Symposium: ‘Eadweard Muybridge: Re-presenting History in the Digital Age’

Hosted by the British Film Institute, Southbank 21st May 2010, NFT2, 2.00 – 5.30pm
Location:    United Kingdom
Symposium Date:    2010-05-21

From Kingston University and Kingston Museum:

In the year of a major Muybridge retrospective opening at Tate Britain, join us for this innovative symposium: the culmination of a unique Arts and Humanities Research Council project between Kingston University and Kingston Museum which concerns Muybridge’s work.
The Muybridge project has produced an online research resource which draws together information on all collections of Muybridge’s work worldwide as well as providing an academic and historical context for them. Our symposium will critically reflect on some of the crucial cultural and aesthetic questions to have arisen from this contemporary heritage project. Three talks will explore representation and the body within photography, the ideological meaning of space and place within cultural communication, and the contemporary trend towards digitization in heritage projects. A guided discussion with questions from the audience will follow, with a reception to finish.
Talks will be given respectively by Dr Harriet Riches: Senior Lecturer in Art History & Visual Culture at Kingston University. Professor Tim Cresswell, Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Geography Royal Holloway, University of London and Louise Shannon, Curator, Deputy Head of Contemporary Programmes Victoria and Albert Museum and co-curator of ‘Decode’.
There is no charge for this event.
To reserve a place please telephone Emerald Day: 020 8 417 7416 (Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture, Kingston University)

From: H-Net

(Posted here by Stephen Herbert)

Coffee Break (Guatemala)

Time for a coffee break. A short blog for a small coffee distributor in Washington says:

“Welcome to Aviv Coffee!

Aviv Coffee is your source for premium roasted Guatemalan Coffee in the Washington DC Metro Area. We pride ourselves with offering single origin, freshly roasted Guatemalan coffee. Currently we are offering Highland (Huehuetenango) Coffee that follows the guidelines of the SLOW FOOD movement.

We carefully cup every coffee and rate it for quality and flavor; providing you a to rich and satisfying coffee.

We obtain our coffee from Highlands of Guatemala from small producers, thus aiding in the sustainability of farming in the region.”

Guatemalan Coffee 1800’s – Eadweard Muybridge

“Coffee was introduced to Guatemala in the late 1700’s, in houses as ornamental plants. By the early 1800’s the coffee plants were taken outside the cities into different areas of the country. Originally coffee was planted out of amusement rather than for economic speculation. During that time coffee was seen more of a medicinal drink than a refreshment. It would take another 60 years to reach a commercial scale, once all other exports lost their economic value.  To foment coffee cultivation in the 1830’s the government passed a laws and incentives that helped coffee growers. In 1867 at the International Expo in Paris, Julio Rossignon and Juan Rodriguez presented coffee cultivated and processed in Guatemala and obtained awards for its taste. The liberal government which came to power in 1871 thorough a revolutionary fight, fomented the cultivation of coffee more than previous governments.

Liberal Leaders in Guatemala encourage Coffee Production

Eadweard Muybridge an English Photographer traveled to Guatemala in 1875, when coffee bean production was a bustling enterprise. He visited several farms in Guatemala and photographed every stage of coffee production.”

Aviv’s blogger continues:

I went to the Corcoran Gallery of Art this past Saturday and saw the pictures he took. Very interesting. The same pictures appear in the “History of Coffee in Guatemala” book that I have been reading.”

The book mentioned can be previewed on Google Books.

Jacket photo by Muybridge
The History of Coffee in Guatemala,
By Regina Wagner, Cristóbal von Rothkirch

“Muybridge left the largest and oldest photographic record of coffee production in Latin America, and captured an important period of transition from the conservative to the liberal eras. “

Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Villegas Editores; 1 edition (November 1, 2001)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9588156017
ISBN-13: 978-9588156019
Product Description
After it emerged as a market commodity in the 18th century, coffee was easily adapted to cultivation in the highlands of Central America. Guatemala in particular has relied on coffee cultivation as a part of its economic identity: it has been a premier export crop for over 300 years.

The importance of coffee to the country lies in the large labor investment in each stage of production. This large-format illustrated book covers agricultural, social, and cultural aspects of coffee culture in Guatemala in old photographs, charts, tables and maps. Wagner’s work shows how Guatemala has met the economic complexity to which this product is subject, and why coffee remains the solid foundation crop of the country today.

