A Charming Cartoon by Charles and Ray Eames Links Creativity, Innovation, and Data

More

The Information Machine, produced by the Eameses in 1958, explores the birth of computing from a philosophical angle. Reflecting the polymath couple's multifaceted work, the film celebrates artists, engineers, and designers, and men and women, equally. "These men -- and women -- were artists and had certain characteristics in common. They were seldom bored with anything. They were constantly building up stores of information in active memory banks," the narrator explains. Above all, the film asserts, these innovators excelled at relating existing knowledge to new problems. Math and computation are "an enormous help to creative thinking." From Newtonian physics to the room-sized computers of the 1950s (which are rendered adorably in the film's scrappy cartoon style), computation is at the heart of human ingenuity. Courtesy of the Prelinger Archive, the film is a must-see for any Eames fan. 

For more films from the Prelinger Archive, visit http://archive.org/details/prelinger.

Jump to comments

Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg joined The Atlantic in 2011 to launch its video channel and, in 2013, create its in-house video production department. She leads the development and production of original documentaries, interviews, and other video content for The Atlantic. Previously, she worked as a producer at Al Gore’s Current TV and as a content strategist and documentary producer in San Francisco. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University.
Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon About the Toys in Your Cereal Box

The story of an action figure and his reluctant sidekick, who trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Juice Cleanses: The Worst Diet

A doctor tries the ever-popular Master Cleanse. Sort of.

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Video

What If Emoji Lived Among Us?

A whimsical ad imagines what life would be like if emoji were real.

Video

Living Alone on a Sailboat

"If you think I'm a dirtbag, then you don't understand the lifestyle."

Feature

The Future of Iced Coffee

Are artisan businesses like Blue Bottle doomed to fail when they go mainstream?

Writers

Up
Down

More in Video

Just In