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Monday, April 30, 2012

Rudolf Steiner’s 1918 Project with Jan Stuten for a New
Colored “Light-Play-Art,” Metamorphoses of Fear
by David Adams

Jan Stuten, Sketch No. 13, Metamorphoses of Fear, ca. 1919-1937. 

Jan Stuten, Sketch No. 15, Metamorphoses of Fear, ca. 1919- 1937. 

IN1918 at the end of the first world war Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925), the Austrian-born founder of anthroposophy, gave the musician, composer, and scenery designer Jan Stuten (1890-1948) a task. Arising from his concerns about mechanizing, materialistic (or, in anthroposophical terminology, “Ahrimanic”) influences from watching the inartistic silent films of his day, Steiner had the idea of a new, alternative color- art combining sound, colored light, color-movement, and colored shadows in a way that would leave the viewer free to interpret what was seen and would keep the spectator inwardly active (as opposed to the passivity of watching films). 

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