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Table of Contents for
Harmony and Dissent: Film and Avant-garde Art Movements in the Early Twentieth Century by R. Bruce Elder


PART 1: Modernism and the Absolute Film
The Overcoming of Representation

1. The Philosophical and Occult Background to the Absolute Film

Photography, Modernity, and the Crisis of Vision

The Analogy to Music

Absolute Film and Visibility: The Theories of Conrad Fiedler

Bergson and Intuition

Abstraction and the Occult

The Extraordinary Influence of Annie Besant and Charles Leadbeater’s Thought Forms

Vibratory Modernism: Rudolf Steiner, Anthroposophy, and Synaesthesia

2. Modernism and the Absolute Film

The Absolute Film: Precursors and Parallels

Precursors of the Absolute Cinema: Light Sculpture

Precursors of the Absolute Film: The Scroll

Precursors of the Absolute Cinema: The Colour Organ and the Lichtspiel

More on Vibratory Modernism: The Esoteric Background to the Absolute Film

Abstract Film and Its Earlier Occult Predecessors

A Possible Egyptian Connection for Kircher’s Steganographic Mirror

Huygens, Robertson, and Their Colleagues: Popular Magic

Spiritualism and the New Technology

Léopold Survage and the Origins of the Absolute Film

Walther Ruttmann and the Origins of the Absolute Film

Hans Richter and Viking Eggeling: The Absolute Film as the Fulfillment of Modern Art Movements

The Language of Art: Constructivism, Reason, and Magic

Eggeling’s Integrity

Towards a Generalbaß der Malerei

Goethe as Precursor

Kandinsky, Eggeling, and Richter: Colour as Feeling, Rhythm as Form

Rhythmus 21 and the Generalbaß der Malerei

The End of the Absolute Film

PART 2: Modernism and Revolution
Constructivism Between Marxism and Theology

3. Spiritual Interests in Late-Nineteenth-Century and Early-Twentieth-Century Russia

Symbolism, Theology, and Occultism

Solovyov’s Influence

4. Symbolism and Its Legacies

Symbolism, the Spiritual Ideal, and the Avant-garde

Symbolism: The Crucible of the Russian Avant-garde

Malevich, or the Persistence of the Symbolist Ideal

Symbolism and Its Descendents: Suprematism

Zaum and Perlocutionary Poetics

Malevich and Higher Reality

Malevich, Suprematism, and Schopenhauer

Symbolism and Its Descendants: Cubo-Futurism

Vitebsk and Symbolism

Symbolism and its Descendents: FEKS

5. Constructivism: Between Productivism and Suprematism

Symbolism and Its Descendents: Constructivism

6. Eisenstein, Constructivism and the Dialectic

The Fact: Nature and Its Transformation

The Theory of the Dialectic and the Concept of Transformation

The Concept of Transformation in Earlier and Later Eisenstein

Eisenstein, Bely, Russia, and the Magic of Language

Rudolf Steiner’s Anthroposophy and the Avant-garde

Rosicrucianism and the Theory of Transformation

What Would Eisenstein Have Heard in a Rosicrucian Lodge?

Rosicrucianism and Eisenstein’s Aesthetic Theory

Constructivism and Counterscience

The Engineer of Human Souls

Fechner and the Science of Effects

The Cinema and Spiritual Technology

The Cinema and X-rays

Nikolai Fedorov’s Cosmicism

The New Body

Mexico and Mallarmé

Eisenstein, the Monistic Ensemble, and Symbolism

Eisenstein, Symbolism, and the Fourth Dimension

Eisenstein’s Pangraphism and the Theory of Imitation

Mimesis, Pangraphism, and Language of Adam

Eisensten and Symbolist Colour Theory

Concluding Unscientific Postscript

Appendix: Viking Eggeling’s Diagonal-Symphonie: An Analysis

Shot Description/Analysis