Muybridge (all over) Kingston

The Muybridge in Kingston project is currently inescapable in the old photographer’s home town. The Muybridge Revolutions exhibition (original lantern slides and motion discs) at the Museum continues until 12 February, with ongoing lectures.


Barkman Computers in the High Street – Muybridge’s childhood home, just across the street from the Coronation Stone – has a large window display, and in the Rose Theatre next door some of Trevor Appleson’s large colour photographs of human movement/activity are being shown. In the evenings, there are spectacular Nocturnal Projections (18 Sept – 11 Feb).

A few yards down the road at the Market Square, the ancient Market House recently housed a display of local children’s artwork inspired by the old photographer’s sequences of people in motion. As well as single-phase drawings of people in motion and photo-sequences for animating in mini cardboard zoetropes, the children made their own versions of the commemorative plaque that’s on Muybridge’s original house, with details of how they would like to be remembered – from the inevitable “league footballer” to “auther”. (More about the children’s work in a later post.)

This artwork was also in one of the rooms at the Stanley Picker Gallery.

Also at the Stanley Picker, is Appleson’s Dance of Ordinariness“an ambitious new moving-image and photographic work inspired by Muybridge’s famous collotype sequences of human figures. As part of a residency at The London Contemporary Dance School, the artist has invited dancers to reinterpret gestures and actions that relate to the various visual narratives that Muybridge himself built into his original motion studies”. The multi-screen presentation echoes the multiple-view format of the Animal Locomotion plates. One sequence shows water flowing from a mop in slow motion – the effect half-way between Muybridge’s time-frozen water in a similar scene, and watching this happen in real time –  allowing us to see (as in Muybridge’s published collotype sequence) the detail in the water’s movement, at the same time that the synthesized motion is being presented.
http://www.stanleypickergallery.org/index_more.htm

The exhibition runs until 13 November, with Becky Beasley’s exhibition following from 24 November.

Posted here by Stephen Herbert.

Children’s artwork, and workshop photograph, reproduced by kind permission of Natalie Kay, Education Coordinator for the Stanley Picker Gallery.

Advertisements

Muybridge chairs

From the web:

“Mike Kann of Studio801 created the Muybridge Chair (Gallop Series), which were recently exhibited during the London Design Festival at Designersblock.


Inspired by the animal study photography of Eadweard J. Muybridge (known primarily for his pioneering work with the use of multiple cameras to capture motion), Gallop are a range of chairs resembling the gait of a horse. The chair legs were influenced by sketching from the famous frames of movement of horses galloping as captured by Muybridge.


Made of Scottish birch and clear acrylic, these two examples (No. 6 and No. 2) from the Gallop range (other ranges include Jump and Canter) show the two extremes of this motion — from fully outstretched to mid-gallop with all legs lifted from the floor.”

Not the first Muybridge chair to have been noted on this blog/website: here’s a different concept from a while back by Richard Hutten, Time has transformed into furniture.

Muybridge chair by Richard Hutten

https://ejmuybridge.wordpress.com/2010/04/21/time-has-transformed-into-furniture/


Muybridge, blue chair is the title of this painting by Christopher Rj. Worth, illustrated on his website Beyond The Post and Lintel.
http://crjworth.wordpress.com/2010/10/26/muybridge-blue-chair/

Posted here by Stephen Herbert

Flying horses to Avatar

Flying horses to Avatar – Eadweard Muybridge comes home to Kingston


http://www.kingston.ac.uk/pressoffice/news/134/19-10-2010-flying-horses-to-avatar—eadweard-muybridge-comes-home-to-kingston.html

For a succinct guide to the Muybridge in Kingston project, it’s well worth spending 13 minutes viewing the new video featuring David Falkner, Director of the Stanley Picker Gallery.

“Kingston University and Kingston Museum have teamed up to run a major programme of events and activities promoting Eadweard Muybridge. This coincides with the first significant retrospective of the famous photographer’s work arriving at Tate Britain from the Corcoran Gallery, Washington DC.

David Falkner … believes that, in 2010, Muybridge’s work is more relevant than ever. In this interview he explains how Muybridge’s experiments have direct links to modern films such as Avatar, Alice in Wonderland and The Matrix.”

Posted here by Stephen Herbert

From Muybridge to The Matrix

Professor Anil Kokaram

I’ve previously mentioned Muybridge’s TimeSlice or Bullet Time sequences, now there’s a short video explaining the 20th and 21st century developments of creating extra frames when using this technique for movie making. These extra frames are necessary because it’s difficult to position a sufficient number of bulky cameras in the necessary circle to photograph the required number of positions to give a smooth result on the screen. Having developed this ‘artificial inbetweening’ method, Professor Anil Kokaram of Trinity College, Dublin (whose previous work has involved image restoration of old films), explains how it can also be used to produce artificial inbetweens for any movie sequence, making it possible to produce slow-motion movie sequences in post-production, from footage shot at normal speed. http://videos.wittysparks.com/id/240417892

Professor Kokaram states that Muybridge used engineers from the University of Pennsylvania (1884-85) to produce the necessary “kit” (exposure devices), but in fact Muybridge’s experiments in “Bullet Time” started before his involvement with the University. An article in the New York Times in 1881 (February 19) entitled ‘Instant photography; results of the California experiments’ described an earlier 5-camera ”Bullet Time” session (1878 or 1879).

