Selected Films | Videos | Digital Animations | Documentaries

“To me, Lillian Schwartz’s work is multi-dimensional. It extends through all the arts: formal arts, plastic arts, graphic arts, film and television.

We can trace her work in film and video through her contributions to new editing techniques, the underlying structures that conform her work in abstract imagery, followed by her concerns with filming techniques and themes in using the computer with real imagery, her work in creating a new style of documentary, special effects and the underlying infrastructure in all of her work, most notably the computer-generated television announcement created for the opening of the new Museum of Modern Art.

But beyond that is her engagement with the other intellectual disciplines that form the seeds of her work – mathematical structures encompassed in computer art – and her ability to interact with collaborators in all those areas. Indeed, if there is anything that is symptomatic of the caliber of her work it is that it is never an accidental happenstance.”

–Patrick Purcell


Copyright © 1970 AT&T. All rights reserved.

“With computer-produced images and Moog-synthesized sound Pixillation is in a sense an introduction to the electronics lab. But its forms are always handsome, its colors bright and appealing, its rhythms complex and inventive.” – Roger Greenspun, N. Y. Times. Golden Eagle-Cine 1971. Moog sound by Gershon Kingsley; Version III: pulls the viewer into a primal experience. Awards:Red Ribbon Award for Special Effects from The National Academy of Television, Arts & Sciences; The Smithsonian Institution and The United States Department of Commerce, Travel Services for Man & His World at the Montreal Expo, ’71; collection The Museum of Modern Art. Commissioned by AT&T. Recent screening at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, December 10, 2012.


“UFO’S” – 3 Min
Copyright © 1971 AT&T. All rights reserved.

Music by Emmanuel Ghent. “UFO’S proves that computer animation–once a rickety and gimmicky device–is now progressing to the state of an art. The complexity of design and movement, the speed and rhythm, the richness of form and motion, coupled with stroboscopic effects is unsettling. Even more ominously, while design and action are programmed by humans, the ‘result’ in any particular sequence is neither entirely predictable … being created at a rate faster and in concatenations more complex than eye and mind can follow or initiate.” – Amos Vogel, Village Voice. Awards: Ann Arbor-1971; International award-Oberhausen, 1972; 2nd Los Angeles International Film Festival; Museum of Modern Art collection; Commissioned by AT&T. Recent screening at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, December 10, 2012.

“OLYMPIAD” – 3 Min. 20 Sec.
Copyright © 1971, 1973, 2003 Lillian Schwartz. All rights reserved.

Study in motion based on Muybridge’s photographs of man-running. “Figures of computer stylized athletes are seen in brilliant hues chasing each other across the screen. Images are then reversed and run across the screen in the other direction; then images are flopped until athletes are running in countless ways … not unlike a pack of humanity on a football field.” Bob Lehmann, Today’s Film-maker magazine. Lincoln Center Animation Festival of the 5th New York Film Festival. Recent screening at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, December 10, 2012.


“MIS-TAKES” – 3-1/2 Min.

Music by Max Mathews. A colorful collage, with a subtle ecology theme, made largely from footage from trial runs of programs used for many of the other films.

“AFFINITIES” – 4-1/2 Min.
Beethoven’s variations on Mozart’s “la ci darem la Mano” synthesized on computer by F. Richard Moore. A ballet of squares and octagons in many forms, exhibiting a variety of geometric and sometimes sensuous interactions. Whitney Museum of American Art.

“MUTATIONS” – 7-1/2 Min.

“The changing dots, ectoplasmic shapes and electronic music of L. Schwartz’s ‘Mutations’ which has been shot with the aid of computers and lasers, makes for an eye-catching view of the potentials of the new techniques.” – A. H. Weiler, N. Y. Times. Music by Jean-Claude Risset–commissioned by Office de Radiodiffusion-Television Francaise. Golden Eagle-Cine 1973; Red Ribbon award – Special Effects – National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences; Cannes Film Festival, 1974. Recent screening at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, December 10, 2012.

“APOTHEOSIS” – 4-1/2 Min.

Music by F. Richard Moore. “Apotheosis, which is developed from images made in the radiation treatment of human cancer, is the most beautiful and the most subtly textured work in computer animation I have seen.” – Roger Greenspun, N. Y. Times Award Foothills-1973. Recent screening at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, December 10, 2012.

“GOOGOLPLEX” – 5-1/2 Min.

