Mary Ellen Bute was one of the first female abstract animators. She first studied painting in Philadelphia but felt this medium did not enable her to use light in the way she desired.She then studied stage lighting at Yale University where she took great interest in the color organ ( a device that demonstrates how sound influences light colors) eventually creating her own. From that point Bute became very interested in electronic art as well as translating sound into a visual animated art form. Bute studied amongst avant-garde musicians Joseph Schillinger and Leon Theremin who collaborated with her on many pieces. Together they used optical color projection synchronized to music. Bute's work is visually poetic focusing on movement form and color exemplified in Spook Sport (1939) and Synchromy No. 4(1938): Escape; Her films also display a great influence of science and mathematics. Although Bute is not very well known today, this was not always the case. Many of her animations appeared in movie theaters as shorts before a feature film. This allowed her work to be seen by a large amount of people a luxury many abstract artists did not get to experience.
In Synchromy No.4 one can definitely see the influence of science and math with the different geometric shapes and grids. These images are combined with a very free flowing background that looks like liquid or clouds.