Experimental animator Al Jarnow is best known for the shorts he contributed to the children's shows Sesame Street and 3-2-1 Contact, but this survey of his work from 1968 to 1987 shows him to be a multifaceted artist. Drawing on stop-motion and time-lapse photography, flipbooks, and eventually early computer animation, Jarnow transformed investigations of perspective, geometry, and science into delightful, whimsical vignettes. Rotating Cubic Grid (1975), for example, is an intense geometric exploration of a cube-based shape as it steadily morphs and spins, but Jarnow adds a dash of humor with a Sisyphean human figure that tries in vain to climb the object. Autosong (1976) is a mesmerizing highway dream that takes a sudden left turn when its protagonist—a Volkswagen Beetle—drives up an endless set of stairs in a downtown building. Also on the 90-minute program is Asymmetric Cycles: The Work of Al Jarnow, a succinct documentary produced by Chicago's Numero Group for a new DVD collecting 45 of his short films.
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