Abstract film is a subgenre of experimental film. Its history often overlaps with the concerns and history of visual music. Some of the earliest abstract motion pictures known to survive are those produced by a group of German artists working in the early 1920s, a movement referred to as Absolute Film: Walter Ruttmann, Hans Richter, Viking Eggeling, vincent and Oskar Fischinger. These artists present different approaches to abstraction-in-motion: as an analogue to music, or as the creation of an absolute language of form, a desire common to early abstract art. Ruttmann wrote of his film work as 'painting in time.' Walt Disney used abstract animation for his film Fantasia during the Toccata and Fugue in D Minor segment.
Abstract films are non-narrative visual/sound experiences with no story and no acting. They rely on the unique qualities of motion, rhythm, light and composition inherent in the technical medium of cinema to create emotional experiences. 
Absolute film is an experimental film movement that was popularized by a group of artists in Germany in the 1920s: Hans Richter, Walter Ruttmann, Oskar Fischinger and the Swede Viking Eggeling.
These artists present different approaches to abstraction-in-motion: as an analogue to music, or as the creation of an absolute language of form, a desire common to early abstract art. Ruttmann wrote of his film work as "painting in time". They used rudimentary handicraft, techniques, and language in their short motion pictures that refuted the reproduction of the natural world, instead, focusing on light and form in the dimension of time, impossible to represent in static visual arts.
In 1926, Hans Richter stated that the absolute film originated in the scroll sketches that Viking Eggeling made in 1917–1918.Amy Kravitz
Amy Kravitz is an independent filmmaker and teacher specializing in abstract animation. She is currently a Professor in the Film Department at the Rhode Island School of Design.CNote (film)
cNote is a 2005 National Film Board of Canada animated short by Christopher Hinton, which received the Genie Award for Best Animated Short at the 26th Genie Awards. In this visual music short, Hinton animates to an original modern classical composition by Montreal-based composer Michael Oesterle.Influenced by Futurism and Abstract expressionism, the film was computer animated and represented a departure for Hinton, who generally used traditional animation techniques.Christine Panushka
Christine Panushka is an independent filmmaker, freelance animator, artist and teacher. She is a Professor in the John Hench Division of Animation and Digital Arts at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.Drawn-on-film animation
Drawn-on-film animation, also known as direct animation or animation without camera, is an animation technique where footage is produced by creating the images directly on film stock, as opposed to any other form of animation where the images or objects are photographed frame by frame with an animation camera.Fractal art
Fractal art is a form of algorithmic art created by calculating fractal objects and representing the calculation results as still images, animations, and media. Fractal art developed from the mid-1980s onwards. It is a genre of computer art and digital art which are part of new media art. The mathematical beauty of fractals lies at the intersection of generative art and computer art. They combine to produce a type of abstract art.
Fractal art (especially in the western world) is rarely drawn or painted by hand. It is usually created indirectly with the assistance of fractal-generating software, iterating through three phases: setting parameters of appropriate fractal software; executing the possibly lengthy calculation; and evaluating the product. In some cases, other graphics programs are used to further modify the images produced. This is called post-processing. Non-fractal imagery may also be integrated into the artwork. The Julia set and Mandelbrot sets can be considered as icons of fractal art.It was assumed that fractal art could not have developed without computers because of the calculative capabilities they provide. Fractals are generated by applying iterative methods to solving non-linear equations or polynomial equations. Fractals are any of various extremely irregular curves or shapes for which any suitably chosen part is similar in shape to a given larger or smaller part when magnified or reduced to the same size.Hans Richter (artist)
Hans Richter (6 April 1888 – 1 February 1976) was a German painter, graphic artist, avant-gardist, film-experimenter and producer. He was born in Berlin into a well-to-do family and died in Minusio, near Locarno, Switzerland.Hen Hop
Hen Hop is a 1942 drawn-on-film animation short by Norman McLaren, in which a hen gradually breaks apart into an abstract movement of lines as it dances to a barn dance. One of a number of drawn-on-film animated works created by McLaren, Hen Hop was animated by inking and scraping film stock, with colour added optically afterwards.To make Hen Hop, McLaren spent days in a chicken coop to capture what he called "the spirit of henliness." The film was produced by the National Film Board of Canada.IotaCenter
The iotaCenter (founded 1994) is a Los Angeles-based cinema and visual media non-profit organization.Jeu
