Phree Phantasmoscope

phenakHorseMuyb

Queensland Figaro, 14 July 1883. (National Library of Australia. Creative Commons)

Source: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article83677612

It’s 1883, you’re editor of the Queeensland Figaro, and looking around for a space filler. An old issue of the Scientific American is on a shelf by your desk. In the Supplement there’s a pretty cutout toy of a phenakistiscope (they call it a Phantasmoscope) with silhouettes of a Muybridge horse trotting endlessly. Snip out the piece, and paste it into your next issue. Better still, create an advert for your newspaper in a circle, and paste that in the middle. ‘Weekly, Wisely, & Wittily … 12/- a year in advance.’

phenakHorse4

Then every time one of these magic discs that your readers have cut out and pasted onto cardboard is handed to a friend to enjoy, they’ll read the advert and rush out and buy the paper, or better still subscribe. Brilliant, and all for free, courtesy Scientific American.

And the best bit is, 130 years later, it’s still for free, courtesy of that excellent resource, the National Library of Australia’s TROVE.

More about these paper discs, here.

Posted here by Stephen Herbert

Eadweard Muybridge: Father of the Motion Picture?

Kingston Museum and Heritage Service

Kingston Museum and Heritage Service

And as a final post for 2012, the text of a talk given at Kingston Museum at the opening of the Muybridge: Revolutions exhibition, 2010.

Eadweard Muybridge: Father of the Motion Picture?
Writers dealing with the motion sequence photography of Eadweard Muybridge have traditionally described him as the ‘Father of the Motion Picture’, and the title of this talk is taken from one of the first biographies. In popular accounts of the subject, this is still a major theme. In this talk, Stephen Herbert examines whether this perspective is valid or relevant. Muybridge’s place in Victorian attempts at producing moving images is investigated, together with the historiography of Muybridge in the 20th-Century, when cinema was the dominant visual medium, and onward into the digital age. For each generation, Muybridge’s work has a new meaning that relates to our own experiences and the media of our time.

And you’ll find the rest here:

http://www.stephenherbert.co.uk/muyFATHER.htm

 

Happy New Year!

 

Posted here by Stephen Herbert

 

The Eadweard Muybridge Experiment, 2012

EadweardMuybridgeExperiment

http://vimeo.com/51045208

The Eadweard Muybridge Experiment
from brian d. katz
4th Place Winner!
for Mofilm London contest, client HTC.
Cast: The Stouts: Samuel, Abigail, Darren, and Gretchen
Crew: Katz, Ian Campbell (DP), Alex Watson, Sebastian Heinrich, Azrael Ricky Daniels

Posted here by Stephen Herbert

 

 

A lecture by Eadweard Muybridge, this Saturday

MuyInvite

 

http://www.othercinema.com/calendar/index.html

ANALOG CHURCH SAT 12/8: ROURKE + WOOD + KATELUS + RADIOPHONICS +
Indulging our love for forgotten formats and media archeology lore, Jeremy Rourke & Co. debut two live musical performances, The Biography of a Motion Picture Camera and The Paperman May Charleston. Ben Wood, in the apparel of none other than Eadweard Muybridge, affords us a charmed glimpse into those halcyon days of the Magic Lantern. Doug Katelus, as Hammond organist for the night, offers his 16mm Help Keep Film Dead, on the last days of Monaco Lab. Lori Varga, as high priestess for tonight’s “church,” powers up her 4 projectors in Beyond the Frames of Light and Strange Sound. PLUS Russ Forster with an in-person tribute to Bill Lear, inventor of the eponymous jet AND the 8-track tape! AND a half-hr cut of the BBC‘s Alchemists of Sound, on the UK Radiophonic Workshop, boasting Doctor Who composer Delia Derbyshire.*$7.

[Now that’s what I call a “mixed programme”.]

Posted here by Stephen Herbert

Attitudes of Animals in Motion (1881) at Stanford Digital Repository

 

Recently added to the digital repository of Stanford University, is the rare album The Attitudes of Animals in Motion (1881).

If you don’t have the 2010 Taschen book that includes a version of this album, now’s your opportunity to see all of this hugely important work online. It comprises photographic sequences arranged from the results of Muybridge’s two working seasons at Leland Stanford’s Palo Alto farm.

 

 

http://lib.stanford.edu/special-collections-and-university-archives/muybridges-attitudes-animals-motion-1881-available-stanf

Posted here by Stephen Herbert

Muybridge, Michalek, Murphy: Olympic Celebration at Kingston

Olympic Celebration: Athletes in Motion

(c) Kingston Museum

The following is from This is Local London. A review and photos will follow.

http://www.thisislocallondon.co.uk/news/9829004.100_year_old_photos_capture_athletes_in_motion/

‘Kingston exhibition features 100-year-old photos of athletes in motion
7:30am Wednesday 25th July 2012 in News
By Clare Buchanan

The exhibition will be at Kingston Museum from 28th July.

In the Olympic year Kingston Museum is exploring old and new techniques used to capture athletes in motion.
The exhibition will demonstrate the way artists and photographers have changed and evolved and how they depict the human body over time. The showcase includes work by Kingston-born, Victorian photographer Eadweard Muybridge, who bequeathed his personal collection to the borough in 1904 and paved the way for capturing the world in motion. He was a pioneer in trying to capture motion in sequence photography and the exhibition displays many of his 1887 experiments of humans and animals in motion. Much of his work was devoted to athletics and the male physical form, reflecting a new emphasis on physical fitness and ideals of masculinity in the 19th century.

