Center for Visual Music


CVM Library

Selected reference materials, articles, bibliographies

NOTE re links to external sites: CVM cannot guarantee the accuracy of information presented on external sites

Books we recommend (see bottom of page)


General texts on Visual Music    Texts on Color Organs    Visual Music Resources: Specific Artists and Theories    Bibliographies

Links specific to Experimental/Abstract Animation  Sixties Light Show Resources  Other Music Links    Other Links    Exhibitions    

Recommended Books in Print     Support the Library

General Texts on Visual Music

Moritz, Dr. William
-- The Dream of Color Music and the Machines That Made it Possible, Animation World Magazine, Apr 1997. Contains errata, should be read only as a general overview
-- Towards an Aesthetics of Visual Music. ASIFA Canada Bulletin, Dec 1986.

-- Musique de la Couleur - Cinéma Intégral (Color Music - Integral Cinema). in Poétique de la Couleur. Paris: Musée du Louvre, 1995
-- Visuelle Musik: Höhlenmalereien für MTV? (Visual Music: Cave Painting to MTV?) in Sound & Vision (exhibition catalog). Walter Schobert, Ed. Frankfurt: Deutsches Filmmuseum, 1993
-- Visual Music and Film-As-An-Art before 1950 in On the Edge of America: California Modernist Art, 1900-1950. Karlstrom, Paul J., ed. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996.
--See Visual Music section below for many additional Moritz articles

McDonnell, M. Visual Music . A brief overview of the history of Color Organs, selected theories of Visual Music, and an overview of some Visual Music filmmakers (A brief introduction).

Ox, Jack and Cindy Keefer. On Curating Recent Digital Abstract Visual Music. New York Digital Salon, Abstract Visual Music Project, 2006. Includes definitions of Visual Music

Jordan Belson Research site , Bibliography, Biography, Filmography (maintained by CVM)

Oskar Fischinger Research site , Bibliography, Biography, Film Notes, more (maintained by CVM)

Mary Ellen Bute Research site . Bibliography, Film Notes, Selected texts, more (maintained by CVM)

See Visual Music section, continued below, for many more articles and links.

Texts relating to Color Organs

Bainbridge, Bishop. A Souvenir of the Colour Organ, with some Suggestions in Regard to The Soul of the Rainbow and the Harmony of Light (1893).

Baranoff-Rossine, Vladimir. Excerpt from Mecanisme du piano at Piano Optophonique site, also includes a bibliography of his texts and an audio file.

Franssen, Maarten. “The ocular harpsichord of Louis-Bertrand Castel: The science and aesthetics of an eighteenth-centure cause celebre,” Tractrix Yearbook for the History of Science, Medicine, Technology and Mathematics, 1991 (3), 15-77.

Laszlo, Alexander, Die Farblichtmusik, Leipzig, 1925

Mason, W. "Father Castel and his color clavecin". Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, vol. 17, Sept 1958, 103-116.

Moritz, William. The Dream of Color Music and the Machines That Made it Possible, Animation World Magazine, Apr 1997. (NOTE contains errors).

Peacock, Kenneth. "Instruments to Perform Color-Music: Two Centuries of Technological Experimentation," Leonardo 21, No. 4 (1988) 397-406. At JSTOR.

Rimington, Alexander Wallace. A New Art: Colour Music. A paper read at St. James' Hall, 1895. Hosted by

Rimington, A. Wallace. Colour Music: The Art of Mobile Colour. New York: Frederick A. Stokes, 1911.

Smith, Steven A., Greta J. Dockum, and Gretchen Evans Dockum. "Kinetic Art: The Mobilcolor Projectors of Charles R. Dockum (1904-1977). Leonardo 12, no. 2 (Spring, 1979), pp 144-50. Available on JSTOR.

Wilfred, Thomas. "Composing in the Art of Lumia" in Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, VII. no. 2, December 1948
--“Light and the artist,” Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, (V) June 1947.

