GLEAM (Glasgow Electronic and Audiovisual Media) Festival, University of Glasgow, 30th – 31st October 2014


University of Glasgow, University Concert Hall, Thursday 30th-Friday 31st October, 2014 

To honour the centenary of Scottish-Canadian filmmaker and artist Norman McLaren (1914-1987), the first annual GLEAM (Glasgow Electronic and Audiovisual Media) Festival will celebrate his lasting influence, situating contemporary works of ‘visual music’ within the current context of audiovisual practice and providing opportunities for cross-disciplinary and cross-institutional collaboration.

“Fischinger was one of the great formative influences in my life. Around 1935, […] in my student days at the Glasgow School of Art […], I saw for the first time […] Oskar Fischinger’s film done to Brahms’ ‘Hungarian Dance No. 5’. […]. The experience made an incredible impression on me, […], and was to have a profound, long-lasting influence on many of my films.”  (McLaren, 1975)

It is only fitting that the McLaren centenary celebrations should extend to involve the city of Glasgow. McLaren spent three years at Glasgow School of Art studying art and interior design and it was here that he first began to experiment with the moving image, and discovered the work of Oskar Fischinger, which was to influence him profoundly.

“Even though this [spatio-temporal] art […] has been in the collective imagination […] it was a technological impossibility until the development of computer graphics.” (Whitney, 1976).

The audiovisual relationships first explored by Fischinger and McLaren have continued to be developed by a wide range of audiovisual artists, much aided of late by increasingly inexpensive and accessible technologies.  Computer graphics and visual music pioneer John Whitney anticipated the appeal of this medium in 1976:

GLEAM 2014 takes McLaren’s work as a jumping off point from which to discuss and disseminate contemporary sonic and audiovisual work, both theoretical and practical.

Tickets for all GLEAM 2014 events are free of charge and can be booked here:

If you have any questions or queries about the GLEAM festival 2014, please email



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