Mary Ellen Bute


CVM's Bute Research Pages : Bute on her Films

Selected Statements by Bute About her Films


     Ted Nemeth and Mary Ellen Bute



"We need a new kinetic, visual art form - one that unites sound, color and form. We can take a mathematical formula and develop a whole composition exactly synchronized - the sound and the color following a chromatic scale. Or we can take two themes, visual and aural, and develop them at times in counterpoint." Bute quoted in "Color, Sound, Light Dance with Harmonious Steps in "Synchromy," Art Form Created by Texas Girl." New York World-Telegram, July 20, 1936.

"For years I have tried to find a method for controlling a source of light to produce images in rhythm. I wanted to manipulate light to produce visual compositions in time continuity much as a musician manipulates sound to produce music." from "Abstronics" in Films in Review, June-July 1954. Reprinted in Russett, Robert and Cecile Starr, Experimental Animation: An Illustrated Anthology (New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1976)

"Ted Nemeth, ace cinematographer and film producer, photographed RHYTHM IN LIGHT. He not only filmed my first productions but taught me enough about motion picture photography so that I now expend only about 97-1/2 % of my vital energy on the technical realization of my ideas and have a full 2-1/2 % left over for creative work." from "New Film Music for New Films" (M.E. Bute)

Reaching for Kinetic Art, (originally published in Field of Vision, No 13, Spring 1985). PDF.

"I am often asked how I moved from abstract films to Finnegan's Wake? It's plausible...Joyce's premise: "One great part of every human existence is passed in a state which cannot be rendered sensible by the use of wide-awake language, cut-and-dry grammar and go-ahead plot." Is, like abstract films, about our 'inner' landscape. Joyce, like Whitman, and much Art, is about the essence of our Being; so, we're traveling on the same terrain." from NYFA Biography (biographical notes written by Bute), n.d.


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