pink Floyd.
I think that your work
could and should be linked with the music of The Pink Floyd in a television
production, and I would like to suggest that we start arranging the
practical details for such a
production immediately. With all his
experiences from filming in the USA and elsewhere I also feel that
Svanberg is the ideal man to help us make the film.
Please get in touch as
soon as possible.
Swedish painter and photographer Ture Sjolander found
the communicative breadth and fluidity of
video imagery immensely appealing.
Working with Bror Wikstrom, he created Time, shown on National
Television in 1966. Time was a half-hour program of "electronically manipulated
According to Chris Meigh-Andrews, author of History of Video
Art, Sjolander "worked with TV broadcast
engineer Bengt Modin to construct a
temporary video image synthesizer which was used to distort and
video line-scan rasters by applying tones from waveform generators."
more, Sjolander and Wikstrom seem to be the first artists to have done so. When
Paik visited Sjolander in July and August of 1966, he saw images
from Time that almost certainly
spurred him onward in his own
image-processing experiments. Further linking the relationship between
and painting, the images in Time were also produced as limited-edition, signed
works silk-screened on canvas.
Sjolander's work the next
year, Monument, was done in collaboration with Lars Weck and featured
image-processed "portraits"--via distorting signals and electronic
filters--of the Mona Lisa, Charlie
Chaplin, Hitler, Picasso, and the
Beatles. Broadcast in five European nations, the program, backed by a
reverberant sci-fi soundtrack of vibraphones and organ washes, was seen by
more than 150 million
people. These electronic paintings were also made into
a variety of still images including tapestries, LP
art, paintings on canvas,
Sjolander, Wikstrom, and Sven Hoglund's 1969 Space in the Brain
extended Frank Malina, Jordan
Belson, and other moving-image artists'
fascination with inner and outer spaces. The artists
images of the Apollo 11 mission--given to them by the American government--into
full-color abstractions to produce a "space opera" set to searing acid rock
by Hansson & Karlsson.
The piece makes use of close-ups of an eyeball,
much in the manner of Kubrick's "Stargate" sequence in
2001: A Space
Odyssey, before layering in shifting, rotating washes of hot pink, searing
electric blue forms, concluding with the overlaying of those
video shapes on top of still images of deep
Monument (1967) ©
2011 Gregory Zinman
The Artist who invented Computer Animation, Aapo Saask,
2004. Translation from an article in Swedish
On an island
aptly named Magnetic Island off the coast of Australia, a Swedish artist lives
in exile. Just
like so many others in today's media-landscape, he was first
praised and then brought to dust.
However, he has left a lasting imprint on
the world. As early as the 1960's, he made the first electronic
Had he been an inventor, he would have been celebrated as a genius today, but
is a predecessor in the world of art, things are different. In
that world, the great ones often have to die
before they are recognized.
We all know how Disney's famous cartoons were made: thousands of drawings,
filmed in sequence.
Even today some films are made this way. However,
electronic animation has opened up a new world
within the film industry and
it has also made computer games and countless graphic solutions possible
business and science.
Pixar, which used to be part of Lucasfilm and then
sold to Steve Jobs in the late 1980's, made the first
animated film called "Andre and Wally B" in 1983. The first feature length fully
animated movie was Toy Story from 1995. It was made by Pixar and distributed
by Disney. Disney had
already started to use computer animation in Little
Mermaid from 1989, and then on through
Aladdin, Lion King, Pocahontas, etc.
In those fantastic movies the pictures were however first drawn on
then scanned into computers for painting and cleanup and superimposition over
Decades earlier, in 1963 Nam June Paik Paik and
Wolf Vostell presented the earliest experiments with
They placed thirteen televisions prepared for the distortion of images on the
among many other objects at the Parnass Gallery in Wuppertal. This
"event" is retrospectively
identified as the beginning of video art.
From 1965-1968, Nam June Paik and Yud Yalkut work with the first
experimental creation of electronic
images, based on the manipulation of
transistors and resistors of a television set, with what was called
synthesizer. These abstract images - waving, and swinging and changing color,
surging forth at
random as a result of maladjustment – show that a monitor
can also be an instrument and not just a
simple receiver of images. Their
experiments were first shown in 1971.