About the Author
Regina Wagner was born in Guatemala, has a Ph.D. in history from Tulane University, New Orleans. She teaches at the Francisco Marroquín University and is current president of the Academy for Geography and History of Guatemala.

The book preview includes several good quality sepia reproductions of  Muybridge photographs.

Weeding and protecting young coffee plants from sun.
Santa María de Jesús, Guatemala (1875)
Sidney D. Markman Collection


For more on Muybridge in Central America, check The Sidney D. Markman Collection of Eadweard Muybridge Prints which lists many of his photographs taken in Guatemala and Panama.

The Sidney D. Markman Collection of Eadweard Muybridge Prints contains 142 black and white 9″ x 6″ copy prints of original Eadweard Muybridge photographs of colonial architecture, landscapes, coffee plantations, and daily life in Central America, taken in 1875. For more background on the Guatemalan photographs, see Eadweard Muybridge in Guatemala, 1875: The Photographer as Social Recorder (photographs by Eadweard J. Muybridge; text by E. Bradford Burns), University of California Press, 1986. (LAL F1464.B94)

Professor Ralph Lee Woodward of the History Department at Tulane remarked that the Muybridge photographs “give us an exceptionally valuable window on Guatemala in 1875. They are quite remarkable in what they tell us about Central America in that period.” (quoted from the dustjacket of Eadweard Muybridge in Guatemala, 1875 ).

Time has transformed into furniture

Muybridge Chair: “Time has transformed into furniture”

The following is from an exclusive interview with Dutch designer Richard Hutten, published in Design, (Events, Profile), on 12 June 2008 by Shweta Parida. [Reproduced here by kind permission]

(And yes, we’re a couple of years late catching up with this, but I thought it was worth a blog post.)

“Des51gn speaks to famous Dutch designer Richard Hutten at the launch of his latest collection Atomes d’Argent for French luxury brand Christofle Paris.”

Muybridge Chair, from the 'Layers' collection

Muybridge is a chair named after the pioneer of photography Eadweard Muybridge.

“Being a passionate photographer myself, I had a series of pictures taken of me in profile while I got up from a seated position and had this one single movement captured in 53 shots, according to the technique devised by Muybridge. The pictures were then enlarged and laser-cut in MDF slabs that were glued to each other in the order in which they were taken. Thus a chair was created, in which one literally sits on my lap! The upper legs are the seat, while the torso is the back, and the movement of raising the body also creates an armrest. Time has transformed into furniture.”

DE51GN is an international ezine that brings you the must-know in contemporary design, art, architecture and cutting-edge fashion with a special focus on the Middle East and Asia.

Richard Hutten

Watch the YouTube video here

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Critical Lives Series: a new Muybridge biography by Marta Braun

As your dedicated blogger struggles to keep up with the whirlwind of events and announcements relating to our subject, comes news from Reaktion Books: a new illustrated biography of Muybridge will be published later this year.

Eadweard Muybridge, by Marta Braun
208 pages, 40 halftones  5 x 7 7/8
Series: Reaktion Books – Critical Lives
Paper $16.95
ISBN: 9781861897602   Will publish October 2010

This is a new publication in the Critical Lives series: So Eadweard Muybridge takes his place alongside such cultural greats as Ludwig Wittgenstein, Marcel Duchamp, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, Samuel Beckett, and Sergei Eisenstein.

“Critical Lives is a major series of short critical biographies that present the work of important cultural figures in the context of their lives. Each book relates and brings alive the life of the artist, writer, philosopher or architect in question and assesses their major works at the same time.”

Distributed by the University of Chicago Press.

The life of Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904) is the stuff of legend. An inventive and sensitive photographer, and a technical wizard who was the first ever to freeze motion with a camera, he was also a man of passion who murdered his wife’s lover (although he was acquitted of the crime). Born Edward James Muggeridge, Muybridge reinvented himself several times, changing his surname first to Muygridge then to Muybridge, and late in life upgrading the mundane ‘Edward’ to the saxon, kingly ‘Eadweard’. In Eadweard Muybridge, Marta Braun frames the photographer’s life within the dramatic transformations brought about by the rapidly developing technologies of the late nineteenth century. Born in Kingston upon Thames, Muybridge travelled to the United States at 22 to seek his fortune, first in New York and then in San Francisco where he set himself up as a publisher’s agent and bookseller. As the photographic artist ‘Helios’, Muybridge became famous in the 1870s for his artistic depictions of the rugged beauty of the us West Coast and its inhabitants, from Modoc warriors to the robber barons who pushed through the transcontinental railway. As Edward Muybridge he documented the indigenous tribes and coffee plantations of Guatemala, the expansion of the American frontier and the gold-rush driven remaking of San Francisco. In 1887, working with scientists at the University of Pennsylvania, he invented a method of stop-action photography that heralded the first motion pictures. As lecturer, flamboyant showman and entertainer, he toured Europe and America with his ‘zoopraxiscope’, a machine that re-animated his motion sequences. At the end of his life, lonely and disappointed, his fame dwindling and his career faltering, Muybridge retired to his English birthplace, where he died in 1904. Since then his life and work have continued to fire the imagination of artists as varied as Francis Bacon, Cy Twombly and u2. Eadweard Muybridge presents an insightful and lucid account of the life, work and legacy of this highly influential figure, as well as newly discovered information about the photographer’s masterpiece, Animal Locomotion.

