Common errors, and errata in recent publications and websites regarding Visual Music.
Plus a few curiosities and notes.
In our field, we see many of the same errors repeated continually in papers, essays, dissertations and books. Other errors noted below are new, some rather bizarre fiction. We hope that this resource will encourage and assist more accurate scholarship in the field of Visual Music.
Section A: Recent Publications
Section B: Websites (including several online databases)
Section C: Common errata
Section D: Misc. Articles and Older Publications
Section A: Recent Publications
Sito, Tom. Moving Innovation: A History of Computer Animation. MIT Press, 2013. Contains errata on Fischinger, Hy Hirsh, and other abstract filmmakers. According to the Fischinger Trust, much of the section on Fischinger "contains fantasy and fiction," including some direct quotes attributed to Fischinger. Some examples follow
Page 12 (re Berlin studio): "A balding man and his wife sat smoking heavily." Elfriede Fischinger never smoked, and Fischinger's family states that he only occasionally smoked a cigar. Though this is cited by implication to Moritz's Fischinger biography, this detail does not appear in Moritz's book, nor does the note by Sito on page 13 of Fischinger's agent "sneaking a message to him" about a Paramount phone call.
Page 12: Re Fischinger in his Berlin studio in 1936, Sito states he was surrounded "by beautiful paintings, prints, and sketches in the twentieth-century abstract expressionist style." Correction: Since Fischinger didn't begin painting on canvas until after his arrival in Los Angeles in 1936, The Fischinger Trust states it is extremely doubtful his Berlin studio could have been full of paintings. And even more remarkable that in 1936 Berlin, it could be full of abstract expressionist work (generally acknowleged as an American post-WW2 art movement developed in New York).
Page 16: "The Museum of Non-objective Art." Correction: It was The Museum of Non-objective Painting.
Page 19: Re Belson, Sito states, "He bought an old X-Ray machine and adapted it to film use. His first film with it, Transmutation (1947)...." A number of authors (Youngblood, Moritz, etc.) have published, and Belson has verified, that his first films were made with hand drawn and painted traditional animation techniques. One must question whether this special Xray rig Belson used for later films was actually used for his first hand drawn animated film.
Page 20: Re Harry Smith, "who had helped design the Folkways Anthology of American Folk Music." Correction: Folkways released Harry Smith's Anthology in 1952, which was assembled and edited by Smith from his personal collection. Smith did far more than "help design" this seminal anthology. Source: Harry Smith Archives, numerous texts on Smith.
Page 20. Re Hy Hirsh's films. Sito writes "a full acount of his filmography is difficult," yet Hirsh wrote a filmography (CV) listing his works, which has been available and online for well over a decade. Both Reed and Keefer have published this filmography over the last 13 years as well (Please see filmography on our Hirsh site for details).
Page 21: Re Bute's film Abstronic; this film uses two pieces of music, one by Copeland as noted, and the other is by Don Gillis, "Ranch House Party."
Page 25: James Whitney, regarding six films made "by the time of his death in 1982...including Kang Jing Xiang (1982)." Correction: Kang Jing Xiang was completed posthumously according to James' instructions, by Mark Whitney and William Moritz. Source: Mark Whitney, William Moritz.
Page 31. "John Stehura's seminal film Cibernetik 5.3 (1965-1969)." Correction: This film was made from 1960-1965. Source: John Stehura's Cibernetic Cinema site, and numerous distribution and exhibition documents over many decades. Same error on page 280.
Page 272: Mary Ellen Bute did not work at Bell Labs, as is stated here. This is perhaps a confusion with Lillian Schwartz.
Page 292, note 7. Oskar Fischinger made a TV spot for "Mad Man Muntz" and Muntz TV c. 1952, not 1960 as stated.
Page 324, Two incorrect citations for texts by William Moritz, may be typos:. The first says "Hy Hirsch" but his name is actually Hy Hirsh. The second cites the name of Moritz's Fischinger biography incorrectly, it is "Optical Poetry: The Life and Work of Oskar Fischinger," not "Works" as listed here.
