More new art across the media

In part due to the huge exposure that Muybridge and his work has had this past year, new artworks continue to proliferate across the media – dance, photography, painting, music, theatre, video – on YouTube, blogs, exhibitions ….. some derivative, some innovative. I like these two pieces. The first is a collage by Carolyn Brady and appears on Flickr. (To see Carolyn’s work on Flickr, search “vintagepix”).

(c) Carolyn Brady

And this ‘book’ on YouTube, by “msbrittknees” is great fun…….

And I don’t know whether it’s supposed to be, but the BBC’s “The Weird World of Eadweard Muybridge” is on YouTube too.

Posted here by Stephen Herbert

Yamamura’s “Muybridge’s Strings”

Koji Yamamura

National Film Board (Canada) Producer Michael Fukushima on upcoming Koji Yamamura masterclass at the Toronto Mediatheque
November 8th, 2010
(from an online article by Tanya Koivusalo) blog

The NFB Mediatheque is thrilled to host a Masterclass and screening on November 13th to celebrate the work of Oscar®-nominated animator Koji Yamamura. He is the most successful auteur animation filmmaker in Japan today, and his work is internationally renowned.
This special programme, co-curated by Michael Fukushima and Marco de Blois and presented with Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival, Montreal’s Cinémathèque québécoise, the Japan Foundation, and the National Film Board of Canada, represents a small slice of Yamamura’s creative output but offers a sense of his unique talent. From his first commissioned works in the early 90s, to his breakout success Atamayama/Mt. Head, through his experimentation and explorations with The Old Crocodile and Franz Kafka’s A Country Doctor, this is a must-see programme for anyone craving another look at their Yamamura favourites, and new audiences interested in one of the most influential auteur animators of his generation. Yamamura himself will be in attendance for the Masterclass. I spoke with NFB producer and co-curator Michael Fukushima to find out more about this special one-time event…….
TK: What are you working on with him now?
MF: Koji and I have been working on a 12-minute short called Muybridge’s Strings for a few years. It’s a co-production between the NFB, the Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK), and Polygon Pictures from Tokyo. At a first level, it’s a film about Eadweard Muybridge, one of the pioneers of motion pictures, but centering on a pivotal moment of violence in Muybridge’s life. But really, Muybridge and his obsession with capturing and stopping time is a mechanism for Koji to tell a story about parents and children, about love, and about the inexorable and unstoppable passing of time through our fingers.

In 2005, Yamamura created an ‘Animation Museum’ display:

Duration March 25 through September 25, 2005 185days
’Interactive Fun Zone’ in AICHI EXPO Nagakute Area

In viewing the cave paintings of primitive times, you get a sense of the energetic movement of the horses, cows, and deer. Many legs are drawn on one body, perhaps to express its running, which is recognized as the roots of animation. Through the paintings, you will feel the bliss of primitive men finding “a joy in capturing moving images”, and “a wonder of replaying the moving images” dramatized by the flickering torchlight.
“Yamamura Animation Museum” starts from that cave art, and it is full of the joy and wonder of creating animation. The museum contains an exhibition of world animation history replicated by Koji Yamamura using full of his imagination, and numerous animation drawings, models, and artworks on display that show his history as a creator of animation, and there is also a corner in which to experience moving images with various types of equipment.
Now, please enjoy the exhibition, enjoy the moving pictures, and let your curiosity and imagination discover the joy of Yamamura Animation.

Posted here by Stephen Herbert

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.

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.

Professor Abridge’s cartoon capers

Cartoon sequences by Henry Stull. ‘In Lighter Vein’ section, “Our Continent”, 18 April 1883

Click to enlarge

Following on from the previous blog post about an artist who lampooned Muybridge’s work, I was spurred by a posting on Coconino-World into investigating the artworks of Henry Stull (1851-1913). Cartoons by Stull appeared in the shortlived magazine Our Continent (1882-1884), and were unearthed by John Adcock of Yesterday’s Papers, from a microfilm edition.

The editor of the humor page “In Lighter Vein” in Our Continent, [Philadelphia : Our Continent Pub. Co., 1882] was
Max Adeler (Charles Heber Clark). This last page of the magazine was for humorous squibs, jokes and caricature featuring various artists, including Henry Stull.  [Note: Max Adeler was author of the book Out of the Hurly Burly, illustrated by A. B. Frost – who had also drawn a Muybridge -related cartoon. (See our previous blog post. Information from John Adcock.]

