Larry Cuba at the Big Screen Plaza

As part of LISA’s partnership with the Big Screen Plaza, we will be showing several of Larry Cuba‘s works during the month of September on the Big Screen at the Eventi Hotel at 30th and 6th in Manhattan.  We are excited that Larry is working with us for this project.


Larry Cuba is widely recognized as a pioneer in the use of computers in animation art. Producing his first computer animation in 1974, Cuba was at the forefront of the computer-animation artists considered the “second generation” — those who directly followed the visionaries of the sixties: John Whitney, Sr., Stan Vanderbeek and Lillian Schwartz.

While still a graduate student at The California Institute of the Arts, he was convinced of the artistic potential of computer graphics, but this was years before art schools began teaching the subject. Cuba’s solution was to solicit access to the mainframe computers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab and teach himself computer animation by producing his first film, First Fig.

In 1975, John Whitney, Sr. invited Cuba to be the programmer on one of his films. The result of this collaboration was Arabesque.

Subsequently, Cuba produced three more computer-animated films: 3/78 (Objects and Transformations), Two Space, and Calculated Movements. These works were shown at film festivals throughout the world—including Los Angeles, Hiroshima, Zagreb and Bangkok—and have won numerous awards. Cuba’s been invited to present his work at various conferences such as Siggraph, ISEA, Ars Electronica, and Art and Math Moscow and his films have been included in screenings at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, The Hirshhorn Museum, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Amsterdam Filmmuseum and the Isetan Museum of Art, Tokyo.

Cuba received grants for his work from the American Film Institute and The National Endowment for the Arts and was awarded a residency at the Center for Art and Media Technology Karlsruhe (ZKM). He has served on the juries for the Siggraph Electronic Theater, the Montpellier Festival of Abstract Film, The Ann Arbor Film Festival and Ars Electronica.


Segment Name: Two Space (1979)
8 minutes
16mm, B/W

Two dimensional patterns, like the tile patterns of Islamic temples, are generated by performing a set of symmetry operations (translations, rotations, and reflections) upon a basic figure or tile.

Two Space consists of twelve such patterns produced using each of nine different animating figures (12 x 9 = 108 total). Rendered in stark black and white, the patterns produce optical illusions of figure-ground reversal and afterimages of color. Gamelan music from the classical tradition of Java adds to the mesmerizing effect.

Big Screen Schedule:

September’s Leaders in Software and Art choices (a 60-min. loop), including works by Larry Cuba, Bret Battey, Makoto Yabuki, and repeat performances by Dennis Miller, Eva Lee, Mark Stock and  Matt Pearson, are expected to show on the Big Screen at the following times (schedule subject to change.  Please check schedule at before attending).

9/8 @ 1-2pm
9/9 @ 9-10am
9/9 @ 11am-Noon
9/10 @ 4-5pm
9/11 @ 9-10am
9/13 @ 10-11am
9/15 @ 12-2pm
9/15 @ 7-9pm
9/18 @ 8-9pm
9/21 @ 3-4pm
9/23 @ 9-10am
9/25 @ 9-10am
9/27 @ 10-11am
9/28 @ 10-11pm
9/29 @ 12-2pm
9/29 @ 8-9pm