Google celebrates filmmaker Oskar Fischinger's birthday with an interactive visual-music doodle

Posted June 23, 2017

Hong worked with Fischinger's youngest child Angie on the Doodle, who added: "It means so much to me to see this celebration of my father's art".

A click on the home page of Google allows you to interact and visually compose music by selecting dots on an 11x16 grid. Oskar Fischinger made over 50 short films and painted around 800 canvases that find a place in museums, galleries and collections across the globe. Fischinger was a trailblazing animator and painter, producing abstract film graphics decades before the advent of digital post-production.

Not only was Fischinger behind the effects on several movies, including Fritz Lang's 1929 Woman in the Moon, he invented the Lumigraph, a device that generates chromatic displays with hand movements.

When you open Google and click on the doodle, a chime sound comes on and is accompanied by Fischinger's quote: "Music is not limited to the world of sound. There exists a music of the visual world", he once said.

Fischinger fled Hitler's Germany for the 1936, when many artists and intellectuals - labeled as degenerates by the Nazi Party - fled amid the regime's crackdown on cultural modernism.

He was known for his stop-motion animations synchronised to music. Each frame was carefully drawn by hand or photographed at a time when there were no computers to fall back on. Apart from that, Fischinger was also involved with the development of the three-strip GasparColor film process, a European rival to Technicolor. Most of the almost 50 film projects that Fischinger completed were made before WWII, and in his later years, he focused mostly on painting.

After being rejected from combat duty, Fischinger met Walter Ruttmann, a pioneer in abstract film and got inspired by Ruttmann's work.