Patents of color organs and light show instruments

Proceedings of the Athanasius Kircher Society: A Short History of the Ocular Harpsichord and its Progeny

Resources on Visual Music, specific Theories and Artists

Alves, Bill. Digital Harmony of Sound and Light. Also published in Computer Music Journal, 29:4, Winter 2005. PDF.

Beck, Stephen. Direct Video: Electronic Artform for Color Television on Experimental Television Center site

Belson, Jordan. Bibliography and Selected Texts at CVM's Belson Research Pages

Buchan, Suzanne and Mark Bartlett, Eds. Re-animating Stan VanDerBeek. Themed issue. animation: an interdisciplinary journal. Vol 5, 2. July 2010

Bragdon, Claude Fayette. "Harnessing The Rainbow" in Architecture and Democracy (see third chapter).

Brinkmann, Christine Noll. Collective Movements and Solitary Thrusts: German Experimental Film 1920-1990. Millenium Film Journal, No. 30/31, Fall 1997

Bute, Mary Ellen. Bibliography, selected texts at CVM's Bute Research Pages.

Camper, Fred. Writing on Experimental and Avant-Garde Film

Cantrill, Arthur. The Absolute Truth of the Happiness Acid, Senses of Cinema, Issue 19, March-April 2002 (on Len Lye)

Claus, Jürgen. Stan VanDerBeek: An Early Space Art Pioneer. Leonardo, June 2003, Vol. 36, No. 3

Color Spaces (on Color Phenomena site). ref. Athanasius Kircher, Sir Isaac Newton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Computer Graphic Timeline 1945 - 2000 by WebBox. warning: contains errata

Corra, Bruno. Abstract Cinema-Chromatic Music, 1912.

de Bruyn, Dirk. Performing a Traumatic Effect. Animation Studies Online Journal, Animated Dialogues, 2007. On Robert Breer

Delehanty, Suzanne. Soundings. In SOUNDINGS, Neuberger Museum, SUNY Purchase, 1981 (exhibition)

DeWitt, Tom. “Visual music: Searching for an Aesthetic,” Leonardo, 20 (1987), 115-122.

Engel, Jules
--Reflections: Graphic Choreography. New, Vol. 8, no 3, Beyond Baroque Foundation, Venice, CA. May 1977.
--Experimental Animation - The Joy of Movement. Unpublished typescript, n.d.

Evans, Brian. Foundations of a Visual Music. Computer Music Journal, 29 (2005).

Fischinger, Elfriede. Writing Light. (about Oskar's Lumigraph) reprinted in First Light, Robert Haller, Ed. New York: Anthology Film Archives, 1998

Fischinger, Oskar - (see CVM's Oskar Fischinger Research Pages for statements, bibliography, film notes and other resources)
-- Sounding Ornaments, 1932
-- My Statements are in My Work. Art in Cinema catalog, San Francisco, 1947
-- True Creation, 1949. Knokke-le-Zoute film festival.

-- A Statement About Painting, 1951. For exhibition at Frank Perls Gallery, Los Angeles

Friedlander, Paul. What is Visual Music? Includes definitions of Visual Music Futurist Cinema (ref. Ginna, Corra).

Gschwandtner, Sabrina. Between Film and Video - the Intermedia Art of Jud Yalkut: An Interview with Jud Yalkut. Millenium Film Journal 42 (Fall 2005)

Galeyev, Bulat M. Abstract Cinema and Light-Music.
-- On the Natural Philosophy Conceptions of "MUSIC VISION"

Ginsberg, Allen and Paola Igliori discuss the life and times of Harry Smith: Interview in Milk Magazine, Sept 24, 1995

Hall, Manley P. The Pythagorean Theory of Music and Color in The Secret Teachings of All Ages, 1928.

Haller, Robert
--Jim Davis: Visions of Convergence. First Light catalog, 1999
-- Galaxy: Avant-Garde Film-makers Look across Space and Time. Ex Cat notes, 2001 (Fischinger, Davis, Brakhage, Belson, Emshwiller). Contains some errata.

Hammid, Alexander. Film and Music.