Sito maintains an errata site here
Lütticken, Sven. "Moving in Circles" in Texte zur Kunst, Nr. 89, March 2013. Numerous errors regarding Fischinger; this review was not fact-checked. Basic facts of exhibition design, preparation, and history are inaccurate.
p. 184 - Re claim that Disney material could not be used for an exhibition. Center for Visual Music does not own rights to, or license, the Disney film Fantasia, and did not discourage its screening or use. In fact, CVM also recommended obtaining the clip from Pinocchio of the Blue Fairy's wand to further illustrate Fischinger's work at Disney; neither this nor Fantasia was chosen for licensing by EYE, likely for budgetary reasons.
p. 184 - Contrary to author's assumption and claims, CVM was extended a far smaller role in determining the exhibition’s final contents, design, and form than we had been promised; CVM’s ability to provide relevant exhibition expertise was severely limited. Exhibition design was completely done by EYE and its Director of Exhibition, with no collaboration with CVM.
Opinions and goals attributed to Keefer are not cited as to source, are not the result of any interview, emails or conversation with author, and are not factual. The new Oskar Fischinger book, Oskar Fischinger: Experiments in Cinematic Abstraction, does include an essay arguing that Fischinger is misconstrued, that visual music does not equal synaesthesia. This essay however is by Paul Hertz, not by Keefer.
p. 186 - On Motion Painting no. 1: "the final painting hardly justifies a minute examination of its evolution." As this is not a film about a single final painting, the author appears to have missed the point.
p. 187 - Regarding Raumlichtkunst, in addition to the Whitney Museum, Raumlichtkunst was exhibited at Tate Modern, London from June 2012 - March 2013. It was at Palais de Tokyo, Paris from June through September 9, 2013 and pending at several other museums. It is only exhibited at museums that agree to meet CVM's installation and exhibition conditions.
In summary, a critic is not absolved of the responsibility to document claims made about a curator, a curator's statements, or about an exhibition, and to write about these ethically. Publications such as Texte zur Kunst also have a responsibility not to publish blatantly false claims.
Zinman, Gregory. "Analog Circuit Palettes, Cathode Ray Canvases: Digital's Analog, Experimental Past" in Film History, Vol 24, 2012. Error in Footnote 32, page 154. Original: "Charles Dockum produced a manifesto for his Non-Objective Kinetic group, a project begun by the Guggenheim's Hilla Rebay that was intended to house a collection of kinetic sculpture and abstract animation by the likes of Lye, McLaren, Francis Lee, and Dwinell Grant, and included Bute as a member." Cited from Peter Weibel, "The Development of Light Art" in Light Art from Artificial Light, 211 (ZKM ex. cat.). Correction: This manifesto was by Oskar Fischinger, not Charles Dockum. Rebay chose Fischinger to lead and assist with plans for a proposed Film Center; the title Non-Objective Kinetic Group was Fischinger's idea and proposal, not used by Rebay or Guggenheim. These filmmakers were not specifically named in the documents or correspondence by Fischinger or Rebay on this group or the Film Center. Rebay however did support and collect films by Fischinger, McLaren, Grant, The Whitney Brothers and others. Source: Handwritten manifesto for the group and the proposed Film Center, by Oskar Fischinger, collection of Center for Visual Music; see also William Moritz's Optical Poetry.
Exchange and Evolution: Worldwide Video Long Beach 1974-1980. Huffman, Kathy Rae, ed. Long Beach Museum of Art, 2011, ex cat. Errors re Oskar Fischinger. Fischinger was not "indentured" to Paramount for many years, as stated. He resigned and left the studio within his first year of work (resignation letter online). Allegretto was not "an early color film produced at Paramount" as stated in the essay by Huffman, p. 105. Fischinger resigned because Paramount would not allow him to print in color the film he'd been hired to make there (which was then called Radio Dynamics). The year for Allegretto stated here on several pages (105, 154) is also incorrect for this film. Allegretto was completed in color seven years later, in 1943. The name of the studio he worked for in 1936 was Paramount Productions, Inc. or Paramount Pictures.
His early series of Studies were not originally "aimed at advertising" as stated here; they began as his personal experiments. Read more about Fischinger's series of Studies in the Film Notes section of CVM's Fischinger research pages, and in Moritz's Optical Poetry biography of Fischinger.
