When bad poetry and basic computer graphics collide

Series of 1960s films tried to merge graphics with poetry and freeform jazz

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In this video from the AT&T Archives, we get presented with a bunch of films from 1964 through 1969, courtesy of artist Stan VanDerBeek and computer scientist Ken Knowlton, entitled "PoemField".

As AT&T explains, "each film was constructed using Knowlton's BEFLIX computer language, which was based on FORTRAN. The films were programmed on a IBM 7094 computer. The films were created in black and white, with color added later by Brown and Olvey."

While by today's standards, this is pretty basic stuff (even in the early '80s, I was programming graphics like this on my TRS-80 Color Computer) - but back then, this was mind-boggling (although I'm not sure about the freeform jazz music).

Keith Shaw rounds up the best in geek video in his ITworld.tv blog. Follow Keith on Twitter at @shawkeith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

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