In contrast, the display also includes contemporary artist David Michalek’s work, which captures athletes in motion in high definition. Coinciding with the 2012 Games the exhibition also focuses on 21st century techniques, including the use of sport biomechanics to measure and correct technique and injury rehabilitation. A video by Charlie Murphy, called the Kingston Big Wheel, will accompany the exhibition, courtesy of the Stanley Picker Gallery.

The video is inspired by Muybridge’s iconic motion sequence and features 300 gymnasts, dancers and athletes creating a chain of human cartwheels. The Kingston Big Wheel forms the final project for No Competition – a series of artist projects exploring the relationship between art and non-competitive sport.’

Olympic Celebration: Athletes in Motion, Kingston Museum, Wheatfield Way, Kingston. From July 28 to October 20. Admission free. Contains nudity. Phone 020 8547 6463 or visit kingston.gov.uk/museum

David Michalek is an artist who takes the concept and techniques of portraiture as the starting points for the creation of his works, on both a large and small-scale, in a range of mediums. While earning a B.A. in English Literature from U.C.L.A., Michalek worked as an assistant to noted photographer Herb Ritts. Beginning in the mid-1990s, he began his professional photographic career working as a portrait artist for publications such as The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Interview, and Vogue. Concurrently, Michalek began to delve into performance, installation, and multi-disciplinary projects. Since giving up commercial photography in 1998, his work has been shown nationally and internationally with recent public art and solo exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum, the LA Music Center, Harvard University, Sadler’s Wells, Trafalgar Square, Opera Bastille, Venice Biennale, Yale University, The Kitchen, Lincoln Center and at the Edinburgh Festival at Summerhall with the Richard DeMarco Foundation. He has collaborated on the visual art component of two staged works with Peter Sellars: Kafka Fragments, presented as part of Carnegie Hall’s 2005-06 season; and St. François d’Assise, presented at the Salzburg Festival and Paris Opera. Other film and video work for theater includes collaborations with The Tallis Scholars; John Malpede and L.A.P.D., and with the Brooklyn Philharmonic in a project for The Brooklyn Museum’s “Music Off the Walls” series. He is a visiting faculty member at Yale Divinity School, where he lectures on religion and the arts. David Michalek lives in New York with his wife Wendy Whelan, principal dancer of New York City Ballet.

http://www.davidmichalek.net/about.php

Posted here by Stephen Herbert

Rats!

Phenakistiscope disc, pre-Muybridge

On the 8th December 1890 some residents of Gloucester received a more realistic experience of animals in motion than perhaps they were expecting, as the Gloucester Citizen reported the next day:

‘GLOUCESTER LITERARY AND SCIENTIFIC ASSOCIATION. [last evening] … the Corn Exchange was crowded, the attraction being a lecture by Mr. Eadweard Muybridge on ‘The Science of Animal Locomotion in its Relation to Design in Art.’ … There followed a description of the lecture, and finally….

‘One other word. The corporation ought really to keep their rats in better order than to allow them to career about the Corn Exchange on public occasions. The appearance of these rodents (whom a long succession of corn markets seems to have rendered enterprising to a most impudent and unpleasant degree) upon the screen last night would have been appropriate, and they might have served a useful purpose as illustrations of Mr. Muybridge’s points; but their practical demonstrations on the floor of the laws of animal locomotion – whatever relation it may have borne to their design and art – not only proved somewhat terrifying to ladies in the audience, but distracted attention from the lecturer and his subject. In the zoopraxiscope they would have been tolerable, even amusing and instructive; dodging among chair and other legs they constituted a nuisance and a cause of legitimate complaint.’

Reports of several lectures previously unrecorded in the Muybridge biographies and my own chronology have recently turned up, including:
27 January 1890, Lecture at Grantham.

28 January 1890 report on lecture, Nottingham Evening Post. LECTURE AT GRANTHAM ‘Last night, in connection with local science and art lcasses, a lecture was given in the Theatre, Grantham… “The Movements of Animals.”  ‘…Mr. Muybridge’s reputation had preceded him, as evidenced by the large audience then present.’

23 July 1890 (Weds) Burnley Express ‘The Directors of the Burnley Mechanics’ Institute are making arrangements for the usual series of lectures … an address will be given by Mr. Muybridge….’

4 October 1890 (Sat) Burnley Express, Advert: ‘Lectures for the People’ (Assembly Room). List includes : ‘Thursday Dec. 4th “Animal Locomotion in its relation to design in Art,” Professor EADWEARD MUYBRIDGE. Illustrated synthetically with the Zoopraxiscope.’

6 October 1890 (Mon) Gloucester Citizen, Gloucester Literary and Scientific Association advert. ‘Engagements are pending with the following and other lecturers… MR. EADWEARD MUYBRIDGE – “The Science of Animal Locomotion,” illustrated by the zoopraxis-cope….’

23 October 1890 (Thurs) Gloucester Citizen, Gloucester Literary and Scientific Association advert. ‘The Committee have the pleasure to announce ….. Thursday, December 11th, MR. EADWEARD MUYBRIDGE – “The Science of Animal Locomotion,”…’

6 December 1890 (Sat) Burnley Express p.5 ‘HOW MEN AND WOMEN WALK. ARTISTIC FALLACIES EXPOSED. At the Burnley Mechanics’ Institutution, on Thursday evening, the last of the series of  “lectures for the people” was given by Professor Eadweard Muybridge, of the University of Pennyslvania, U.S.A., to a large gathering…’ (Dr. Brumwall presided.) ‘…the lecturer was an original investigator, who had used in one summer alone 50,000 photographic plates…’

More will no doubt come to light this year, as I search the millions of pages now being digitised and made available online by the British Library. (Free at St Pancras, otherwise paid access, for a very reasonable range of fees.)

Posted here by Stephen Herbert