Hatfield, Jackie. Expanded Cinema and Narrative. Millenium Film Journal no. 39/40, Winter 2003

Hanhardt, John (and Gregory Zinman), Interview of Artist Stephen (Steve) Beck, for the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2014. Edited interview online.

Hertz, Paul. Synesthetic Art, an Imaginary Number? Leonardo, v32-5, pp. 399-404, 1999. PDF

Higgins, Dick with an Appendix by Hannah Higgins. Synesthesia and Intersenses: Intermedia. 1965. Originally published in Something Else Newsletter 1, No. 1 (Something Else Press, 1966).

Holsopple, Jerry. Toward a Poetic of Visual Music. Dissertation. pdf

Horrocks, Roger. In and Out of History: A Century of Len Lye. Art New Zealand, Issue 101, Summer 2001

Hutchison, Niels. Colour Music: History and Theory of Relationship of Music to Color

James, David. "Expanded Cinema in Los Angeles: The Single Wing Turquoise Bird." Millenium Film Journal Nos. 43/44, Summer/Fall 2005.

Janiak, Larry and Dave Daruszka. Oskar Fischinger: An Interview with Elfriede Fischinger. Zoetrope: The Publication of Commercial and Experimental Media, No. 3, March 1979.

Jewanski, Dr. Joerg. Colour and music. In L. Macy (Ed.), The New Grove Dictionary of Music Online. 2003.

Keefer, Cindy

--Visual Music Pioneers. NOTEBOOK magazine, London, Vol 4, December 2023. Visual essay with short text.
--"Oskar Fischinger: The Creative Spirit," in Movement Making Movement exhibition catalog, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, July 2021.

--"Visual Music's Influence on Contemporary Abstraction" in Abstract Video: The Moving Image in Contemporary Art. Gabrielle Jennings. ed. UC Press, 2015.
--FISCHINGER BOOK: Oskar Fischinger (1900-1969): Experiments in Cinematic Abstraction. Cindy Keefer and J. Guldemond, eds. Amsterdam and Los Angeles: EYE Filmmuseum and Center for Visual Music, 2013. Keefer and J. Guldemond, eds. Distributed by Thames & Hudson.
Excerpt from book chapter: Keefer, Cindy. Optical Expression, Oskar Fischinger, William Moritz and Visual Music, on Society for Animation Studies blog, June 2013.
--Jordan Belson, Cosmic Cinema and The San Francisco Museum of Art. SF MoMA's Open Space, October 2010
--"Jordan Belson and The Vortex Concerts: Cosmic Illusions." Sonic Acts XIII: The Poetics of Space. Spatial Explorations in Art, Science, Music & Technology. Amsterdam: Sonic Acts Press, Paradiso, February, 2010.

--'Raumlichtmusik' - Early 20th Century Abstract Cinema Immersive Environments. Leonardo Electronic Almanac, Creative Data Special Issue. Leonardo: The International Society for the Arts, Sciences, and Technology, and MIT Press. October 2009. PDF.
--"Jordan Belson" (Biography) in The Third Mind; American Artists Contemplate Asia, 1860-1989. Alexandra Monroe, Ed. New York: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 2009. Exhibition catalog. Original version online
--"Cosmic Cinema and The Vortex Concerts." Cosmos: The Search for the Origins, from Kupka to Kubrick. Arnauld Pierre, Ed. Madrid:El Umbral/Santa Cruz de Tenerife:TEA, 2008. Exhibition catalog. Available through La Central, Madrid
-- On Curating Recent Digital Abstract Visual Music. With Jack Ox. New York Digital Salon, Abstract Visual Music Project, 2006 (written for Exhibition catalog and website).
--"Space Light Art" - Early Abstract Cinema and Multimedia, 1900-1959. White Noise. Ernest Edmonds, Ed. Melbourne: Australian Centre for the Moving Image, 2005. Exhibition Catalog.
--A Lifetime in Animation: The Glamorous Dr. William Moritz. Animation World Magazine, Los Angeles, 2003

--"Hungarian Rhapsodist: Jules Engel." Animation Magazine, Los Angeles, 2003
--"Hy Hirsh Preservation: History and Mystery." Kinetica 3 catalog, Los Angeles, 2001

Klein, Adrian Bernard. Colour-Music: The Art of Light. London: Crosby Lockwood and Son, 1927.