Already in 1965, Ture Sjolander’s
electronically manipulated images were broadcasted by the Swedish
(SVT) and later by other TV-stations in Europe. Among other things, Ture
experimenting with the question of how much the portrait of a
person could be changed before it was
unrecognizable, something which has
pioneered the amazing morph-technique that is used today.
who, alongside with Marshall McLuhan, is the most celebrated media-philosopher
the era, devoted a whole chapter in his book Expanded Cinema, 1970, (Pre
face by Buckminster-Fuller)
to the experiments of the SVT. Expanded cinema
means transgression of conventions as well as mindexpanding
and new definitions. Sjolander’s broadcasts were not technically
sophisticated, but they were ground-breaking.
The film mentioned by
Youngblood is "Monument" (1968) by Ture Sjolander and Lars Weck. The other
televised pioneering animations were "TIME" (1965/66) by Ture Sjolander and
Bror Wikstrom and
"Space In the Brain" (1969) by Ture Sjolander, Bror
Wikstrom, Sven Hoglund and Lasse Svanberg.
Whereas most of the modern-day
artists fade into oblivion, Ture Sjolander has found his place in the art
history by the making of those films.
Ture, a lad from the northern city
of Sundsvall, had instant success with his opening exhibition at the
Sundsvalls Museum 1961. He moved to Stockholm in the beginning of the
1960's. At an exhibition in
1964 at Karlsson Gallery his imagery upset the
public so much that the gallery immediately became the
trendiest place for
young artists in Stockholm.
In 1968, he created another scandal, when the
film "Monument" was televised in most European
countries. For a couple of
years, Ture Sjolander was celebrated in France, Italy, Great Britain and the
USA. In Sweden there was a lot of jealousy. The Museum of Modern Art and the
National Gallery of
Sweden, to name a few, bought his works, but the
techniques he worked with were expensive and after
a few years, he found
himself without resources. Instead he started to work with celebrities such as
Charlie Chaplin and Greta Garbo. They taught him that exile – mental and/or
physical - is the only way
to escape destruction for a creative genius. He
moved to Australia.
Ture Sjolander's works include photos, films, books,
articles, textiles, tv-programs, video-installations,
and paintings – all scattered around the Globe. Tracing will be a challenging
exciting task for a future detective/biographer and web-archaeologist's.
But mostly, his work consists of a life of questioning and creation. This is
what sets him aside as one of
the great artists of the 20th century.
Another forerunner in the art world, the internationally celebrated Swedish
composer Ralph Lundsten,
says in an interview in the magazine SEX, 5, 2004:
"In those days (the 19th century), a painting could
create a revolution.
Today people look idly at all the thousands of exhibitions that there are. ’Hmm.
really. How clever he is’, and they yawn… If I were a visual artist, and
if my ambition was to create
something new, I would devote myself to the
possibilities of the computer."
In 1974, Sherman Price of Rutt
Electrophysics, wrote to the Swedish Television Company (SVT): "Video
Synthesis is becoming a prominent technique in TV production here in the
United States, and I think it
will be interesting to give credit to your
broadcasting system and personnel for achieving this historic
He was referring to Ture Sjolander's revolutionary work in the 1960's. No
one at the SVT could at that
time imagine the importance that this
innovation would have for television, and Sweden therefore lost
position in the computer-development (later called IT) business.
younger generation of computer animators, few know that they have a Swedish
predecessor. Many engineers were probably working away in their cellars in
those days, trying to do
the same thing, but Sjolander was the first person
to show his results on the air. If any of you would like
to have a look at
the Godfather of animation, you can find a good glimpse of him by googling.
has a fascinating web-presence.
