The elusive Hy Hirsh is revived by iotaCenter

The remarkable experimental films of American Hy Hirsh (1911-1961) are largely unseen.

Hirsh started as a camera operator and advertising photographer, then in the early ‘50s began to make his own abstract animation through an inventive range of techniques and apparatus, including oil wipe machines, oscilloscopes, stereoscopy and Beat jazz. He moved to Europe and continued this experimentation until he died of a heart attack in Paris in 1961.

Much of his work has disappeared. Many of the surviving films had been (re)edited by him for presentation as ‘happenings’, with live sound. Now the iotaCenter organisation in Los Angeles is piecing together material about Hirsh and his work.

The main website of the iota community, “dedicated to the art of light and movement”, details their latest Kinetica 3 North American touring programme which includes newly-preserved Hirsh titles.

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