Kuo, Michelle. Synaesthesia and The Body Politic. Hosted online by The Govett Brewster Art Gallery.

Langlois, Philippe. Les pionniers du son synthétique au cinéma, Les Cahiers de l’OMF, No. 4, 1999. Paris: Observatoire Musical Français: 23-33.

Laposky, Ben F. Oscillons: Electronic Abstractions. Originally published in Artist and Computer, 1976. Hosted online by Atari Archives.

Lazell, David. Colour Music Light (on Rimington)

Levin, Thomas. "Tones from out of Nowhere": Rudolph Pfenninger and the Archaeology of Synthetic Sound (pdf). First published in Grey Room journal; French version published in Sons et Lumieres exhibition catalog, Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2004.

Lyden, Harry. The Schillinger System of Musical Composition. (System studied by Mary Ellen Bute)

McDonnell, Maura. Visual Music. Notes for Lecture on Visual Music, October 2003. PDF.

Markopoulos, Gregory J. The Intuition Space. Millenium Film Journal No. 32/33, Fall 1998

Mead, Stephen. Ludwig Hirschfeld Mack. University of Melbourne, Ian Potter Museum of Art, Ex. Cat. (pdf)

Milicevic, Mladen. Experimental/Abstract Film and Synaesthetic Phenomena 1725 - 1970

Mollaghan, Aimee. "An Experiment in Pure Design" The Minimalist Aesthetic in the Line Films of Norman McLaren." in Animation Studies Online Journal, Vol 6, 2011.

Moritz, Dr. William - selected Visual Music texts

Optical Poetry: The Life and Work of Oskar Fischinger. John Libbey Publishing, 2004; in the US and Canada, Indiana University Press.

Oskar Fischinger: Artist of the Century, reprinted in Animac Magazine 2001 (Lleida, Spain)
Harry Smith, Mythologist. Unpublished typescript from presentation at Harry Smith Symposium, Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, 2001. An edited version was published in 2010 by the Getty, in Harry Smith: The Avant-Garde in the American Vernacular
Stereoscopic Abstract Films. Unpublished 1999 notes for a lecture. PDF
Jordan Belson: Last of the Great Masters. Animation Journal, 1999
The Influence of Sound/Music on the Image. with Baerbel Neubauer. Animation World Magazine, June 1999
In Passing...Elfriede Fischinger, Animation World Magazine, May 1999

The Absolute Film, Presentation at WRO 99 Media Art Biennale. Wroclaw, Poland, April 1999
Enlightenment in First Light, Robert Haller, Ed. New York: Anthology Film Archives, 1998
(on James Whitney)
The Film Strip Tells All, Animation World Magazine, Sept 1998
Digital Harmony: The Life of John Whitney, Computer Animation Pioneer, Animation World Magazine, Vol. 2, no. 5, August 1997.