Regarding the statement that Fischinger is well known for his "animation sequences in Fantasia." He did not actually complete any sequences for this film, he resigned when his designs were substantially altered. While his influence can be seen in the film, his actual work cannot.
Young, Paul and Paul Duncan, Ed. Art Cinema. Taschen, 2009.
Page 32. Thomas Wilfred did not make cinema.
Page 52. Fischinger’s series of Studies between 1929 and 1932 were not “often shown in large concert halls with live musical accompaniment” as claimed here. That would have been an exceptional occasion, and no records of this have been found anywhere in Fischinger's papers or clippings, nor in the research of German film historian Jeanpaul Georgen; the Studies however were actually often screened in first run movie theatres before a feature film. (See Moritz, Optical Poetry or Film Culture).
Page 66. Re the Jordan Belson text on this page; Belson confirmed its inaccuracy; he did not design “an optical bench similar to the Whitney’s,” nor is the description correct of its operation “in real time thanks to small motors and pulleys.” Also on this page, the caption for the Epilogue image lacks a credit to The New York Times (Michael Kimmelman, July 1, 2005) for the original phrase, reprinted here uncredited, describing Epilogue’s “lush, misty optics.”
Page 119, description of Vortex Concerts. Belson confirmed he did not use overhead projectors and film loops at Vortex as stated here. He is not a “pioneer” of overhead projectors. The Vortex Concerts didn’t continue into the early 1960s; they ended in 1959 (for sources, see Vortex below in Section C: Common Errata).
Page 190, Belson was not the producer or editor of his film Epilogue (2005); he was the director. The producer was Cindy Keefer and the editor was David Lebrun (see on screen tail credits for Epilogue, on the Jordan Belson DVD).
Rees, A. L. A History of Experimental Film and Video. London: British Film Institute, 2008.
Page 58. Rees writes about Fischinger, "...like his fellow-exile Len Lye, his work became more purely absolute as his commercial career foundered (Fischinger's watershed crisis was seemingly Disney's rejection of his abstract designs for Fantasia)." In fact, Fischinger had been making absolute and abstract films since approximately 1920, well before he made any commercials, and nearly two decades before the Disney incident.
Moritz, William. Optical Poetry: The Life and Work of Oskar Fischinger. John Libbey Publishing, 2004; in the US and Canada, Indiana University Press
This excellent biography unfortunately contains some errors and even some "elaborations." Some material has been found to be incorrect through later research or information from his papers, his children and German relatives.
Kreise (1933-34). Re Moritz's claim that it was the first color film in Europe. Though it was certainly one of the first, evidence has not been found to support the claim of "first."
Page 12. "...in a letter Oskar says Erich Korngold was composing a musical score for Fieber I, II, III (Fever)." This letter has not been found in Fischinger's papers, nor any correspondence with Korngold about such a project. However a letter was found from Fischinger offering his multiple projector show to the Director of a theatre, and Fischinger writes that this performance will have a score by Korngold. No reviews or reports have been found that he did use anything by Korngold, though he did correspond with a friend regarding how to reach Korngold, and how to propose such a project.
Page 58-61. Re Komposition in Blau and the Venice Film Festival. Despite statements about Fischinger working on this film secretly, and that "no German distributor dared to pick up" the film, it was actually registered. The film received a censor permit on May 10, 1935, thus making it legal to screen. See Moritz filmography in this book re censor permit, or Jeanpaul Georgen, "Oskar Fischinger in Germany."
Still from 1952 Dockum Mobilcolor Performance Film
Page 110. Re Dockum Mobilcolor. At the 1952 performance by Charles Dockum at the Guggenheim (New York), some footage was shot by Ted Nemeth, who was Mary Ellen Bute's cameraman and husband. We have not found any evidence that Mary Ellen Bute assisted or shot this, or was even there, and this statement that Bute shot the footage is likely incorrect. Dockum worked on other occasions with Ted Nemeth as a hired cameraman. It is however possible that Mary Ellen Bute witnessed the performance or accompanied Ted Nemeth. That 1952 performance footage has been preserved by Center for Visual Music.
