CVM Member Announcements - Research Postings


Welcome to this section where our Members announce their new publications, conferences and research. See below for submission procedures for Members.

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Several Members presented papers at CVM's Visual Music Symposium in Sonoma, CA: Richard Brown, Fred Collopy, Paul Fletcher, Joseph Hyde, Cindy Keefer, Pierre-Jacques Pernuit, Jack Ox, Heike Sperling,


Sandhaus, Louise. Earthquakes, Mudslides, Fires and Riots: California and Graphic Design, 1936-1986. Metropolis Books, 2015. Reviews

Keefer, Cindy. "Visual Music's Influence on Contemporary Abstraction" in Abstract Video: The Moving Image in Contemporary Art. Gabrielle Jennings, ed. UC Press, 2015.

2014 Papers/presentations:

Engelke, Henning. "Film as Model: Cybernetics and Cinematic Thinking in Postwar California" at SCMS Conference, Seattle, March 2014

Mollaghan, Aimee. A Reflection on Norman McLaren, George Balanchine and Absolute Ballet. Society for Animation Studies blog

Member Publications:

Keefer, Cindy and J. Guldemond, eds. Oskar Fischinger (1900-1967), Experiments in Cinematic Abstraction. Amsterdam and Los Angeles: EYE Filmmuseum and Center for Visual Music, 2012. 240 pages, distributed by Thames & Hudson worldwide. ISBN 978-0500970515.

Youngblood, Gene. Jordan Belson. Millenium Film Journal, March 2012

Brown, Richard. “‘The Spirit Inside Each Object’: John Cage, Oskar Fischinger, and ‘The Future of Music.’” Journal for the Society of American Music. Vol. 6, no. 1, February 2012. PDF here (see February 2012)

Mollaghan, Aimee. An Experiment in Pure Design: The Minimalist Aesthetic in the Line Films of Norman McLaren. Animation Studies Online Journal, 2011.

Rekveld, Joost. Fast Forward: Conversations with machines, for

Tobias, James. SYNC: STYLISTICS OF HIEROGLYPHIC TIME. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2010. Contains a chapter on Fischinger's Motion Painting No. 1. More info here. EAN: 978-1-43990-201-1.

Woloshen, Steven. Recipes for Reconstruction: The Cookbook for the Frugal Filmmaker.  Book and DVD (Scratchatopia Press, 2010). Available through CVM's store

Draves, Scott and Isabel. The Flame Algorithm and its Open Source Culture. ACM Siggraph Computer Graphics Quarterly, Vol 44, No. 3. August, 2010).

Hill, Andrew. "Desarrollo de un lenguaje para la música audiovisual electroacústica: investigación sobre su comunicación y clasificación" (Developing a Language for Electroacoustic Audio-visual music: Investigating communication and classification). In el Límite — Escritos Sobre Sonido, Música, Imagen y Tecnología, Raúl Minsburg, Ed. Editado por Universidad Nacional de Lanús, 2010.

Collopy, Fred. "Playing (With) Color," Glimpse | the art and science of seeing, Autumn 2009.

Ox, Jack. “A 21st-Century Pedagogical Plan for Artists – How Should We
Be Training Artists for Today?” Guest Editorial, Leonardo Journal, Vol 43, no 1, 2010. MIT Press.

Keefer, Cindy. “Jordan Belson and the Vortex Concerts: Cosmic Illusions” in
Sonic Acts XIII – The Poetics of Space. Spatial Explorations in Art, Science, Music & Technology. Arie Altena & Sonic Acts, eds. Amsterdam: Sonic Acts Press, Paradiso, February 2010.

Keefer, Cindy. "Raumlichtmusik - Early 20th Century Abstract Cinema Immersive Environments." in Leonardo Electronic Almanac, Creative Data Special Issue. Leonardo: The International Society for the Arts, Sciences, and Technology, and MIT Press. October 2009. PDF at Leonardo Online

James, David. “LA’s Hipster Cinema,” in Film Quarterly, Vol. 63, No. 1 (Fall, 2009). Available through JSTOR

Seidel, Robert. "_grau – an organic experimental film" in animation: an interdisciplinary journal. Suzanne Buchan, ed. Vol 2 (1), March 2007.

See below for more on Belson and Vortex Concerts.

Older Papers / Presentations:

Andrew Ritchey, James Tobias at Society for Cinema and Media Studies annual conference, 2012.

Cindy Keefer, "Preserving Visual Music: The Archives of Center for Visual Music," University of Oxford, UK, November 2011; also UCSB MAT, September 2011

Bret Battey, Cindy Keefer, and Andrew Hill at Seeing Sound 2 symposium, Bath Spa University, Bath, UK. October 2011.

Xarene Eskander, "Where to Draw a Line: From ____ to VJing." Understanding Visual Music symposium, Concordia University, Montreal. August, 2011

Joseph Hyde, "Visual Disassociation and Audiovisual Acousmatics: Noise and Silence in Visual Music." Understanding Visual Music symposium, Concordia University, Montreal. August, 2011

Andrew Hill. 'Understanding Audio-visual Music," at Audio-visuality, Arhus University, Sweden, May 2011.

