Center for Visual Music
Jordan Belson (1926-2011)
Contains News, Bibliography, Biographies, Filmography, Film Notes and more
Biographies: Keefer 2008 and Moritz 1997
Retrospective Program and Tour
‘Jordan Belson is one of the greatest artists of visual music. Belson creates lush vibrant experiences of exquisite colour and dynamic abstract phenomena evoking sacred celestial experiences.’ - Film historian William Moritz
Images from Music of the Spheres artwork, 1977, (c) Estate of Jordan Belson
Currently booking screenings of the Jordan Belson Retrospective program, plus CVM's new program of New Restorations and Discoveries (includes LSD, a presentation reel from Vortex V, and the unfinished Quartet), including a spring Northeast US tour. Also seeking bookings in Australia in August/early September. Both programs include new 16mm preserved prints.
New HD transfers and preservation projects underway; please consider helping digitize Belson's work; Donate via paypal to cvmarchive (at) gmail (dot) com (See below for list of recent donors).
Three films by Belson (Seance, World and Chakra) were in Reflections from Damaged Life: an exhibition on Psychedelia at Raven Row, London, curated by Lars Bang Larsen. September-December. Extensive reviews in artforum, Frieze, CLOSE-UP, more. (NOTE: CLOSE-UP contains errata, especially on Vortex)
Three September Belson events in the UK! Tate Modern, Arnolfini Centre and Raven Row. See CVM's Events page and the Belson Retrospective page, At Tate Modern, the Premiere of new preservation prints of LSD and a Vortex V presentation reel (1959). Program also included the unfinished Quartet (c. 1983). This new program from CVM also screened in December at UCLA Film and Television Archive's Billy Wilder Theatre, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles.
New HD transfers and preservation projects underway; new 16mm preserved print of LSD
Spring, 2013: Re-entry in Berlin exhibition
Fall 2012 dates for screenings of the Retrospective program in New York, Boston, Toronto and other cities, details here.
CVM has received a preservation grant for the film LSD, and several reels of Belson's experiments, some from the Vortex Concerts c. 1959.
CVM gratefully thanks those who have recently contributed to the digitization and preservation project for Belson's films: Scott Snibbe, Scott and Isabel Draves, Stephen Fisher, Michael Robinson (PA), Suzanne Perkins & Bertram Gordon, Marcos Ortega Miranda, John Teton, Stephen Fisher, David McConville, Stephen Beck. Please consider helping; Donate via paypal to cvmarchive (at) gmail (dot) com
Some first SD tests from this project: excerpts from Music of the Spheres and Bardo (2001) on vimeo.com. Coming soon: HD excerpts from World and other films.
JANUARY 2012 NEWS: Belson's film Allures (1961) has been added to the National Film Registry List (Library of Congress), for films deemed to be "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant.
PREVIOUS NEWS:Filmmaker/artist Jordan Belson died peacefully early Tuesday morning, September 6, 2011 at his home in San Francisco, of heart failure. He was 85. In lieu of flowers, Belson's long-time partner Catherine Heinrich requested that donations be made to Center for Visual Music's preservation and digitization work to continue preserving the legacy of Jordan Belson. A Memorial screening occured October 19 at Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, of CVM's Program Jordan Belson: Films Sacred and Profane, which included an unreleased film by Belson called Quartet. CVM is planning Tribute Retrospective screenings for other cities and festivals through 2012. Details to follow as confirmed, see Screenings special page or visit CVM's screenings and events page.
Before his death, Belson signed a statement asking people not to put his films online, as low res copies do not do justice to his work. However, we have permission to put a few short high resolution excerpts online - we're raising money now to transfer and digitize from the originals and preservation masters. Help us put a few high quality clips online from World and other films. (Image from World). Contact cvmarchive (at) gmail (dot) com, or Donate via paypal to cvmarchive (at) gmail (dot) com. Our address and phone # are at bottom of page.
Jordan Belson, Experimental Filmmaker, Dies at 85. New York Times obit by Margalit Fox, Movies section, Sept 10.
Please see the Belson bios below. We've posted obits and news items on his death, at the bottom of the Belson Bibliography page.
Gene Youngblood will publish a very short remembrance of Belson in the next issue of Millenium Film Journal.
Top (blue) image from Belson's film Samadhi (1967). Second image from World. If you are use images from this page on your blog or site online, PLEASE credit courtesy Center for Visual Music, www.centerforvisualmusic.org
Still from Allures (1961)
Biographies: Keefer 2008 and Moritz 1997
Bibliography with links to selected Texts
Retrospective Program and Upcoming Tour
Jordan Belson: 5 Essential Films DVD (2007)
Allures (1961), Samadhi (1967), Light (1973), Fountain of Dreams (1984), and Epilogue (2005)
About the Films on the DVD
Stills from Allures, Samadhi, Epilogue (c) Jordan Belson
Color, Sound, 4 x 3
Order here: CVM order page
by Jordan Belson. Produced
by Center for Visual Music
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