Extended editing techniques based on Land’s experiments affect the viewer’s sensory perceptions. “This viewer also found ‘Googolplex’, the six-minute computer-made compilation of swiftly-moving patterns … to be inventive, eye-catching examples of technical professionalism.” – A.\ H. Weiler, N. Y. Times. Lincoln Center Film Festival. Recent screening at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, December 10, 2012.

“ENIGMA” – 4 min. 20 sec.
Copyright © 1972, 1973, 2003 Lillian Schwartz. All rights reserved.

“Lines and rectangles are the geometric shapes basic to ENIGMA, a computer graphics film full of subliminal and persistent image effects. In a staccato rhythm, the film builds to a climax by instantly replacing one set of shapes with another, each set either changing in composition and color or remaining for a moment to vibrate strobiscopically and then change.” – The Booklist. Awards: Foothills-1972; Kenyon-1973; 16 mm. de Montreal; 5th Annual Monterey Film Festival; 2nd Los Angeles International Film Festival; Nat. Acad. of TV Arts & Sciences; Spec. Effect (72). Recent screening at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, December 10, 2012.

“MATHOMS” – 2-1/2 Min.

Music by F. Richard Moore. A playful concoction of computer produced images, a few hand-animated scenes and shots of lab equipment. Made largely from left-overs from scientific research. Whitney Museum of American Art.


“PAPILLONS” – 4 Min.

Mathematical functions are the basis for a science film on contour plots and an art film. Both are shown simultaneously at a two screen production for an IEEE conference in NYC. Beauty in Science & Art. Recent screening at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, December 10, 2012.

“INNOCENCE” – 2-1/2 Min.

Music by Emmanuel Ghent. Computer generated music and visuals films directly from a color TV monitor.



Changing parameters on mathematical equations. “As expert hands in the complex techniques of integrating the computer and animation, L. Schwartz makes fascinating use of exotic, flowing forms, colors and electronic music in METATHESIS.”- A. H. Weiler, \f2N. Y. Times\f1 Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Kennedy Center in Washington.

“MIRAGE” – 5 Min.

Music by Max Mathews. Filmed directly from color television controlled by computer programs. Beautifully flowing shapes that overlap and intertwine.

“MAYAN” – 7 Min.
This tape combines live-images filmed in the Yucatan with output from the Paik video-synthesizer ribboned with computer-generated images. Post-production completed at WNET, Channel 13 as part of the Artist-in- Residence program.

“GALAXIES” – 4-1/2 Min.
Music by F. Richard Moore. Computer-simulated disk galaxies that are superimposed and twirl through space in beautiful colors at different speeds. Computer – Dr. Frank Hohl. NASA, Langley Air Force Base. Recent screening at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, December 10, 2012.

“METAMORPHOSIS” – 8 Min. 15 Sec.
Music Symphony in D Major by Salieri. “As expert hands in the complex techniques of integrating the computer and animation, L. Schwartz and Ken Knowlton make fascinating use of exotic, flowing forms, colors and electronic music in ‘Metamorphosis’.” – A. H. Weiler, N. Y. Times. “Schwartz’ METAMORPHOSIS is a complex study of evolving lines, planes, and circles, all moving at different speeds, and resulting in subtle color changes. The only computer-generated work on the program, it transcends what many of us have come to expect of such film with its subtle variations and significant use of color.” – Catherine Egan, Sight Lines, Vol. 8, No. 4, Summer 1975. Sinking Creek-1974; 1975 American Film Festival “Film as Art”. A three screen production.


“ALAE” – 5 Min.

Music by F. Richard Moore. “The most fascinating use of the computer in filmmaking that I have seen recently is in L. Schwartz’ ALAE. Beginning with footage of sea birds in flight, the film image is then optically scanned and transformed by the computer. The geometric overlay on live random motion has the effect of creating new depth, a third dimension. Our perception of the birds’ forms and movements is heightened by the abstract pattern outlining them. Even if you suffer from the delusion that if you’ve seen one computer film, you’ve seen them all, give this stunning, original film a chance. Should you remain unconvinced, ALAE is a good example of the fact that computer technology seems destined to play an important role in animation.” – Jana Varlejs, Cine-Opsis, \f2Wilson Library Bull.\f1, March 1976. Whitney Museum of American Art.

“COLLAGE” – 5 1/2 Min.

Music by Joe Olive. A swift moving assortment of moving images. Filmed from a color TV monitor that was computer controlled.

“KINESIS” – 4-1/2 Min.

