Filmstudie by Hans Richter
with new audio recorded by Ear of the Rat
(from Wiki) Richter believed that the artist's duty was to be actively political, opposing war and supporting the revolution. His first abstract works were made in 1917. Richter was co-founder, in 1919, of the Association of Revolutionary Artists ("Artistes Radicaux") at Zürich.
Throughout his career, he claimed that his 1921 film, Rhythmus 21, was the first abstract film ever created. This claim is not true: he was preceded by the Italian Futurists Bruno Corra and Arnaldo Ginna between 1911 and 1912 (as they report in the Futurist Manifesto of Cinema ), as well as by fellow German artist Walter Ruttmann who produced Lichtspiel Opus 1 in 1920. Nevertheless, Richter's film Rhythmus 21 is considered an important early abstract film.
Richter wrote of his own attitude toward film:
"I conceive of the film as a modern art form particularly interesting to the sense of sight. Painting has its own peculiar problems and specific sensations, and so has the film. But there are also problems in which the dividing line is obliterated, or where the two infringe upon each other. More especially, the cinema can fulfill certain promises made by the ancient arts, in the realization of which painting and film become close neighbors and work together."
His art was featured in the notorious Entartete Kunst used by the Nazis in 1937 to showcase what they considered "degenerate art."