Page 138. Re the painting here called "Outward Movement." Oskar's original name for this painting was "Manhattan," according to The Fischinger Trust. No one is certain who attached the name Outward Movement. Oskar did not name many other of his paintings, some names were assigned after his death by Elfriede Fischinger and/or Martina Dillmann.
Page 147. Re the Lumigraph. The Lumigraph did not appear on the Andy Williams TV show as stated. Representatives from the show visited Fischinger's studio but decided the Lumigraph was not bright enough to be filmed. (Source: Barbara Fischinger, Oskar's daughter).
Page 164. Testimonial from Alexeieff and Parker: Film historian Cecile Starr has relayed that Alexeiff's daughter disputed this account (to Starr directly), claining this was not how they met.
Pahe 235. NOTE re discussion of Motion Painting No. 1 preservation, specifically 16mm reduction prints. Moritz here admits a "more modern soundtrack" taken from "more recent" recordings was used for these 16mm prints - unfornately what this means is he used different recordings at different tempos for 16mm prints of this film. A caveat to those studying Fischinger's synchronization...
UPDATE to information on page 238, Sources: Jack Rutberg Fine Arts is no longer the dealer for The Fischinger Trust paintings. Their new exclusive painting dealer is the Peyton-Wright Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico. To book the 35mm Fischinger Retrospective, or for licensing or sales, please contact CVM at cvmaccess (at) gmail (dot) com
Radical Light: Alternative Film & Video in the San Francisco Bay Area, 1945-2000. Anker, Geritz and Seid, Eds. Page 110: Jordan Belson confirms he did not use oscilloscopes for the effects in his film Allures (1961). He did use interference pattern projectors. Later in the book, the date for the film Cycles is incorrect, it should be 1974, confirmed by Steve Beck, the co-creator of this film.
Lund, Cornelia and Holger, Eds. Audio.Visual - On Visual Music and Related Media. 2009.
Page 153. "What are the visual analogies of melody, harmony, rhythm, and counterpoint?" This statement is not attributed to its original author, William Moritz, who wrote "What are the visual equivalents of melody, harmony, rhythm and counterpoint?" in his 1986 essay, Towards an Aesthetics of Visual Music
Page 258-9. "...Other experimental film directors - Oskar Fischinger, Hans Richter, and Viking Eggeling, for example, pursued similar forms of collaboration with composers in the early 1920s, but most of the resulting original music has been lost over time." Oskar Fischinger's papers contain no references or information about such collaborations. Original music was not composed for Fischinger films until much later, well beyond the 1920s. This statement may be a reference to Alexander Laszlo's mid-1920s performances, and his brief collaboration using a reel of Fischinger's abstract films; but he did not compose music for Fischinger's film(s), and his music is well documented. In the mid to late 1920s Fischinger performed multiple projector shows to various live percussive accompaniment; this seems to have been accompaniment, there is no record of his commissioning any specific score. (See Korngold reference above, in Optical Poetry section). In the 1930s we do find letters exploring such a concept, which was not realized.
Frank, Peter. MidCentury Modernists in LA Weekly, 8/22/07. "Several pioneering L.A. abstractionists were active in the animation studios; Jules Engel, in fact, replaced Oskar Fischinger at Disney." This is incorrect; the two artists met each other while working on Fantasia, during the same time period. They became lifelong friends. (Sources: William Moritz, Barbara Fischinger, Jules Engel).
Brougher, Kerry et al. Visual Music: Synaesthesia in Art and Music Since 1900 (2005).
(c) Fischinger Trust
Page 125. Re Fischinger's ornament sound experiments - he didn't photograph long scrolls, the scrolls were used for faked publicity photographs so that his competitors couldn't learn his techniques. (Sources: William Moritz, Elfriede Fischinger in various articles; and Moritz's Optical Poetry).
Page 133. The Whitney triple screen film is described here as John Whitney Jr.'s "1965 triple-screen film Side Phase Drift." But Gene Youngblood, in his 1970 Expanded Cinema, wrote of Whitney's "now famous, triple-screen film that remains untitled" and notes it premiered in 1967. Stills from the film in the Expanded Cinema book also carry the caption "John Whitney, Jr. Untitled, 1967." We do not believe this to be an error by Brougher.