Music by Albert Miller. Escher-like images stepping through the frames to the music of a jazz group. Delightful–shows a depth in the imagery not accomplished by computer before. Oberhausen 1976.


“ON-LINE” – 10 Min.

Music by Albert Miller. Musicians and dancer perform in real-time while Schwartz plays a computer-keyboard to create special effects on a computer-controlled video-visual communication system. 1st Rock Video. Channel 13, WNET.

Music “Quartet in F” by Maurice Ravel, performed by Max Mathews. Subtly colored images combining microphotography and computer generated images with unique editing sequences that propel the viewer into a spiral-like endless vortex. Three music tracks were produced by the Groove System – a computer-controlled sound synthesizer.

“FANTASIES” – 5 Min. 15 Sec.

Computer generated images used as counterpoint to music “Fantasia & In Nomine” by John Ward, performed by Elizabeth Cohen, Max Mathews, and Gerard Schwarz.

“LA SPIRITATA” – 4 Min. 20 Sec.

Music “Canzoni per sonar a quattro” by Giovanni Gabrieli, performed by Elizabeth Cohen, Max Mathews, and Gerard Schwarz. Images generated by computer.

Music by Albert Miller. Picture-processed photos from the artist-filmmaker’s family. Faces are abstracted in a divisionistic manner. “… one of the great motion pictures of our time. While embracing the full range of human activity from cradle to old age, the production illuminates with deep feeling the many elements of present-day technology in filmmaking and the expanded cinema. It is truly a work of genius.” – John W. L. Russell, International Media Coordinator, USIA. Awards – Golden Eagle-Cine 1976; Grenoble Film Festival Award 1976, International Women’s Film Festival 1976. Cannes Film Festival.


Produced by Larry Keating for AT&T. “THE ARTIST AND THE COMPUTER is an excellent introductory informational film that dispels some of the “mystery” of computer-art technology, as it clarifies the necessary human input of integrity, artistic sensibilities, and aesthetics…. Ms. Schwartz’s voice over narration explains what she hoped to accomplish in the excerpts from a number of her films and gives insight into the artist’s problems and decisions…. I would recommend THE ARTIST AND THE COMPUTER for all grade levels, in classes on filmmaking, art appreciation, and human values.” – John Canemaker, Film News, Animation, Jan.-Feb. 1978. Cine Golden Eagle 1976; New York Film Festival; USIA – Animation and Education 1977; Annual Creative Problem Solving Institute, 1980. Recent screening at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, December 10, 2012.



The artist uses the computer to accent and control a mime’s disciplined choreography. Studies in facial distortions with lens distortions. Channel 13, WNET.

“DANCER” – 10 Min.
The movements of a dancers body are recorded, studied, reshaped, to understand the anatomical ranges of joints. Music by Albert E. Miller.

“ENSEMBLE” – #1 3 Min. #2 3 Min.

Music by Albert E. Miller. Combination of musicians and dancers in free form movements captured by computer-controlled-video which permits distortions and variations of the imagery. Continued experimentation with Rock Music and performers.

“JUGGLER” – 2 1/2 Min.

Music by Albert E. Miller. Computer-controlled ability to store one frame in the computer and combine this frame with the incoming frames permits freeze frames of a juggler as well as synthesized images. The paths of a jugglers handling of balls through the air can be examined in slow motion. Shown at The Kitchen on Mercer Street.

“NINO” – 5 Min.

Music by Albert E. Miller. Experimental work with dancer and musicians to combine and present an unusual choreography of performers and music as a unified force.

“TROIS VISAGE” – 11 Min.

Music by Frank Lewin. Study of the mood changes between three heads with slow moving subtle differences. Two heads are made of wood. The third head is of the artist L.S. UNESCO sponsored exhibition in Paris in 1978. Award in international competition – Japan, 1980 . Sponsored by Victor Co., JVC, Burston-Marstellar agency.

“VAIL OF YEARS” – 11 Min.

Slow disintegration and aging of artists head, revealing underlying bone structure.


Music by Webern; synthesized by computer by Max V. Mathews and Elizabeth Cohen. Crystal growth by Charles Miller. Animated paints by Lillian Schwartz. Abstract images of frame-by-frame animation with subtle growing effects of crystals are enhanced by polarized colors. IRCAM, Paris.

“L’OISEAU” – 4 Min.