Comments about this series:~

‘beautifully produced – very short critical biographies whose main target audience is likely to be undergraduates, but that will also do nicely for a general audience.’
Times Literary Supplement

‘Reaktion has published a distinguished series of these shorter critical appraisals of famous literary figures’
Independent on Sunday

‘This excellent series should dispel many of the silly shibboleths about critical theory.’
Scotland on Sunday

Marta Braun is professor at the School of Image Arts at Ryerson University in Toronto. She is the author of Picturing Time: The Work of Etienne-Jules Marey and Beauty of Another Order: Photography in Science.

Auction Records Set at Swann Galleries’ Photographs Sale

Animal Locomotion, Author’s Edition, with 21 plates, 1872-1885, printed 1887, sells for $57,600.

NEW YORK, NY.- Auction records for 19th and 20th century photographs were achieved on March 23 at Swann Galleries’ two-part auction of The Stephen L. White Photograph Collection; and Fine Photographs.

The White Collection, which was exhibited at Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum in 2001, consisted of just over 100 remarkable works depicting aspects of the American Dream. Record-setters from the collection included a half-plate daguerreotype of American statesman Henry Clay attributed to Montgomery P. Simons, circa 1848, which sold for $24,000; a signed and inscribed copy of Eadweard Muybridge’s seminal stop-motion work, Animal Locomotion, Author’s Edition, with 21 plates, 1872-1885, printed 1887, $57,600; James Wallace Black’s portrait of Kit Carson, the last known image of the frontiersman before his death, albumen print, 1868, $48,000; and one of Lewis W. Hine’s poignant images of a child laborer, Spinner, Cotton Mill, Augusta, Georgia, silver contact print, 1909, $26,400.

Other notable early works in the White Collection were two other works by Muybridge, his Mills Seminary, Seminary Park, Alameda Co., Cal., mammoth albumen print, 1873, $13,200, and a 1973 printing of a 13-part panorama of San Francisco, photographed in 1878, and offering a visual record of the city before the 1906 earthquake, $7,995;


The Man Who Made Pictures Move: podcast and competition

Walking, two models meeting, and partly turning. Corcoran Gallery of Art

Muybridge: The Man Who Made Pictures Move
by Neda Ulaby

A link from this review of Helios: Eadweard Muybridge in a Time of Change will take you to the NPR radio’s 6-minute introduction to Muybridge.

From the same page, you can enter this:

NPR-Corcoran Contest
Following In Muybridge’s Footsteps
Concept: Create an Eadweard Muybridge-inspired piece. NPR will select three submissions to feature on the Picture Show blog and the Corcoran Web site.
What To Submit: It may be a stop-motion animation, sequence of stills or anything else you can come up with that moves Muybridge into 2010.
How to Submit: Videos should be submitted to YouTube through NPR’s YouTube Direct channel below. [there are links on NPR’s page] Make sure to tag them NPRMuybridge and include your email address in the description so we can get in touch with you. Photos should be submitted through Flickr and tagged NPRMuybridge. Include your email address in the caption. You’ll know if you’ve submitted photos correctly if they show up here.
Deadline: 11:59 p.m., May 15, 2010

“There’s a common story here, one about human animals making their way through rigid modern structures that restrict and define their flow of movement. In a sped-up world, perhaps the work of the man who stopped time and then put it back in motion makes some kind of sense.”

National Public Radio (NPR) is a privately and publicly funded non-profit membership media organization that serves as a national syndicator to 797 public radio stations in the United States.