Foye, Raymond. The Alchemical Image, in “The Heavenly Tree Grows Downward” ex. catalogue (2002).
Oskar Fischinger began making films in the early 1920s, not 1930s as stated. Fischinger left Germany in 1936, not 1933. Fischinger's Lumigraph is not a "color organ."
Author states that Fischinger "had developed elaborate procedures involving chance operations in his works" but does not provide supporting examples or evidence. In fact, Fischinger carefully planned his complicated animated films in advance, a necessity for producing such animation on an extremely tight budget.
Section B: Websites (too many to list, only a few follow)
Los Angeles Filmforum, Alternative Projections website. A project funded by The Getty for Pacific Standard Time. Contains numerous errors regarding Oskar Fischinger, Jordan Belson, William Moritz, Hy Hirsh and their individual films. Extensive use of inaccurate information from decades-old sources. Examples below.
--Films section. "Circles" by Oskar Fischinger. Kreise (Circles), correct date is 1933-34 (several different dates are given in this listing). This film was not "the first color abstract film ever made" as stated here. It was one of the first color films made in Europe. Time given is incorrect, this film is almost 2 minutes in length, not 1 as stated.
--Films section. Most of the running times given for Fischinger's films are incorrect. For example, Motion Painting no. 1 is an 11 minute film. Studie nr 8 is not 6 minutes, but 5 minutes. Many of the dates are also incorrect. Titlles of the Studies are incorrect; Fischinger did not use hashtags in the titles of his films.
--Films section. Composition in Blue listing. Two different dates are given. This film was made in 1935, not 1933. Re the statement here "This is one of the first abstract color films ever made," this is confused with a statement made about Kreise, made in 1933-34. Many other color films were made before 1935.
--Films section. R-1 ein Formspiel is the title of a re-creation made in 35mm Cinemascope by William Moritz in 1993. It is unclear if Fischinger ever used this title for his multiple projector performances, which were in 35mm.
--Films section. Radio Dynamics was originally made in 35mm. 35mm prints are still distributed today, as well as 16mm.
--Films section. The film Studie nr 5 was made in 1930, not 1928 as stated here. Correct length is 3:15 minutes, not 6.
--Films section. Studie nr 6 was made in 1930, not 1929. Length is given as 6 minutes, but the correct length is 2 minutes.
--Films section. Though credited to him here, Hy Hirsh did not make a film called Mad Nest. Nor did he make an 8 minute film titled Recherche in 1961, as stated. Re his film Come Closer, it is incorrect that it was a computer film. While Hirsh did film some oscilloscope patterns, he did not use a computer to make this film in 1953 (2 different dates are given on this same page for the film).
For correct data, see Hirsh's own CV and filmography.
--People section. This section description states: "People included in this database are filmmakers, artists, critics, and programmers who were active in experimental and avant-garde film and video making in Los Angeles from 1945 to 1980." This section mistakenly includes Hans Fischinger, who died in the early 40s in Eastern Europe during WWII and never even visited Los Angeles. Biographies for a number of filmmakers here are quite outdated, e.g. Chris Casady, Jules Engel (1977),
--Hy Hirsh biography - incorrect on numerous points. No evidence of employment in Spain has been found by those researching Hirsh over the last 5 decades (Moritz, Keefer, Reid etc.).
--Jordan Belson Filmography. The film High Voltage was not directed by Belson and James Whitney.
--Organizations section. Neglects to list the Visual Music Alliance, which is the oldest organization devoted to Visual Music.
Many of the corrections have been sent to LA Filmforum, several times, from 2011-2015.
Handmade Cinema online database, by Greg Zinman
Oskar Fischinger entry. Fischinger was not from Munich as stated, but from Gelnhausen, a village near Frankfurt. Described here as a "tinkerer," Fischinger was actually a trained engineer who invented numerous machines and equipment, patenting several during his lifetime.
Fischinger's film An Optical Poem was made in 1937, not 1938 as stated here.