He did not seek to patent his
inventions and he has made no money from it. However, he has made it
history books as one of the great precursors of art - and perhaps also of
technology - of the 20th
For the past decades, Ture Sjolander
has mostly lived in Australia, but he has also worked in Papua New
After a couple of decades of silence, in the spring of 2004,
Sjolander's groundbreaking work was shown
at Fylkingen, an avant guard media
and music hide out in Stockholm
In September/October 2004, some of his
recent paintings are to be exhibited at the Gallery Svenshog
Lund, Sweden. This was to commemorate the forty years that have gone by since
(scandalous) exhibition at Lunds Konsthall. Many artists take a
pleasure in provoking the established art
world. Ture Sjolander also
provokes the rest of the world.
Aapo Saask, 2004-09-12
about Sjolander, 1961
We live at a time when borders between the art forms
are constantly being redrawn or abolished.
Poets arrange their poems as
pictorial compositions or record spoken sequences of sound which can
be distinguished from musique concrète. Composers are able to build a complete
around the manipulation of a spoken voice. Artists sometimes
create pictures by striking off newspaper
photographs or mixing
conglomerates of discarded objects and painted areas into something which is
neither picture nor sculpture. Puppet theatre is performed by setting
mobiles in motion in the
constantly changing light effects on a stage.
The border between photography and painting is no longer clear, either, and
it is easy to understand
why this is so. Tinguély, the creator of mobiles,
started out by making a form of reliefs with moving
parts, powered by a
machine placed at the back of them. After a while Tinguély began to wonder why
he could not equally well show the play of cog wheels and driving belts at
the rear and let “machine"
and “shapes" become a united whole.
Similarly, some photographers have asked themselves why the action of light
on photo paper and the
development baths could not become a creative process
comparable with the exposure of a motif; why
camera work and darkroom work
could not become one.
Among those photographers we find Ture Sjölander.
Among those photo graphic artists, as he calls
them, who feel dissatisfied
with the dialectic of the traditional photographer's relationship to his motif:
when he searches for his motif, he is the sovereign master of it, choosing
and rejecting it C. At the very
moment that he touches the trigger, he has
become enslaved to the motif, without any possibility
(other than in terms
of light gradation) to do what a painter does; reshape, exclude, and emphasize
This subjection to the motif does not have to be disrupted
by eliminating the motif. The photographer
simply needs to remove the limits
to what is permitted and what is not allowed. To let the copy of a
remain in the water bath for an hour is allowed (if you want to keep the motif).
But leaving it
there for a couple of days is the right thing as well (if you
want to let the motif diffuse into
deformations soft and silky as fur).
Scratching with a needle or a razor blade is making accidents with
into a virtue, and so on.
In addition, there is the chance of manipulating a
figurative or non-figurative motif by copying different
into it, by enlargements which elevate previously imperceptible structures to
visible level, even up to monumental dimensions. The tension between
scratching lines of light into a
developed (black) negative the size of a
matchbox and enlarging it on the Agfa papers the size of a bed
is where the photographer has at his command tricks of his art which the painter
at any rate seldom uses.
But on the other hand, is the
photographer able freely to experiment with the color? Yes, he is; if he
brushes paint on to the negative and makes a color copy.
He may also,
like Ture Sjölander, brush, pour, draw etc. on a photo paper, possibly with a
copied on to it; with water, developing or fixing sodium
thiosulphite solutions, ferrocyanide of
potassium and other liquids. In that
case the result is a single, once-only, art work. In this way he is able
achieve a tempered and melting color scale of white, sepia, ochre, thunder cloud
silver and possibly also certain blue and red tones.
this area, however, it seems everything still remains to be done, but one single
resources are not enough for the experiments to be conducted
widely and in depth. Sweden has
recently inaugurated its first studio of
When will photographers and painters be given the
opportunity to explore this no-man's-land between
But can photography, in principle, be equal to painting? Is not
the glossy, non-handmade character of
the photo an obstacle? People have
argued in a similar way about enamel work, but that technique is
recognized as totally and completely of a kind with the painted picture. If we
adjust the focus of
the “conventional painting concept" when we are looking
at photo painting, we will perchance discover
that in its singular
immaterial quality it can possess new and suggestive value.