Stephen Herbert

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Muybridge animations / inspirations on Vimeo

no.2, by david daniels

New animations, videos, motion experiments, kinetic artworks continue to pop up on VIMEO all the time. Here’s a small selection – lots more may be found by searching the site.

MUYBRIDGE Revisited by MAN of HANK

Edwearde [sic] Muybridge in the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham. The long dead people from whom he took a single 12 frame cycle of existence come back to life. Music is by Brendan Beal and the moving picture was funded by the BFI (British Film Institute.)

Muybridge Experiment by alejandra anton [clever]

no. 2 by david daniels [beautiful]

Cardboard Box | Muybridge by Orla Mc Hardy [original]

Profilograph (after Muybridge) by pablo garcia [compelling]

Helios: News and Reviews

Photo by Francis Chung

Review of “Helios: Eadweard Muybridge in a Time of Change” at the Corcoran
By Blake Gopnik
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, April 9, 2010; 12:00 PM

“Helios: Eadweard Muybridge in a Time of Change,” a show that opens Saturday at the Corcoran — it’s one of the gallery’s most significant events in years — is full of fabulous art that’s a pleasure to see. The very best of this work, the celebrated action shots of animals and people that Muybridge took in the 1880s, also raises an intriguing question: Who should take credit for it?

Corcoran waives entry fee temporarily to make up for closing exhibit early

By Jacqueline Trescott
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, April 9, 2010

Visitors who came to the Corcoran Gallery of Art on Thursday expecting to see the exhibition “Turner to Cézanne: Masterpieces From the Davies Collection, National Museum Wales” got two surprises. First, the exhibition was closed. Second, to make up for the sudden closure, the Corcoran waived its usual admission fees.

“We are trying to satisfy those who came by offering free admission,” said Kristin Guiter, the gallery’s director of public relations. The no-charge policy continues Friday. On Saturday, the museum will charge its regular fee. (Admission to the gallery is usually $8 to $10, with children younger than 12 free.) And Sunday was already scheduled as a free day with a full slate of family activities.

The decision to shutter the show before its April 25 closing date was made late Tuesday night because of malfunctioning air handlers and a notification from the General Services Administration that it was temporarily shutting its steam system in parts of downtown this weekend.

The remainder of the air-handling systems in the Corcoran were not affected by the malfunctions in the three galleries, Guiter said, and the Corcoran is planning to open “Helios: Eadweard Muybridge in a Time of Change” as scheduled Saturday.

Preview: Eadweard Muybridge @ The Corcoran
April 9, 2010 by Francis Chung
While it doesn’t break any entirely new scholarly ground on Muybridge’s already well-studied oeuvre, the Corcoran show effectively conveys the considerable breadth of the photographer’s output, with ample attention paid to his less-renowned early efforts.  A British-born immigrant to the United States, Muybridge started out as a landscape photographer in the American West, for a time publishing his work under the pseudonym “Helios.”  The pantheistic connotations of this moniker underscore the Romantic tendencies of the dramatic, sometimes stunningly beautiful images Muybridge captured at locations such as Yosemite Valley, Alaska, and the Pacific coastline.

Helios: Eadweard Muybridge in a Time of Change is on view at the Corcoran Gallery of Art from April 10 to July 18, 2010.

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Corcoran Muybridge Lectures

The first lectures to tie in to the exhibition Helios: Eadweard Muybridge in a Time of Change, are:

Muybridge and the Evolution of Landscapes

Wednesday, April 07, 2010    7 p.m.

A fascination with the American West inspired Eadweard Muybridge in the 19th century, as well as acclaimed photographer Mark Klett and celebrated essayist and noted cultural historian Rebecca Solnit in the 20th and 21st. To complement the exhibition Helios: Eadweard Muybridge in a Time of Change, Klett and Solnit discuss their collaborations on projects that probe and re-examine Muybridge’s photographic explorations of the changing physical and cultural landscapes of the West.

The Places In Between: Arachne Aerial Arts
Tuesday, April 13, 2010 7 p.m.

Arachne Aerial Arts takes Cirque du Soleil’s astonishing acrobatics and makes them relevant. –Kim Rinehimer, Washington City Paper

In the spirit of Muybridge’s studies of motion and bodies in space, Washington’s award-winning acrobatic duo, Arachne Aerial Arts, returns to the Corcoran’s atrium for an evening of breathtaking suspended artistry. Combining the drama of aerial acrobatics with the artistry of dance, they perform selections from their new full-length show, The Places In Between, which conjures places real and imagined, and the spaces in between. The company is joined by Washington’s dynamic chamber ensemble, Kenyon Piano Quartet.

