ACMI

Oskar Fischinger: Raumlichtkunst

Presenting a reconstruction of one of the first multimedia projections ever made: Oskar Fischinger’s Raumlichtkunst, first shown in Germany in 1926, and restored and reconstructed by the Center for Visual Music…

Exhibitions

Event Details

Category

Exhibitions

Venue

Gallery 1, Ground Floor, ACMI

Location

Fed Square

Presenting a reconstruction of one of the first multimedia projections ever made: Oskar Fischinger’s Raumlichtkunst, first shown in Germany in 1926, and restored and reconstructed by the Center for Visual Music (CVM) in Los Angeles.

In 1926, abstract filmmaker Oskar Fischinger (1900–67) began performing multiple projector cinema shows in Germany with up to five 35mm film projectors, color filters and slides. Fischinger wrote of his concept of Raumlichtmusik (space-light-music), believing all the arts would merge in this new art. The critics called his performances ‘Raumlichtkunst‘ and praised Fischinger’s “original art vision which can only be expressed through film.” These shows represent some of the earliest attempts at cinematic immersive environments, and are a precursor to expanded cinema and 1960s light shows.

Under the concept name of ‘Raumlichtkunst‘, Fischinger performed several different versions of these multiple projector shows in the late 1920s, some of which were called Fieber and Macht (Power). Our re-creation does not strive to represent any one specific performance, rather the concept and effect of Fischinger’s series of shows.

Working with Fischinger’s original 1920s nitrate film, Center for Visual Music restored and reconstructed the 35mm film via traditional photochemical processes, transferred to HD, digitally restored the color, and reconstructed this three-screen recreation of his c. 1926–27 performances. The three-screen installation is projected in HD video. No documentation exists of the original music used, other than reports of “various percussive” accompaniment. For this re-creation we have chosen to use Varèse’s ‘Ionisation’ and two versions of ‘Double Music’ by John Cage and Lou Harrison.

 Center for Visual Music

CVM’s Film Restoration was supported by an Avant-Garde Masters Grant funded by The Film Foundation, administered by The National Film Preservation Foundation.

Curator/archivist Cindy Keefer

Music supervisor Richard Brown, Ph.D.

Thanks to Barbara Fischinger, Cinemaculture, Film Technology, Co., Hollywood, and William Moritz

For more information, visit ACMI