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Book contract for monograph on the late, great animator Adam K. Beckett!

Updated: Feb 10, 2020

Still image from Evolution of the Red Star by Adam Beckett, showing the obsessive drawing of lines creating the form of a star surrounded by abstract, undulating shapes.

After years of research and work with the Adam K. Beckett project, I have a publisher for the book I have hoped for and persistently worked towards. CRC Press, a division of Taylor & Francis Group have signed me on for a e-book (print on demand) that while limited in word space, will be a comprehensive look at his art and how his too brief life shaped the incredible work he left us.

For those of you new to the work of Beckett and the ongoing project, here's a brief capsule of the project and an introduction to Adam. The project began in the spring of 2003. I was on research leave with a mission to delve into Visual Music, specifically to interview and document the insight of Bill Moritz. That did not happen and that's another story. As often happens, if one allows, a closed door can lead to another path, and one question - who is Adam Beckett? - led to more questions and I soon was shoulders deep in research. This research project was housed under The iotaCenter, then located in Culver City. They provided the resources and non-profit status to apply for grants and to have Adam's films restored, thanks to the National Film Preservation Foundation and the incredible work of Mark Toscano at the Academy Film Archive.

The films were restored, I presented Adam's work at a number of venues, including REDCAT and the National Gallery of Art in DC, and a DVD of his work was released. His films are now streaming online through Kanopy, and on through subscription to The iotaCenter Vimeo site. Actual films (!!!) are available through Canyon Cinema.

Adam was a shooting star in 1970s independent animation in the United States. He is known for his cosmic imagery and for a technique I call the evolving cycle. He was an alchemist of the optical printer, working obsessively to transform simple drawings into a complex cosmology of form and movement. He was working at the intersection of emerging video image processing, computer graphics, and hand-drawn artistry. While his work originated with drawing his process paralleled that of complex computation.

Want to know more? Visit the 'writing section of my website and also the project page of The iotaCenter website - and keep an eye out for my forthcoming book!

And, the researcher/sleuth in me has to add - if you knew Adam or have information about his life and work, please contact me. I am gathering the pieces, like frames in an animation, to formulate the most integral, accurate and meaningful picture of Adam.

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