Larry Cuba

Larry Cuba

Death Star

Larry Cuba (b. 1950) is a computer-animation artist who became active in the late 1970s and early 80s. Born in Atlanta, he did his Master’s Degree at California Institute of the Arts which includes parallel schools of Dance, Music, Film, Theater, Fine Arts, and Writing.

In 1975, early computer animator 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.’ Cuba also provided computer graphics for ‘Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope’ in 1977. His animation of the Death Star is shown to pilots in the Rebel Alliance.

‘3/78 (Objects and Transformations)’ (1978) was created in Chicago with Tom DeFanti’s Graphic Symbiosis System GRASS, and consists of sixteen ‘objects,’ each composed of 100 points of light, some of them geometric shapes like circles and squares, others more organic shapes resembling gushes of water. Each object performs rhythmic choreography, programmed by Cuba to satisfy mathematic potentials.

‘Two Space’ (1979) consists of full-screen image- patterns which parallel the layered continuities of classical gamelan music (Indonesian). Using a programming language called RAP at the Los Angeles firm Information International Inc. (III), Larry was able to systematically explore the classic 17 symmetry groups, a technique used by Islamic artists to create abstract temple decorations.

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