The Machineries of Joy

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Bear, Greg. "The Machineries of Joy." Early Harvest. Cambridge, MA: NESFA P, 1987. Coll. Tangents. New York: Quester-Warner, 1989.

A major SF author talks about the possibilities of computers. GB remarks enthusiasically about the potential of computers, especially for computer-generated graphics. "In the last ten years, the progress has been astounding; around the world, computers are helping to create images for scientific research, education, fine arts, and entertainment. Sometimes the divisions between these categories are erased; the enchanting beauty of a moving computer image can turn a prosaic enterprise—such as stress analysis of pipe joints—into art" (229-30). "Not since Leonardo da Vinci have so many technical disciplines been required of working artists. Not only must they have basic drawing and drafting skills" to do computer- or computer-aided graphics," but they must know at least the rudiments of programming. They must understand how light reflects, refracts, and diffuses—and be able to translate their knowledge into terms the computer can digest. The artist can no longer stand aloof from science and math" (231). Handles briefly computer work in the Genesis sequence in STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN, and TRON (1982), and the use or lack thereof of computers in the making of STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, 2001. Briefly handles "live computer art performance, where performer and audience are one," as in the installation by Ed Tannenbaum of Raster Master in San Francisco's Exploratorium: "A video camera photographs people in a room as they move about and then feeds their images to a computer. The result is projected in real-time . . . on a large screen, allowing infinite varieties of human-machine artwork. Children can dance and paint with their bodies, becoming their own kaleidoscopes" (236). Rev. Jerry L., Parsons, SF&FBR Annual 1990: 198.

RDE, Title, 10Aug19