The Dream of Color Music and the Machines That Made it Possible, Animation World Magazine, Vol. 2, no. 1, April 1997.
Norman McLaren and Jules Engel: Post-Modernists. in A Reader In Animation Studies, Jayne Pilling, Ed.. Sydney: John Libbey, 1997.
Restoring Experimental Films. Film Preservation Honors program. New York: Anthology Film Archives, 1997. PDF
Stan Vanderbeek - The Utopian Magician. European Media Art Festival program, Osnabruck, May 1997.
"History of Experimental Animation" for Absolut Panushka website, 1997 (now inactive; contains numerous errata).
Visual Music and Film-As-An-Art before 1950 in On the Edge of America: California Modernist Art, 1900-1950. Karlstrom, Paul J., Ed. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996.
Mary Ellen Bute: Seeing Sound. Animation World Magazine, 1996
(contains errata)
Biographies of Jordan Belson, Oskar Fischinger, Hy Hirsh, Pat O'Neill, Stan Vanderbeek, James Whitney and others, in L'art du Mouvement 1919-1996. Jean-Michel Bouhours, Ed. Paris: Centre Pompidou, 1996.
In Memoriam, James Whitney. Osnabruck Media Art Festival program, May 1996.
GasparColor: Perfect Hues for Animation. Lecture at Musee de Louvre, Paris, 1995
Musique de la Couleur - Cinéma Intégral (Color Music - Integral Cinema). in Poétique de la Couleur. Paris: Musée du Louvre, 1995
Americans in Paris: Man Ray and Dudley Murphy. Lovers of Cinema: The First American Film Avantgarde, 1919-1945. Jan-Christopher Horak, Ed. University of Wisconsin Press, 1995.
Oskar Fischinger: artiste de ce siecle. L'armateur, No. 12. Paris, July-Aug-September 1994.
Jules Engel, Post-Modernist. Cardiff International Animation Festival program, 1994
Color Harmony/Color Music in El color en el arte mexicano. Universidad Nacional Autonomica de Mexico, 1994.
Oskar Fischinger: Leben und Werk. in Optische Poesie. Walter Schobert, Ed. Frankfurt: Deutsches Filmmuseum, 1993.
Visuelle Musik: Höhlenmalereien für MTV? (Visual Music: Cave Painting to MTV?) in Sound & Vision (exhibition catalog). Frankfurt: Deutsches Filmmuseum, 1993.
Resistance and Subversion in Animated Films of the Nazi Era: The Case of Hans Fischerkoesen. Animation Journal, Fall 1992.
Film Censorship During the Nazi Era. in Degenerate Art - The Fate of the Avant-Garde in Nazi Germany. New York: Abrams, 1991.
Restoring the Aesthetics of Early Abstract Films. Swedish Avantgarde Film 1924-1990. New York: Anthology Film Archives, 1991.
Abstract Films of the 1920s. In International Experimental Film Congress. Toronto, Ontario: The Art Gallery of Ontario, in association with the International Experimental Film Congress, May 1989.
The Private World of Oskar Fischinger. Mirrors and Hammers: Eight Germanic Intellectuals in Los Angeles. Los Angeles Educational Partnership, Humanitas, 1988.
Some Observations on Non-Objective and Non-Linear Animation. Storytelling in Animation: the Art of the Animated Image
   Volume 2. Ed. John Canemaker. Los Angeles: American Film Institute, 1988.

The Private World of Oskar Fischinger. Liner notes and essay, "The World of Oskar Fischinger" laserdisc, Tokyo: LaserDisc Corporation, 1986. American edition, 1988.
The Films of John Whitney. Liner notes and essay, Tokyo: LaserDisc Corporation, 1986. American edition, 1988.
Der Traum von der Farbmusik in Clip, Klapp, Bum. Cologne: DuMont, 1987.
Abstract Film and Color Music, in The Spiritual in Art: Abstract Painting 1890-1985. Los Angeles County Museum of Art    Exhibition Catalog. New York: Abbeville Press, 1986.
Towards an Aesthetics of Visual Music. ASIFA Canada Bulletin, Vol. 14, no. 3, Dec 1986.
Who's Who in Filmmaking: James Whitney. Sightlines, Vol.19, no.2, Winter 1985/1986. PDF
Towards a Visual Music. Cantrills Filmnotes No. 47-48, Melbourne, August 1985.
UPA, Reminiscing 30 Years Later. ASIFA Canada Bulletin, Vol 12, no. 3, December 1984.
James Whitney Retrospective. "Toronto '84", Canadian International Animation Festival program notes, Toronto, March 1984.
Video Seen: the Roots of Music Videos. Grammy Pulse, Vol. 2, no. 5. Oct/Nov 1984.
You Can't Get Then from Now, Part I: Oskar Fischinger, in Journal: Southern California Art Magazine, No. 29. Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art, Summer 1981
Non-Objective Film, The Second Generation. In Film as Film, Formal Experiment in Film, 1910 - 1975. London: Hayward Gallery/Arts Council of Great Britain, 1979.
Fallout: Some Notes on the Films of Bruce Conner. With Beverly O'Neill. Film Quarterly, Vol XXXI, no. 4, Summer 1978.