Cartoon sequences by Henry Stull. ‘In Lighter Vein’ section, “Our Continent”, 18 April 1883

A keen sketch artist from Canada with no formal training, Stull wanted to be an actor but gradually settled into drawing and painting in the USA.

“It was his employers in the insurance business who first noticed his talents at drawing and set him to work illustrating for insurance files. They also encouraged him to show his portfolio to various periodicals in New York City. He found employment as a staff illustrator for Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly, where he first produced caricatures and cartoons. His work was also published in other newspapers and magazines.”
[Excerpt from Animal and Sporting Artists in America by F. Turner Reuter, Jr. © 2008]

Stull eventually became one of the foremost horse painters of his era.

“In 1877 he began painting racehorse portraits on commission…. He did not meet with immediate success when he began painting in earnest in 1879. He received enough commissions that he was able to cut back on his frenetic illustrating career, but although he made considerable efforts to improve his painting, he lacked technical skill.“
[Animal and Sporting Artists in America by F. Turner Reuter, Jr.]

Henry Stull would quite likely have attended Muybridge’s lecture, as the photographer had given several presentations in New York in 1882 and early 1883, including a talk at the Turf Club in November ’82. These talks would have included silhouette and semi-silhouette images on the screen, both static (single images and multi-image sequence panels) and in motion.

There are several points about Stull’s panels that are somewhat curious, and raise questions.

First: the 1883 lampoon of Professor Abridge photographing a kicking mule precedes Muybridge’s photography of Ruth, the kicking mule!

Second: what exactly is the reference to clocks in the sequence of a boy chopping wood? It’s evidently part of the joke that the clocks all show widely differing times, but Muybridge didn’t use clocks in his photo sequences. Marey, however, did so – but only after 1883. Is the artist somehow ‘in the know’ about an intention by Muybridge to use such clocks, given that Muybridge patented a device for keeping clocks in synchronization?

Henry Stull cartoon. From the January 1883 issue of “Our Continent”

Third: did Stull’s use of silhouette and semi-silhouette precede or follow publication of Muybridge’s silhouette sequences? (i.e. were there earlier published sequences by Stull that made use of a silhouette technique.) Certainly his use of the technique predates his direct lampooning of Muybridge in April 1883, as this example from January shows – but Muybridge’s New York lectures had been late the previous year, so perhaps there was an influence.

The following year, Henry Stull disappeared for a while….

“After receiving a great deal of harsh criticism he vanished from the equine world in 1884. Six months later he reappeared, having acquired markedly better skills at depicting the horse; it is believed that he spent at least part of his absence studying equine anatomy at a veterinary school.

Stull’s work continued to improve throughout his career. In 1886 he, like many of his contemporaries such as J.M. Tracy… began incorporating the findings of Eadweard Muybridge, an English photographer whose kinematical studies of animals and humans led to the first accurate depictions of a galloping horse, into his paintings. Initial reception of this new style varied from cool to scornful….”
[Animal and Sporting Artists in America, F. Turner Reuter, Jr.]

Engraving by Henry Stull

‘The Great $10,000 Match Race At Sheepshead Bay, June 25, 1890 Salvator & Tenny’.

Source here.

Even in 1890, he was happy to continue with the old-fashioned style of depicting a gallop.

‘Ahead by a Length’, painting by Henry Stull, 1910

Perhaps hoping to be able to have his cake and eat it, in this 1910 painting Stull includes both the traditional ‘rocking horse’ gallop gait, and the more accurate ‘legs tucked under’ gait that was rarely seen before Muybridge’s photography.
Source Here.

Henry Stull continued painting horses, for important clients, until 1911; he died in 1913.

More on Stull here:

Henry Stull cartoon, ‘Our Continent’ 21 March 1883.

Galloping bed

The Walking bed, 26 July 1908

For a discussion touching on the possible influence of Muybridge’s work on early comic strips, go to the engaging blog Comics Comics.

Jeet Heer reproduces the whole page from which the above frame of the newspaper strip Little Nemo in Slumberland, The Walking Bed by Winsor McCay, is taken. Perhaps more trotting or galloping than walking, but the comparison with Muybridge’s work is interesting – as are the blog’s ‘comments’.

Don’t forget to visit The Compleat Muybridge