Members: $35.00 Public: $40.00

Interpreting Helios: Eadweard Muybridge in a Time of Change
Tuesday, April 20, 2010 7 p.m.

While best known for his studies of human and animal locomotion, 19th-century photographer Eadweard Muybridge was also an innovative landscape artist and pioneer of documentary subjects. The enormous impact of his photographs can be measured throughout the course of modern art, from paintings and sculptures by Marcel Duchamp and Francis Bacon, to the 1999 blockbuster film The Matrix. Join Philip Brookman, the Corcoran’s chief curator and head of research, and curator of the exhibition, as he discusses Muybridge’s life and career, the artist’s relationship with the Corcoran, and the incredible relevance of his artwork today.

Members: $0.00 Public: $10.00

Corcoran Gallery of Art

500 Seventeenth Street NW Washington, DC 20006
Gallery:  (202) 639-1700
College: (202) 639-1800

More here:

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Every Wandering Cloud: palimpsest, layering, collage

Every Wandering Cloud

Every Wandering Cloud
Tom Kalin
2005, 7 min, color, sound

Text: Excerpts from “The Ballad of Reading Gaol,” Oscar Wilde (1896). Excerpt from “Letter From The Wandering Jew,” Alfred Chester. Stolen Images: “Gold Diggers of 1933-A Day in the Life of a Coal Miner” (1887). Animation: Derived from Eadweard Muybridge, “Complete Human and Animal Locomotion” (1887). Featuring: Joan Blondell, Craig Paul. Music: “Posed by Models” by Young Marble Giants. “Glass Onion” by The Beatles. “From the Hame Hill” by Brian Eno.

Tom Kalin. A Presentation of Three Films. 2009 1/6
Public open lecture for the students and faculty of the European Graduate School EGS Media and Communication Studies department program Saas-Fee Switzerland.

One of six videos in which experimental filmmaker Tom Kalin talks about his work. In this section he shows Every Wandering Cloud (2005), a sophisticated multi-layered film exploring palimpsest, layering, and collage – and  which includes Eadweard Muybridge’s work, the 1910 film A Day in The Life of the Coal Miner, Hollywood actress Joan Blondell, text from Oscar Wilde, and a complex soundtrack.

The rotoscoping of Muybridge’s Animal Locomotion sequences by animators and art students is a common theme on YouTube. This film takes such work to a new level. Kalin’s consideration of the repeating motion of pre-cinematic animations as ‘the prison of the loops’ – characters destined to be trapped in their  short life-movements forever – superimposed with text verses from Wilde’s “The Ballad of Reading Gaol,” has an entrancing quality.

“Every Wandering Cloud is a meditation on themes of freedom and imprisonment. The tape juxtaposes an eclectic array of archival and contemporary imagery, including documentary footage and original super-8 and digital video.

By combining images from both past and present, Every Wandering Cloud creates an imaginary dialogue between the worlds of the late 19th/early 20th centuries and today. In his deceptively simple ballad, Wilde explored the profound personal and social consequences of being a prisoner. Every Wandering Cloud similarly moves between public and private worlds. Every Wandering Cloud premiered at MoMA in January 2005, part of the PREMIERES series that marked the museum’s re-opening in Manhattan.”$tapedetail?EVERYWANDE
Watch a short sequence here. (Click on video camera next to film title.)

Tom Kalin is an artist, director and producer living in New York City. Much of his work is influenced by his early years as an AIDS activist and his participation in Gran Fury and Act Up in the 1980s, and his work has significantly changed the dialogue regarding portrayals of gay sexuality in film, literature and art. His films have won international acclaim, garnering awards in Berlin, Sundance, New York and elsewhere. His two commercial films, Swoon (1992) and Savage Grace (2007) have also won international acclaim.

Every Wandering Cloud. Kalin's lecture presentation

Kalin’s works however are not limited solely to film. Indeed, over two decades his work has investigated and probed both photography and film, literature and performance art. As a member of Gran Fury, Kalin took part, collaboratively, in the 1991 Venice Biennial and is held in the permanent collections at Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and MOMA in New York. In addition to directing films, Kalin has also been known for his daring production credits, including Go Fish (1994) and I Shot Andy Warhol (1996). Kalin is professor of literature at the European Graduate School and since 1996 has been an associate professor of film at Columbia University.

Posted by Stephen Herbert

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