Animation II

Animation II (1974) strongly emphasizes the process of creating an image, which is a practice Sonnier often uses, including documentation of the activity of producing his works within the works themselves, thus creating a visual and/or aural meta-level of content in which the process literally becomes the work. The video is a document of the process of manipulating and programming with a CAESAR video synthesizer, an early cartoon and text animation tool. Taped at Computer Image in Denver, Colorado, Sonnier’s video documents his investigation of the computer’s parameters, animations, and the computer screen itself. For Animation II, Sonnier used all seven inputs of the computer to combine real-time information with stored source materials. He utilized every possibility the computer offered for the alteration and/or animation of inputted visual data while also documenting the code language used to produce these effects. In the video, this data can be heard read aloud by a female voice along with Sonnier’s verbal instructions to the computer technicians. Before the viewer sees it, she hears the artist explain or command how the image should be manipulated. “I want the full view of the artwork,” Sonnier instructs at one point in the video. His video works produced in the early 1970s further his ambitions to unite various media, originating in his understanding of their differing degrees of intimacy: “Video is closer to life than its competitors. Video is mind to mind, not mind to public. The audience is potentially huge, but intimate.”