Oskar Fischinger / Germany 1900–67 / Raumlichtkunst (Space-Light-Art) (stills) c.1926/2012 / Three-channel projection HD video installation: 4:3, 9:56 minutes; 9:39 minutes; 8:25 minutes; silent, colour and black and white / Reconstruction by the Center for Visual Music, Los Angeles / Purchased 2013. Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art Foundation / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art / © Center for Visual Music, Los Angeles

Oskar Fischinger
Raumlichtkunst (Space-Light-Art) c.1926–2012

Not Currently on Display

Raumlichtkunst (Space-Light-Art) c.1926/2012 recreates early experimental multimedia performances by Oskar Fischinger from the 1920s, which combined film, music and slide projections.

The films in the performance are abstract and use colour, shape, rhythm and texture to create interesting effects. Fischinger played percussive music during the events.

Born in Gelnhausen, Oskar Fischinger combined his scientific training with a creative interest in music and visual effects, and later filmmaking and painting. On the invitation of Paramount Pictures, Fischinger moved to Hollywood in 1936, where he worked for several major film studios, at the same time as maintaining an independent film practice with the support of grants.

In the 1940s and 1950s, his works were presented at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and at the then San Francisco Museum of Art (now the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, or SFMOMA).

Discussion Questions

How does music add to your experience of an artwork? What do you imagine the percussive music accompanying the work sounds like?

Classroom Activities

1. Explore the work of Oskar Fischinger and identify the techniques he used. Using geometric patterns and focusing on the elements of line, shape and colour, create your own artworks relying on optical illusion.

2. Using square or rectangular pieces of thick paper or card, create an abstract series of images based on the elements of design. Animate the sequence by creating a flipbook. Alternatively, take a series of photographs to form the stills of a film. Use your film sequences to experiment with the layered, multiple projection technique used by Fischinger.