Fahlström, Stockholm, 1961. Translation from Swedish by Birgitta Sharpe
Professor Dr. Bjorn Hallstrom, TIME, 1976
In the short history of video
animation the Swedish artists TURE SJOLANDER and BROR WIKSTROM are
pioneers. Their television art programme TIME (1965 - 1966) seems to be the
first distortion of
video-scan-line rasters achieved by applying tones from
wave form generators.
For almost ten years they have been using electronic
image-making equipment for a non-traditional
statement. It must be kept in
mind, however that SJOLANDER and WIKSTROM have a traditional and
artistic background. Howard Klein likens the relationship between the video
artist and his
hardware to that between Ingres and the graphite pencil. It
should be added that real artists like
SJOLANDER and WIKSTROM have a natural
relationship to any image-making equipment. In that
respect they differ from
most cameramen and tape makers and they may come back some day as
in other fields of art.
In fact they have already surpassed the limits of
video and TV using the electronic hardware to produce
pictures which can be
applied as prints, wall paintings and tapestries.
They have generously
provided new possibilities to other artists, they are not working alone on a
monument of their own.
It is significant that the Royal Swedish Academy
of Fine Arts has decided to support SJOLANDER and
Professor Björn Hallström, Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Art, Stockholm -
Kristian Romare, MONUMENT, electronic painting 1968 by TURE
We create pictures. We form conceptions of all the
objects of our experience. When talking to each
other our conversation
emerges in the form of descriptions. In that way we understand one another.
Instantaneous communication in all directions. Our world in television! The
world in image and the
image in the world: at the same moment, in the
consciousness and in the eyes of millions.
The true multi-images is not
substance but process-interplay between people.
"Photography freed us from
old concepts", said the artist Matisse. For the first time it showed us the
object freed from emotion.
Likewise satellites showed us for the first
time the image of the earth from the outside. Art abandoned
for the transformational and constructional process of depiction, and Marcel
shifted our attention to the image-observer relation.
was perhaps like viewing a planet from the outside. Meta-art: observing art from
That awareness has been driven further. The function of an
artist is more and more becoming like that
of a creative auditor,
investigator and transformer of communication and our awareness of them.
Multi-art was an attempt to widen the circulation of artist's individual
pictures. But a radical multi-art
should not, of course, stop the mass
production of works of art: it should proceed towards an artistic
development of the mass-image.
MONUMENT is such a step. What has
compelled TURE SJOLANDER and LARS WECK is not so much a
as a need to develop a widened, pictorially communicative awareness.
can advance the effort further in other directions. But here they have
manipulated the electronic
transformations of the telecine and the
identifications triggered in us by well-known faces, our
monuments. They are
focal points. Every translation influences our perception. In our
optical image is rectified by inversion. The electronic translation represented
television image contains numerous deformations, which the
technicians with their instruments and
the viewers by adjusting their sets
usually collaborate in rendering unnoticeable.
MONUMENT makes these
deformations utterly visible, uses them as instruments and renders the
television image itself visible in a new way. And suddenly there is an
image-generator, which - fully
exploited - would be able to fill galleries
and supply entire pattern factories with fantastic visual
Utterly beyond human imagination.
SJOLANDER and WECK have
made silkscreen pictures from film frames. These stills are visual. But with
television, screen images move and affect us as mimics, gestures,
convolutions. With remarkable
pleasure we sense pulse and breathing in the
electronic movement. The images become irradiated
reliefs and contours, ever
changing as they are traced by the electronic finger of the telecine.
their production, MONUMENT, SJOLANDER and WECK have demonstrated what has also
maintained by Marshall McLuhan: that the medium of television is
tactile and sculptural.
The Foundation for MONUMENT was the fact that
television, as no other medium, draws the viewers
into an intimate
co-creativity. A maximum of identification - the Swedish King, The Beatles,
Picasso, Hitler etc, - and a maximum of deformation.
that engages our total instinct for abstraction and recognition.
new graphic communication. A television Art.
Kristian Romare, Sweden 1968
(from the book MONUMENT authors Ture Sjolander&Lars Weck)
available at Swedish Television. Also available at http://vimeo.com/turesjolander
"The Role of
Photography" 1965 (17 minutes)
the BRAIN" 1969