Clarification. Zinman writes, Single Wing Turquoise Bird "were students of fellow West Coast abstract filmmakers Belson, the Whitneys, and Fischinger." The members of SWTB light show group were colleagues of the Whitneys, and some were friends, but were not tutored by the Whitneys. Belson lived in San Francisco and had little contact with SWTB members. Fischinger did not tutor any of them, though he lived in the same city. The use of the phrase "were students of" is somewhat misleading when referring to contemporaries living in the same city.
Alexander Laszlo entry. Multiple errors. Laszlo performed his own multimedia shows in Europe with music, projected lights and slides, before inviting Fischinger to participate with some of his films. The statement "Fischinger projected hand-colored films to Laszlo's compositions" is incorrect on several counts. Fischinger didn't make "hand-colored films," though he did use tinting and toning which are different processes. For more details re Laszlo and Fischinger's collaboration, please see Keefer, Cindy. "Raumlichtmusik - Early 20th Century Abstract Cinema Immersive Environments" (PDF, Leonardo Electronic Almanac site)
IMDB - errors too numerous to list. Not a reliable source for many visual music filmmakers. Wikipedia also contains numerous errors.
Youtube - Extensive errata. We don't know where to start, there are too many.
-Videos of Fischinger's An Optical Poem on youtube. These are faded versions; the yellow layer of this film appears to be gone. This film has rich yellows, browns, oranges which are not visible in these degraded online clips. Dates are usually incorrect as well.
--Hy Hirsh films on youtube. The long-standing "official distributors" are not acknowledged here as distributors- LUX London and Light Cone, Paris. The new head credit placed here on Come Closer, "copyright 1952 Creative Film Society" is not accurate; Hirsh was still alive in 1952 and had not given his copyrights to anyone, including a company not yet formed. Similar errors for Scratch Pad (1960) and Chasses des Touches (1959); Hirsh was still alive and held his own copyrights at that time.
--See below re Harry Smith film on youtube, Homage to Oskar Fischinger, often credited to Fischinger.
Section C: Common errata Some of the most common errors related to visual music we see continually repeated in papers, articles, and books:
A number of early Moritz articles placed online at various sites contain incorrect information, not only on Fischinger but Belson, Hirsh and other artists; a few of these articles are mistitled or are actually drafts, not finished versions. See CVM's online Library for annotated versions with corrected/updated information.
Neither John Whitney nor Jordan Belson worked on or contributed film to the Hollywood feature film 2001: A Space Odyssey. The slit-scan technique used in this film was copied from Whitney's work and techniques. Whitney's slit-scan effect can be seen in the long version of his film Catalog.
James Whitney did not use computers to make his film Yantra. It was hand-made; read about it here. About Lapis and John Whitney's early computer animation, William Moritz discusses here.
There were not 100 Vortex Concerts, or 62 or 60, as often printed, according to Jordan Belson, who states there were far fewer. From Keefer, Cindy: "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): Page 361 and 475, Footnote 1: "In May 2008, Belson remembers there were only a few dozen Concerts. No documentation has been found to support the statements of “over 100 concerts” which appear in many texts. From existing documentation today it is possible to verify around 35 concerts, including Brussels...Many texts refer to “over 100” concerts though in 1967 Sheldon Renan writes of 62...However, Belson does not support the accounts of “over 100” or 60, nor do available documents and program notes from the era."
The Vortex Concerts were held in 1957-1959, not 1960 as often printed (Source: Numerous papers, programs, clippings and press in the Belson Collection at CVM and elsewhere). The films Allures, Yantra and Eneri were not screened at Vortex, only a brief manipulated fragment from an early version of Yantra was used. Interference projector patterns filmed for Vortex were later used in Allures (Source: Jordan Belson; for an in-depth essay regarding Vortex and these films, see Keefer, Cindy. "Cosmic Cinema and The Vortex Concerts," cited above). For a bibliography of articles on Vortex plus other resources, please visit CVM’s Belson Research pages. CVM has recently restored one of Belson's Vortex 5 presentation reels containing brief Hirsh oscilloscope patterns and the manipulated fragments from the early version of Yantra.
Hy Hirsh's name is not spelled with a "c." Source: Hirsh's stamps on his photographs and credits on his films.