Beyond "Abstract" Criticism, Film Quarterly, Vol. XXXI, no. 3, Spring 1978.
A Note of Series and Serial Arrangement in Pat O'Neill's Recent Films. NEW, Vol. 8, no. 3, Beyond Baroque Foundation, Venice, CA, May 1977.
Fischinger at Disney, or Oskar in the Mousetrap. Millimeter, Vol. 5, no. 2. February 1977.
[On James Whitney's Yantra and Lapis] (excerpt), 1977 manuscript.
The Importance of Being Fischinger, Ottawa International Animated Film Festival Program, 1976.
The Films of Oskar Fischinger. Film Culture No. 58-59-60, 1974, pp. 37 - 187.
Weekend in Los Angeles. The Weekly Planet. Los Angeles, Jan. 24, 1969.
The First Time Underground (excerpt), in Yankee Underground Film Festival Program, Occidental College, Los Angeles, April, 1968.

Moritz-Related interviews and articles:
Goldstein, Patrick. Even Greeks had Ear for Visuals Los Angeles Times. Nov. 18, 1983. Interview with William Moritz.

Moritz Memorial Site maintained by CVM.


Ox, Jack. A Complex System for the Visualization of Music

Pellegrino, Ronald. The Electronic Arts of Light and Sound. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1983.

Potter, Ralph K. New Scientific Tools for the Arts, Excerpt. The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Vol X:2, December 1951

Prampolini, Enrico. Chromophony - The Color of Sounds. Gazetta Ferrarese, August 26, 1913

Prometheus Institute, Kazan, Russia.

Putnam, Samuel. The Glistening Bridge. Leopold Survage and the Spatial Problem in Painting (1929).

Rekveld, Joost. Links to his texts including Symmetry and Harmonics, Transformations of Colour
--Program notes for A Brighter Future, Abstract Film and Utopia 1925-1975. Independent Film Show, Napoli, 2006.

Richter, Hans. “Easel-Scroll-Film,” Magazine of Art, February 1952, 78-86.

Rimington, A. Wallace. Colour-Music: The Art of Mobile Colour, New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1911. (A paperback version was published in 2003, available on

Schillinger, Joseph. Excerpts from A Theory of Synchronization. PDF. in Experimental Cinema No. 5, 1934. Online courtesy Philip Hood.

Shaw-Miller, Simon. Visual Music and the Case for Rigorous Thinking. The Art Book, February 2006. Also online at Wiley Online Library (PDF)

Seidel, Robert. _grau - an organic experimental film. in animation: an interdisciplinary journal. Vol 2, 1, 2007.

Snibbe, Scott and Golan Levin. Interactive Dynamic Abstraction. PDF.

Sorensen, Vibeke. California Dreaming the World. 2001

Sperling, Prof. Dr. Heike. Visual Music blog

Starr, Cecile. Fine Art Animation. Reprinted from The Art of the Animated Image, Charles Solomon, ed., 1987.

Sutton, Gloria. Stan VanDerBeek's MovieDrome: Networking the Subject. PDF. in Future Cinema: The Cinematic Imaginary after Film. Jeffrey Shaw and Peter Weibel, eds. ZKM/MIT Press, 2003.

VanDerBeek, Stan. Bio, Reviews and photos of 2008 Exhibition at Guild & Greyshkul, more.

VanDerBeek, Stan. Documents and photos relating to his Movie Drome (pdf)

von Maur, Karin. Vom Klang der Bilder, Munich: Prestel-Verlag, 1985. Exhibition Catalog - Highly Recommended. On, Germany

WRF. Color Music: The Art of Light.

Wees, William. Light Moving in Time: Studies in the Visual Aesthetics of Avant-Garde Film. (Entire book online). CVM recommends Chapter 6— "Making Films for the Inner Eye: Jordan Belson, James Whitney, Paul Sharits." Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992

Whitney, John Sr. Computational Periodics. 1975. Originally published in Artist and Computer, 1976. Hosted online by Atari Archives.

