NMSAT :: Networked Music & SoundArt Timeline

1950 __ Lumigraph
Oskar Fischinger (1900-1967)
Comment : In 1950, Oskar Fischinger created the Lumigraph that produced imagery by pressing objects/hands into a rubberized screen that would protrude into colored light. The imagery of this device was manually generated, and was performed with various accompanying music. It required two people to operate: one to make changes to colors, the other to manipulate the screen. Fischinger performed the Lumigraph in Los Angeles and San Francisco in the 1950s. The Lumigraph was licensed by the producers of the 1964 sci-fi film, “Time Travelers”. The Lumigraph does not have a keyboard, and does not generate music. (Compiled from various sources)Two twentieth-century instruments deserve special mention: Thomas Wilfred's Clavilux (1920's), and Oskar Fischinger's Lumigraph (1948), both of which achieved considerable critical acclaim through international high-art performances. Both were optomechanical; the Clavilux filtered light through several stages of multicolored glass disks, while the Lumigraph interupted colored beams of light with a flexible fabric surface. Interestingly, these instruments also became modest commercial successes as home entertainment systems, and as such penetrated the collective cultural consciousness to an unprecedented degree. (Golan Levin, “Interface Metaphors and Signal Representation for Audiovisual Performance Systems”, 1999)
Source : Wilfred, Thomas (1948), "Composing in the art of lumia," Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, (VII) December 1948, pp. 79-93.
Urls : http://www.oskarfischinger.org/Lumigsketch.htm (last visited ) http://acg.media.mit.edu/people/golan/thesis/proposal/index.html (last visited )

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