Various statements referring to Fischinger's "hand painted films." Fischinger did not make hand painted films, but Harry Smith did and titled one of them "Circular Tensions - Homage to Oskar Fischinger." Thanks to the potential of repeated viral inaccuracy on youtube, a clip of the Harry Smith film placed on youtube has often been spread, posted on blogs and attributed as a hand-painted film by Oskar Fischinger. We do want to mention there were a very few hand-tinted shots in Fischinger's early 1920s experiments, but he did not make any actual "hand painted films."
Oskar Fischinger wasn't a "Bauhaus artist." He never taught, studied or lectured there, though his films were occasionally screened at the Bauhaus. He also was not Ruttmann's student. (Source for latter: Fischinger correspondence to Richter, 1947, CVM Fischinger collection)
Fischinger was not fired from Paramount or Disney (See Moritz, Optical Poetry; and Fischinger's Paramount resignation letter).
1949 award at Knokke-le-Zoute Festival, Brussels: Fischinger received a prize for Motion Painting no 1. The Whitneys received an award for sound, but not the Grand Prize as sometimes stated. Documents and sources forthcoming
Fischinger's film Allegretto was begun at Paramount under the name Radio Dynamics, but not completed there. His final version of Allegretto was completed in 1943. Though many older texts date the film Allegretto as 1936, the film known as Allegretto and in distribution for many decades was completed in 1943. Fischinger was not able to print in color or complete the film in 1936. (Sources: Papers of Oskar Fischinger, William Moritz's Optical Poetry)
Section D: Misc. Articles and Older Publications
Richter, Hans. "A History of the Avantgarde" in Art in Cinema, Frank Stauffacher, Ed., San Francisco, 1946. Contains extensive errors. Richter's film Rhythm 21 was not completed or screened in 1921 (see Jeanpaul Goergen, Hans Richter. Film ist Rhythmus, Berlin, July 2003. Available at Arsenal, Berlin). Richter has pushed the start dates in Art in Cinema of Ruttmann and Fischinger's films to later dates. Ruttmann's Opus 1 was 1921. Fischinger did not start as a painter as Richter writes, and he started making abstract films well before 1929. See the Fischinger Research pages for an Excerpt from 1947 text by Fischinger correcting this account. As Goergen has explained to CVM via email, “The only film by Richter that passed the German censorship and was shown officially and in public was a film called "Film ist Rhythmus" (not preserved under this title) presented at the second screening of the matinee "Der absolute Film" in Berlin, 10. 5. 1925.” Thus the claims of 1921 or 1923 for a Richter film are incorrect. It may even be finally in 1951 that these early Rhythm films were edited and released, according to Goergen.
Moritz, William. “Hy Hirsh and the Fifties” (2001). Re James Whitney and Hy Hirsh. James Whitney’s film Yantra was not screened by Belson, or synchronized to music, at Morrison Planetarium during a Vortex Concert. At a separate, later 1959 event at the San Francisco Museum of Art called "Vortex Presents," Belson did screen Yantra, which was first synchronized then with an excerpt from the “Cain and Abel” soundtrack (Source: Belson interviews, Belson correspondence and "Vortex Presents" program). Re the Hy Hirsh funeral story here - Interviews with Hy Hirsh’s friends from his final Paris years have revealed that Moritz’s story about the many lovers showing up at Hirsh’s funeral, and inspiring a Bergman film, has no basis in fact. Note that Moritz’s texts for the 1990s Absolut Panushka site also contain similar, numerous Vortex, Belson and Whitney errors.
Many of Moritz's earlier visual music-related articles (especially from the 1970s - 90s) contain errata which he later corrected after additional research, or which were later found to be incorrect. Beware early non-annotated Moritz articles online at various sites. Some are even online with incorrect titles and publication citations; a few early drafts containing errors are also presented online as final published articles. It was Moritz's wish that not all of these early articles be placed online. We have begun annotating his articles, starting with some significant errors - visit our online library.
Lukach, Joan. Hilla Rebay: In Search of the Spirit in Art. New York: George Braziller, 1983.
Page 215. Lukach writes that Fischinger's "most-acclaimed film, Motion Painting No. 1" is a film without music. Correction: this film does have music, by Bach.
Last updated April, 2015
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