At the beginning of the twentieth century, certain artists, writers, and
philosophers became intrigued by the profound ways in which filmic
images could pervade aspects of modern thought and experience. For
them, film had the potential to reveal radical new dimensions of
sensory phenomena. The early development of avant-garde film-making
in Europe is culturally crucial not only for its historical and conceptual
context of creative transition, but also for its dynamic exploration of
processes of visual perception. The central objective of this thesis is to
expose and engage these profound perceptual issues within the specific
sphere of graphic abstract film. The structural formation of the thesis
entails the confluencing of material for analysis into a sequence of key
areas comprising the central components of avant-garde cinematic
visualisation. The visual implications of each area are analysed in
specific depth, whilst acknowledging their respective interactivity.
Significantly, the research applies analytic theories of phenomenology
in order to focus incisively upon relevant early European avant-garde
filmic imagery. The potential vitality of a phenomenological
theorisation of early avant-garde film resides not only within their
historical contemporaneity, but at the epistemological level of the
mind's cognitive engagement with the realms of creative visualisation.
It is a system of analysis which aims to establish a nuanced
phenomenological theory of visual perception as a matter of prime
sustenance to historically crucial cinematic art forms.