Youngblood, Gene. Expanded Cinema. Entire book online. Chapters on Whitney, Belson and others.

(unknown) Animated Music, Extracts from catalog of Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film, 1996

For links to many individual artists' websites, please visit CVM's Artists' Sites



Oskar Fischinger (by CVM)
Jordan Belson (by CVM)
Mary Ellen Bute (by CVM)
Expanded Cinema (by CVM)
Bibliography for Experimental Animation (by Stephen Arthur)
Rhythmic Light. Annotated bibliography of Fred Collopy's readings in visual music, color, form, motion, design and related topics.
Video History Project of the Experimental Television Center

Other Links specific to Experimental/Abstract Animation

Film Alchemy (by Leah M. Bosworth) at ASIFA Central

Dill, Janeann. Jules Engel, The Mentor. Animation World Magazine, May 1999

Elder, Bruce. On Picture: for Stan Brakhage. First Light exhibition catalog, 1999

Drawing and Etching on Film (by Marcel Jean), at NFB. Ref. Len Lye, Norman McLaren

Krukowski, Dr. Samantha. Alchemical Frames (unpublished)

The World of Len Lye. Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre

Len Lye Foundation, New Zealand

Norman McLaren: Illustrated filmography with clips and film notes, at NFB

McLaren, Norman. Cameraless Animation. Information & Promotion Division, National Film Board of Canada, 1958. PDF.

Reble, Jurgen. Chemistry and The Alchemy of Color. Millenium Film Journal no. 30/31, Fall 1997

Vergé, Emilie. Alchemical Cinema: On the film collective "silt" Otherzine #33, Spring 2018


Sixties Light Show Resources

Tune In, Turn On, Light Up... in Tate ETC, Issue 4, Summer 2005 (includes reminiscences from Joshua White, Mark Boyle & Joan Hills, Glenn O'Brien, Ronald Nameth, others.

Grunenberg, Christopher and Jonathan Harris. Summer of Love: Psychedelia Art, Social Crisis, and Counterculture in the 1960s. Tate Liverpool Critical Forum No. 8. Contains 4 essays. PDF

Gschwandtner. Between Film and Video - The Intermedia Art of Jud Yalkut: An Interview with Jud Yalkut. in Millenium Film Journal No. 42 (Fall 2004)

Hamlin, Jesse (SF Gate). Painting Live with Light and Music / Glenn McKay's colorful displays at SFMoMA. 1999 article.

James, David. "Expanded Cinema in Los Angeles: The Single Wing Turquoise Bird." in Millenium Film Journal, No. 43/44, (Summer/Fall 2005)

Tony Martin - artist's site

NEW Tony Martin - obit on

Patents of color organs and light show instruments

Pig Light Show - check out their gallery of slides

Psychedelic Light Shows at the Pooterland website

Single Wing Turquoise Bird Light Show - official site

"The World's Largest List of Psychedelic Light Shows" at Liquid Sound Designs website

Oppenheim, Robin. Maximal Art: The Origins and Aesthetics of West Coast Light Shows (2009, on Rhizome) - an overview, not an in-depth history

Joshua White - Joshua Light Show

Youngblood, Gene. Expanded Cinema. PDF online. See Part Six: Intermedia for section on Single Wing Turquoise Bird, page 392

DVD of Elias Romero films at the CVM store


Other Music Links

Pictures of Music. Online exhibition of Block Museum, Northwestern University. Another type of Visual Music.

The Visual Context of Music on BibliOdyssey

A History of Spatial Music, by Richard Zvonar, PhD

Was Scriabin a Synaesthete? by Bulat Galeyev and I.Vanechkina

120 Years of Electronic Music - includes The Theremin and many other instruments

Musique et arts plastiques, CRDP de l'académie de Créteil

John Cage: An Autobiographical Statement

John Cage: Interview on KPFK's Ode to Gravity - for download

Les Ondes Martenot

Other Links:

Research Errata page maintained by CVM

A History of Early Visual Media (pre-cinema, photography)
Alchemical Texts
CGI Historical Timeline (ref. Whitney, Vanderbeek)
Cantrills Filmnotes index and article: La couleur au cinéma (1995)
Color Academy: A Resource of Ideas About Colour (UK)

History of Animation (Jm Hoffman)
Kinetic Optics, Steve Baker
Making Sense of Marcel Duchamp (Andrew Stafford)
Patents of color organs and light show instruments


VJ Culture by momus (PDF)


Numerous Len Lye exhibitions at Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre, New Plymouth, NZ

Robert Breer, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, UK, 2011.