Jeu is a 2006 animated short by Georges Schwizgebel. Described as a film about the frenetic pace of modern life, Jeu is set to the scherzo of Prokofiev's Concerto for Piano No. 2, Opus 16. The film has received 12 international awards, including the Silver Dove Award from the international jury for animated film at the International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film, the award for best experimental/abstract animation under 35 minutes at the Ottawa International Animation Festival, and a Special International Jury Prize at the Hiroshima International Animation Festival. Jeu is co-produced by the National Film Board of Canada and Studio GDS.Len Lye
Leonard Charles Huia Lye (; 5 July 1901 – 15 May 1980), was a Christchurch, New Zealand-born artist known primarily for his experimental films and kinetic sculpture. His films are held in archives including the New Zealand Film Archive, British Film Institute, Museum of Modern Art in New York City, and the Pacific Film Archive at University of California, Berkeley. Lye's sculptures are found in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and the Berkeley Art Museum. Although he became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1950, much of his work went to New Zealand after his death, where it is housed at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in New Plymouth.List of avant-garde films of the 1950s
This is a list of avant-garde and experimental films released in the 1950s. Unless noted, all films had sound and were in black and white.Léopold Survage
Léopold Frédéric Léopoldowitsch Survage (31 July 1879 – 31 October 1968; variant names Léopold Sturzwage, Leopold Sturwage, Leopoldij Sturzwasgh, Leopoldij Lvovich Sturzwage) was a French painter of Russian-Danish-Finnish descent born in Lappeenranta, Finland (with selected references indicating a birthplace of Moscow, Russia).Max Hattler
Max Hattler is a German video artist and experimental filmmaker. He created the kaleidoscopic political short films "Collision" (2005) and "Spin" (2010), abstract stop motion works "Shift" (2012) and "AANAATT" (2008), and psychedelic animation loops "Sync", "1923 aka Heaven" and "1925 aka Hell" (2010).Oskar Fischinger
Oskar Wilhelm Fischinger (22 June 1900 – 31 January 1967) was a German-American abstract animator, filmmaker, and painter, notable for creating abstract musical animation many decades before the appearance of computer graphics and music videos. He created special effects for Fritz Lang's 1929 Woman in the Moon, one of the first sci-fi rocket movies, and influenced Disney's Fantasia. He made over 50 short films and painted around 800 canvases, many of which are in museums, galleries, and collections worldwide. Among his film works is Motion Painting No. 1 (1947), which is now listed on the National Film Registry of the U.S. Library of Congress.The Big Broadcast of 1937
The Big Broadcast of 1937 is a 1936 Paramount Pictures production directed by Mitchell Leisen, and is the third in the series of Big Broadcast movies. The musical comedy stars Jack Benny, George Burns, Gracie Allen, Bob Burns, Martha Raye, Shirley Ross, Ray Milland, Benny Fields, Frank Forest and the orchestra of Benny Goodman (featuring Gene Krupa). It was in this film that Leopold Stokowski made his movie debut conducting two of his Bach transcriptions. Uncredited roles include Jack Mulhall.
German animator Oskar Fischinger was hired to create an animation sequence in Technicolor. However, when Paramount changed the production to black-and-white only, Fischinger's original abstract animation design was changed to a hybrid animation and live-action sequence showing consumer products emanating from a broadcasting tower, to the song "Radio Dynamics" by Ralph Rainger.It has yet to receive a DVD or VHS issue.Viking Eggeling
Viking Eggeling (21 October 1880, Lund – 19 May 1925, Berlin) was a Swedish avant-garde artist and filmmaker connected to dadaism, Constructivism and abstract art and was one of the pioneers in absolute film and visual music. His 1924 film Diagonal-Symphonie is one of the seminal abstract films in the history of experimental cinema.Visual music
Visual music, sometimes called colour music, refers to the use of musical structures in visual imagery, which can also include silent films or silent Lumia work. It also refers to methods or devices which can translate sounds or music into a related visual presentation. An expanded definition may include the translation of music to painting; this was the original definition of the term, as coined by Roger Fry in 1912 to describe the work of Wassily Kandinsky. There are a variety of definitions of visual music, particularly as the field continues to expand. In some recent writing, usually in the fine art world, visual music is often confused with or defined as synaesthesia, though historically this has never been a definition of visual music. Visual music has also been defined as a form of intermedia.
Visual music also refers to systems which convert music or sound directly into visual forms, such as film, video, computer graphics, installations or performances by means of a mechanical instrument, an artist's interpretation, or a computer. The reverse is applicable also, literally converting images to sound by drawn objects and figures on a film's soundtrack, in a technique known as drawn or graphical sound. Famous visual music artists include Jordan Belson, Oskar Fischinger, Norman McLaren, John Whitney Sr., and Thomas Wilfred, plus a number contemporary artists.Walter Ruttmann
Walter Ruttmann (28 December 1887 – 15 July 1941) was a German film director and along with Hans Richter, Viking Eggeling and Oskar Fischinger was an early German practitioner of experimental film. He also worked with sound alone (Wochenende, 1930).
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