“Mr. Muybridge, once in the studio of Mr. Perry, watched with interest the artist endeavoring to outline the picture of a California coach and four. He had Mr Muybridge’s pictures as a guide. But these were broadside views, and he wanted a quartering view. Mr Muybridge hastened back to Palo Alto, arranged five cameras in a semicircle and concentrating upon one point, galloped a horse over the point where the electric current was completed, and produced a perfect picture of a horse at fullest speed, as seen from five different points of view, all at the same instant of time and while, of course, the horse was in one and the same position. Now, an artist with these pictures as guides can draw a horse in any position desired.”

To go back to the video – Anil Kokaram’s explanation of Muybridge’s contribution is incomplete. He emphasizes the familiar motion sequences of a horse – “it’s pretty complicated – it’s got wires and stuff” –  and mentions multiple camera positions (used in many of Muybridge’s sequences) but the video doesn’t make it too clear that his subjects shot with a semi-circle of cameras – and with just one instantaneous, simultaneous moment when all shutters were released – produced a sequence showing a single frozen moment in time, unlike the majority of his sequences which recorded a progressive movement.

Sequence from Plate 524

This was a deliberate experiment in multi-position capture of a single moment in time – exactly the same as the TimeSlice and Bullet Time camera technique used in the past two or three decades. This can be seen in the plate shown by Kokaram, Plate 524 from Animal Locomotion (Throwing water from a bucket, Descending a step, Ascending a step, and Playing lawn tennis) and other plates, including 527 (Spanking a child, from three positions), 528 (Carrying a child, Walking with a child in hand, Running with a child in hand), and Plate 522 (Jumping, Handspring, Somersault, Springing over a man’s back). Each of these uses five or six cameras set in a semi-circle and fired simultaneously. As my previous post explains, Tim Macmillan, originator of TimeSlice (predecessor to Bullet Time) was unaware that Muybridge had taken such simultaneous views.

Sequence from Plate 528

It would be interesting to see these specific Muybridge sequences given the ingenious treatment developed by Professor Kokaram and his colleagues – which would enable us to see Muybridge’s original experiments with “Bullet Time” improved by creating interpolated inbetweens, to give a smooth sequence, rather than the jerky result created by the limitations of using only five or six cameras.

Two sequences from Plate 522

 

Anil Kokaram won an Academy Award in 2007 for his development of visual effects software for the film industry.

Posted here by Stephen Herbert

New Muybridge Gadgets

 

Steam Powered Improved Zoetrope

 

Two new Muybridge-related products have recently appeared: “L’Affirmatrope” and the “Muybridgizer”.

L’Affirmatrope

The Steam Powered Improved Zoetrope or “L’ Affirmatrope” is created and built by my old friend Professor George Hall, the Wizard of Zoe, who also happens to be the eBay seller.

“The improvement to the classical Zoetrope which was invented in 1834, is that the slots on the drum are made full length by slats attached to a 13 faceted floor, rather than the usual construction of half-length slots that are cut into a round drum. This design allows the entire set of images on the floor to be seen when no strip is inside.

The reason I have named this invention “L’ Affirmatrope” is because messages of Affirmations on the floors can move freely from the moving images to the sub-conscious mind of the viewer. You can also view Crop Circles through the Fibonacci Frequency of 13 or watch Mandalas come to life.

Or…. you can just enjoy the machine as a Zoetrope with the historic strips and floors provided and not worry about all that New Age stuff. The steam engine is a used Wilesco D6 that comes with the original box….

 

Top three strips are from Muybridge sequences

 

There are reproductions of 8 historic strips and 4 photographic strips, three of which are based on the work of Eadweard Muybridge. There are also 6 double sided historic floors and 8 more of Crop Circles, Affirmations and Magnetic Mandalas I have created. I am even including a copy of my 44 page “Zoetrope Renaissance” booklet that tell all about the history of the Zoetrope.”

 

George Hall's 'floor discs' for the Steam Zoetrope

 

No one in the world knows more about how Zoetropes work and the intricacies of their animated designs, than the ‘Professor’.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Steam-Powered-Zoetrope-/110597126453?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item19c01a3935

The Muybridgizer

“The Muybridgizer allows iPhone photographers to take pictures inspired by the iconic works of early photographer Eadweard Muybridge.

The release of the app celebrates the opening of a major exhibition of Muybridge s work at Tate Britain (8 September 2010 16 January 2011). The Muybridgizer freeze-frames the moving world, just as Muybridge did with subjects ranging from running horses to leapfrogging boys.


In homage to the analogue Victorian beauty of the originals, users can Muybridge-ize their frames with grids and sepia tones, transforming their moving images into striking vintage-style pictures. The application is offered free for a limited period.”

Some comments online:

“It seems to just rapidly take a series of pictures, but it’s a pretty well done app all the same. I like the effect – nice and retro. and within the app – you can swipe to animate both forwards and backwards.”

“It’s a good app. Pretty well done by the Tate. Maximum resolution is 1080x810px, which is more than suitable for sharing online on your blog, Facebook or Flickr. It’s as good as several commercial apps that do less and cost a buck or two. A good download for free.”


There’s a growing batch of examples on The Muybridgizer group on Flickr:
http://www.flickr.com/groups/muybridgizer/

Posted here by Stephen Herbert