Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not, and a sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is. - Oscar Wilde
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Animation, Art, and Other Shiny Things
Brave New World is the fourth installment of Beyond the Mind’s Eye and, besides showing off some good video processing power with the geometric transformations, gives us a bit of a virtual tour through a computer. This is 1992, remember, and the Pentium CPU wasn’t released until the following year, so it’s likely patterned on a 486 mainboard – and well patterned I might say, the board is quite recognizable to an old hardware geek like me.
Part two, Panspermia, is based on a 5th century BC Greek idea that life exists throughout the universe and is spread by meteors, comets, asteroids, and the like. (not to be confused with exogenesis which says life on earth was transferred from somewhere else and could care less whether there’s life elsewhere. geocentric snobbery.)
Beyond the Mind’s Eye is the 1992 follow up to The Mind’s Eye and, true to Moore’s Law, the animation has improved in step with the increase in computing power. The music is done by Jan Hammer (yes, he did miami vice too, but don’t hold it against him) and tracks better than parts of the first series.
So, let’s start at the beginning with Virtual Reality…
The Mind’s Eye: A Computer Animation Odyssey is a compilation of computer animated shorts set to an electronic music soundtrack. While it appears to be some pretty rudimentary computer work, back in 1990 when this was released, it was some seriously cutting-edge animation. I wore out several tapes and it solidified my love for animation and electronica.
Creation is the first chapter (of eight) from the video and begins the loose story of a world’s evolution.
Over the next few years a total of 4 Mind’s Eye videos were released (as well as a host of spin-off videos) with soundtracks composed and performed by the likes of Jan Hammer, Thomas Dolby, and Kerry Livgren (of the band Kansas). Although they’ve since been released on DVD, this first installment is still hard to find.
I’ll be posting the other seven videos from this first compilation, about one per week, and see if I can track down offerings from the rest of the Mind’s Eye series.