Semiconductor. FACT, Liverpool, 2011.

Light Art from Artificial Light, ZKM Karlsruhe, Germany, 2006

Sons et Lumieres, Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2004-05.

See CVM's About the Films Page on the Visual Music exhibition, MOCA LA and Hirshhorn Museum, 2005

See this Sound, Lentos Kunstmuseum, Linz, 2009.

Future Cinema, ZKM Karlsruhe, 2002-03.

What Sound Does a Color Make? ICI, touring 2005-06

Summer of Love, 2006, Tate Liverpool, UK; Frankfurt and Vienna. May - Sept. 2007 at Whitney Museum, New York.

Articulated Light: The Emergence of Abstract Film in America O'Grady, Gerald and Bruce Posner, Eds. Harvard Film Archive and Anthology Film Archives. Film series held at Harvard Film Archive, 1997 (Warning: contains numerous errata, particularly in the filmographies, dates, and text on Hirsh). Program notes, PDF.

The articles and essays referenced on this site are protected by Copyright Law - please clear permissions with the appropriate author or organization before reproducing.

Recommended Books and Catalogs

Recommended exhibition catalogs (selected):

Sons et Lumieres.A History of Sound in the Art of the 20th Century. Paris: Musée national d’art moderne, 2004. Centre Pompidou exhibition catalog (French)

Movement Making Movement. MMCA Korea, Seoul, 2021. Exhibition on Lotte Reiniger, Oskar Fischinger, Len Lye, Norman McLaren, Karl Zeman.

Len Lye: Motion Composer (3 volumes). Basel: Museum Tinguely, 2019.


Other publications we recommend:

Basquin, Kit Smyth. Mary Ellen Bute, Pioneer Animator. John Libbey Publishing, 2020.

Dobson, Nichola. Norman McLaren: Between the Frames. Bloomsbury, 2018.

Horrocks, Roger. Several excellent books, texts and bios on Len Lye

Igliori, Paola. American Magus: Harry Smith. A Modern Alchemist. InanOut Press, 1996.

James, David. The Most Typical Avant-Garde: Minor Cinemas in Los Angeles. Berkeley: University of. California Press, 2005.

Dr. Jörg Jewanski and Natalia Sidler, Farbe - Licht - Musik: Synaesthesie und Farblichtmusik Zurich: Peter Lang, 2006

Keefer, Cindy and J. Guldemond, eds. Oskar Fischinger (1900-1969): Experiments in Cinematic Abstraction. Amsterdam and Los Angeles: EYE Filmmuseum and Center for Visual Music, 2012. Distributed by Thames & Hudson. Published in 2012 in Europe, 2013 in the US.

O'Konor, L. 1971. Viking Eggeling, 1880-1925: Artist and Film-maker - Life and Work. Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell. out of print

Russett, Robert and Cecile Starr. Experimental Animation. Two editions: Van Nostrand Reinhold 1976, and Da Capo Press (Revised), 1988.

Smirnov, Andrey. Sound in Z. Experiments in Sound and Electronic Music in Early 20th Century Russia. London: Koenig Books, 2013

Whitney, John. Digital Harmony. Byte Books, 1980.



Kandinsky, Wassily. Concerning the Spiritual in Art. A recent edition published by MFA Publications of The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston's ArtWorks series contains previously unpublished letters and poems by Kandinsky. ISBN 0-87846-702-5. Available through or through D.A.P. New York.

Vail, Karole, Ed. The Museum of Non-Objective Painting: Hilla Rebay and the Origins of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 2009.



New Resource: Research Errata page maintained by CVM


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