Cindy Keefer. "Visual Music and Pioneers of Kinetic Art" at ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany. May 2011.

Andrew Hill. 'What is Electroacoustic Audio-Visual Music? Nomenclature and Cognition, presented at Sound, Sight, Space and Play 2010, De Montfort University, UK. PDF available online

Bret Battey, Joseph Hyde and Andrew Hill presented at “Visible Bits, Audible Bytes: An Audio-Visual Symposium and Screening/Performance” at De Montfort University's Music, Technology and Innovation Research Centre. Phoenix Square Digital Media Centre, Leicester, UK. October 2010.

Maura McDonnell: “Visual music - a composition of the 'things themselves'.” Sounding Out 5 Conference, Bournemouth University, UK, September 2010.

Cindy Keefer: "Issues with Digital Exhibition and Presentation Practices in Museums." Experimental Film and Media Group, Digital Horizons Workshop, Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference, Los Angeles, March 2010.

James Tobias. "Intimate Extimacy: Articulating the First Person Plural in Tokyo." Experimental Film and Media Aesthetics Panel, Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference, Los Angeles, March 2010.

Cindy Keefer:  "Raumlichtkunst to Vortex: Early Expanded Cinema Experiments of Oskar Fischinger and Jordan Belson (1926-1959)." Expanded Cinema symposium at Tate Modern, London, April 2009 and also at Lentos Kunstmuseum, Linz, October 2009 (during See this Sound exhibition), and SCI-arc Los Angeles, December 2009.

Volker Straebel: "As unified, bi-sensorially, as the sound film can be": Composed interdependence of abstract moving image and synthesized sound in John and James Whitney's "Five Film
Exercises" (1943/44). Music and The Moving Image Conference, New York, May 2009.

Henning Engelke: Perspectives and Limitations of The Visual Music Metaphor. Music and The Moving Image Conference, New York, May 2009.

Richard Brown: "The Spirit Inside Each Object": John Cage, Oskar Fischinger, and the "Future of Music." Music and Media, International Musicology Society Conference, Amsterdam, July 2009.

Cindy Keefer. "Oskar Fischinger and Visual Music Animation: Exhibition and Authenticity in the Age of Digital Reproduction" presented at Animation: Fron the Avant-Garde to Popular Culture. Symposium at USC, Los Angeles and San Diego Museum of Art, November 2007.

Member Postings:

Kurt Schwerdtfeger - Reflektorische Farblichtspiele

Submitted by Ingo Petzke (Former Member)

The Weimar Bauhaus in the 20s was a breeding ground not only for film, but for what today might be called Light Shows or Visual Performance. Comparatively much is known about Ludwig Hirschfeld-Mack and his "Farbenlichtspiele" (Colour-Light-Play) instrument whereas the earlier "Reflektorische Farblichtspiele" (Reflecting Colour-Light-Play) by Kurt Schwerdtfeger has been mostly overlooked. Ingo Petzke of the Research Center for Experimental Film at Wuerzburg University of Applied Sciences (Germany) dived into the sources and talked to art historians as well as to Schwerdtfeger’s son Stefan, who like his father was a distinguished Professor at an Arts Academy. So, yes, Schwerdtfeger's performance instrument was first before Hirschfeld-Mack's - but there are some tragic moments in the story. Red Avocado Film will publish a DVD early next year* including a reconstituted performance of the Reflecting Colour-Light-Play, a short Making of – how it worked – and also a lengthy talk between Stefan Schwerdtfeger and art historian Michael Stueber about the play, its inception, the rivalries behind the scenes and his father Kurt.

Ingo currently seeks to publish a short article about his findings.

Ingo Petzke is a Professor of Film at Wuerzburg University of Applied Sciences. He holds a PHD from Bond University, Australia and a DR PHIL (PHD) from Osnabrueck University, Germany.




Jordan Belson and The Vortex concerts, 1957-1959

Ongoing Research and Recent Publications by Cindy Keefer

Jordan Belson, Cosmic Cinema and The San Francisco Museum of Art. Posted on SF MoMA’s Open Space blog. October 12, 2010.

"Raumlichtmusik - Early 20th Century Abstract Cinema Immersive Environments." in Leonardo Electronic Almanac, Creative Data Special Issue. Leonardo: The International Society for the Arts, Sciences, and Technology, and MIT Press. October 2009. PDF at Leonardo Online (Also includes brief text from Keefer's research on Fischinger's 1920s multiple projector performances).

"Cosmic Cinema and The Vortex Concerts." in Cosmos: The Search for the Origins, from Kupka to Kubrick. Arnauld Pierre, Ed. Madrid:El Umbral/Santa Cruz de Tenerife:TEA, 2008. Exhibition catalog. In Spanish and English. ISBN 978-84-87340-97-0

Keefer is currently working on a book about The Vortex concerts.

Images above: Cover of Vortex 5 program (courtesy CVM Library); Time magazine article about Vortex, February 2, 1959.


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