Music by F. Richard Moore. A single bird in flight is transformed, enhanced and interpreted so as to present a unique visual experience. From its original inception in a 128 frame black-and-white sequence it evolves by programmed reflection, inversion, magnification, color transformation and time distortion into the final restructured film as art. Director’s Choice and Purchase Award – Sinking Creek 1978; Zagreb ’78 International Animation Film Festival.

“VAIL OF YEARS” – 10 Min.

Computer-controlled images showing the slow disintegration of the artist’s face not unlike “Dorian Gray”. Channel 13, WNET.


“NEWTONIAN II” – 5 1/2 Min.

This film is strongly rooted in its underlying mathematical structure which forms the basis for the images. The music by Jean Claude Risset is integral to the creation of this concert of space and time. First World Animated Film Festival in Varna, Bulgaria (1979).

“NEWTONIAN I” – 4 Min.
An illusion of 3 dimensions is achieved by a blending of mathematics and physics to carry the spectator through a new range of audio and visual dynamics. The illusion is further enhanced by moving objects through space such that they are covered and uncovered in encounters with other objects, an expert use of color and a unique musical score by Jean-Claude Risset. University of Marseilles, Opera House – Sidney Australia.

A new documentary form that intermixes live action, still footage, computer images, dance and poetry to achieve an artistic and intellectual union. Neruda’s life unfolds and becomes the basis for the symbolic representation of his poem “Barcarola”. Invited to the Venice Biennale, 1981. Director’s and Writer’s awards Santa Fe Film Festival.


“RITUEL” – 30 Min.
Music performed by The New York Philharmonic Orchestra and conducted by Pierre Boulez. Schwartz manipulates by computer, in real-time the images of the Maestro to realize a unity between his music and the picture. Premiered at IRCAM in Paris. Presented International Video Art Festival, Portopia ’81 in Kobe, Japan.


“CARTHAGE 146 B.C.” – 29 Min.
The Legend – History – Excavations of Carthage
The computer was used to reconstruct the military and commercial harbors of ancient Carthage, to represent the changes from the Phoenician alphabet to the Greek and then into Latin, and to electronically reconstruct and identify the remains of urns. Nominated for an Emmy. Funded by The Corporation For Public Broadcasting.



New pixel-editing techniques extends the psychology of perception and won Schwartz an Emmy. Commissioned by The Museum of Modern Art. Funded by IBM.


“BEYOND PICASSO” – 3 Min. 15 Sec.
Schwartz reordered and combined angular contours, broken planes, and distorted proportions in her own pictorial structures to go beyond Picasso.


A 4 minute video based on flowing changing images from liquid-like faces to flashing abstract imagery. Music by Jean-Claude Risset.



A number of telephones from the very first invention by Alexander Graham Bell to the present-day cellular and voice phones are morphed in an inventive choreography. Produced/Directed/Edited by Lillian Schwartz, Morphing by Juliet Martin. Music by Al Miller.

The Bell Labs Technical Journal was created as a multimedia Web site.

Videos Commissioned by Bell Laboratories:

  • Morphing of AT&T Logo into Lucent Logo and Morphing of AT&T CEOs into Lucent CEOs for First Lucent Meeting
  • StoryBoard – On-Line Service Offering Tool: Rozsa Kovesdi.
  • The Morphing of the Telephone – A visual history of the telephone.
  • Eye to Itm Gesture Video Interfaces 4:50
  • Speak ‘n Surftm Speech Controlled WWW Browser including demo of Inferno Browser.
  • MOM -Lucent’s Residential Gateway


THE 6′ TILT: The Rise & Fall of The Leaning Tower of Pisa
A finite element model of the Leaning Tower is constructed to test the changes in the soil mechanics and the varying temperatures of the sun and their effects which may offer clues to stabilizing the Tower as well as determining the date of its demise. The videotape covers the history of the Tower and the people involved in these new technologies to aid in its survival.

Videos Commissioned by Bell Laboratories:

  • Handwriting Recognition & Authorization
  • Chip Scale Modules
  • Steerable Beam Antennas
  • Thin Film Resonators
  • Tools for IC Wireless Designs

Videos Commissioned by Bell Laboratories:

  • One Chip Digital Video Camera
  • PathStar


Videos Commissioned by Bell Laboratories:

  • Software Verification
  • Bell Labs MicroStar enabling Lucent’s WaveStar Lambda Router
  • Bandwidth Explosion
  • Worldwide Connectivity In Production
  • Dark Matter-New Discoveries In Production