Wayne Boyer and Larry Janiak:
Camera and Line


Thursday, October 1, 6:00 p.m.
Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St.

Chicago at mid-century was home to a remarkable group of artists who bridged European modernism, pop, and psychedelia in brilliant personal and work-for-hire films. Among the most accomplished were Wayne Boyer and Larry Janiak, who trained at László Moholy-Nagy's Institute of Design, worked for Morton Goldsholl's design studio, and helped found the Center Cinema Coop, an important distribution collective. Both produced expressive and technically masterful films; Boyer's explore visual abstraction through appropriation and in-camera effects while Janiak's examine the inner life through direct animation and personal fragments of the everyday. This long overdue survey presents key works from the 1950s–70s and brings new insights to their achievements.

1955–75, USA, 16mm and DCP, ca 70 min + discussion

Featuring Faces and Fortunes (Goldsholl Associates, 1959), Drop City (Wayne Boyer, 1968), Disintegration Line #1 (Larry Janiak, 1960), The Building: Chicago Stock Exchange (Wayne Boyer, 1975), Adams Film (Larry Janiak, 1963), Agamemnon in New York (Wayne Boyer & Larry Janiak, 1964), Stone Reflection (Wayne Boyer, 1970), Disintegration Line #2 (Larry Janiak, 1970). Followed by a roundtable with Boyer, Michael Golec, Associate Professor of Design History at SAIC, and Anne Wells, Collections Manager for the Chicago Film Archives (CFA). Presented in collaboration with the CFA.

Wayne Boyer (1937, Chicago) began making animated films as a teenager when he discovered that his father's 8mm movie camera had a single frame release. He went on to study at the Institute of Design and, along with Larry Janiak, headed the newly formed filmmaking division at Morton Goldsholl Design Associates, an award-winning graphics and industrial design studio. In 1965 he was invited by the University of Illinois at Chicago to establish a photography, film, and animation program in the School of Art & Design. During his tenure there, he established his own studio, producing public service, educational, and personal experimental films. He was part of Chicago's early underground filmmaking community and a member of the Center Cinema Coop, an artist-run distributor for independent films. He is currently Professor Emeritus at UIC.

Larry Janiak (1938, Chicago) began making films as a student at Chicago's Lane Tech High School. He studied at the Institute of Design and, along with Wayne Boyer, headed the newly-formed film division at Morton Goldsholl Design Associates. Janiak left Goldsholl in 1968 for the Institute of Design, where he taught design animation and experimental filmmaking courses for 12 years. He played an active role in Chicago's underground film community, helping to found Center Cinema Coop, an artist-run distributor of independent films, and a film workshop and screening space in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood. He devoted himself to spiritual practice in 1983 and lived at the Vivekananda Vedanta Temple and monastery until the early 1990s.  


Wayne Boyer, still from Drop City (1968). Courtesy the artist and the Chicago Film Archives Larry Janiak, still from Disintegration Line 2, 1970. Courtesy of the artist and the Chicago Film Archives