The Horse in Motion – Abe Edgington boudoir print at auction

A rare example of one of the six boudoir prints entitled The Horse in Motion, published in 1878 in San Francisco by the Morse Gallery, is to be auctioned online by Be.Hold – ending 22 September.  From the online auction catalogue for the ‘Collectors’ Joy’ sale:

‘It shows 6 images of  Leland Stanford’s “Abe Edgington.”  There is extensive text on the recto and verso about Muybridge’s work with the “Electro-Photographic Apparatus” as well as advertising of his awards. He announces “Arrangements made for Photographing and Recording the action of Animals in motion, in any part of the World.” This is a rare object. It is in fine undamaged condition, with only the slightest sign of aging.’

http://www.artfact.com/catalog/searchLots.cfm?scp=u&catalogRef=&shw=50&ord=2&ad=ASC&img=0&alF=1&houseRef=&houseLetter=A&artistRef=&areaID=&countryID=&regionID=&stateID=&fdt=0&tdt=0&fr=0&to=0&wa=muybridge&wp=&wo=&nw=&upcoming=0&rp=&hi=&rem=FALSE&cs=0

Suggested bid at present: 1,100 dollars.

Posted here by Stephen Herbert

Muybridge: The Eye in Motion

Professor Stephen Barber of Kingston University London, currently engaged in the Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship project on the Scrapbook of Eadweard Muybridge, has annouced details of his forthcoming book, Muybridge: the Eye in Motion, to be published by Solar Books (USA distribution by University of Chicago Press) in 2012. This promises to be a major new book, covering many aspects of the man and his work, as outlined in the Introduction. Central to the book is what Barber describes as ‘that unique ocular object’, now held by Kingston Museum:

Muybridge’s Scrapbook, in which he amassed every trace he viewed as essential about his work, across a span of over thirty years, so that it accumulated into an extraordinary memory-book that interrogated and overspilled time and its own parameters.

…. an aberrant vision-machine as well as a time-machine, and an irreducible archive in its own right, that holds revelations not only about Muybridge’s work, but also into the origins of film, the future of digital culture, and the perception of urban and corporeal forms.

The second part of the book examines

the close and revealing connections between Muybridge’s work and that of two key but neglected instigators of cinema, Max and Emil Skladanowsky, who undertook the first-ever public screening of celluloid-based films for a paying audience [in Europe] (using a projector, the ‘Bioskop’, they had built themselves, and showing films they had shot themselves, with a film-camera they had constructed themselves), on 1 November 1895, at a hotel in Berlin, two years after Muybridge’s formative glass-disc projection events in his Zoopraxographical Hall at the Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition

In the third part of this work, Professor Barber

… interrogates that pivotal memory-document of Muybridge’s work – in many ways, a crucial document for the understanding of how contemporary visual cultures originated – by disassembling it into the fragments from which it was created, in order to probe the all-encompassing ocular and corporeal processes at stake in Muybridge’s work.

Muybridge’s pervasive inspiration extends far beyond the domain of film and photography, encompassing visual art, poetry, performance, fiction, digital media, choreography, and theory.

The book also examines

… the archival, preservational implications of Muybridge’s work and its own movement into the future, as a body of work whose contrary amalgam is fused by preoccupations with loss, speed, perception, projection, corporeality, vision and the ‘tactile’ eye. In many ways, those preoccupations are exactly those of contemporary digital culture, and connect with archival issues around the uniqueness and potential reproducibility of objects, through such processes as digitisation. While forming a seminal presence for contemporary culture, Muybridge’s work, in its non-replicating resistance to assimilation, also necessitates an archive of its own. In a parallel way, his Scrapbook, itself a self-archiving by Muybridge of his work’s fragmentary traces in texts and images, also demands the formulation of an archive consisting of one unique artefact, in the way that Jacques Derrida, in his final interviews, envisaged objects of such all-consuming resonance that they required a tangible separation and a distinct space of their own, in order more intensively to then impact upon and reveal the surrounding worlds, and their visual cultures; in that sense, no object deserves its ‘sacrosanct’ one-artefact archive more than Muybridge’s Scrapbook.

Stephen Barber tackles  much, much more in this new work – do read the Introduction, which is online now.

http://muybridgesscrapbook.wordpress.com/2011/08/27/1-the-past-and-the-future/

Stephen Barber holds a PhD from the University of London. He has previously held posts at Sussex University, the University of Tokyo, the Berlin University of the Arts, the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, the Keio University Research Centre for Art in Tokyo, and the California Institute of the Arts, where he was a Visiting Professor in 2007-8. He has been a Professor since 2002.

Stephen has received numerous awards and prizes for his research, from such foundations and funding bodies as the Leverhulme Trust, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the British Academy and the London Arts Board, in the UK; the Rockefeller Foundation, the Getty Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Annenberg Foundation, in the USA; the DAAD-Programm in Germany; the Japan Foundation, the Daiwa Foundation, and the Saison Foundation, in Japan

Posted here by Stephen Herbert

Muybridge in Three Movements

Films and New Dance in San Francisco…… (Thursday, 26 May)


Muybridge in Three Movements  

Catherine Galasso, choreographer/director
Steve Polta, artistic director/archivist, San Francisco Cinematheque
Rebecca Solnit, author

Phyllis Wattis Theater
7:00 p.m.
Mark Wilson, Motion Studies, 1995, 4 min., 16mm
Hollis Frampton, INGENIVM NOBIS IPSA PVELLA FECIT, 1974, 15 min. excerpt, 16mm
Ken Jacobs, Le Prince: Leeds Bridge 1888, 2005, 6 min., video
Bruce Conner, BREAKAWAY, 1966, 5 min., 16mm

In conjunction with the exhibition Helios: Eadweard Muybridge in a Time of Change, we present an evening of Muybridge-inspired dance choreographed and directed by Catherine Galasso; Muybridge-inspired short films chosen by San Francisco Cinematheque’s Steve Polta; and a Muybridge-driven conversation on cinematic space and time led by author Rebecca Solnit.

Source: http://www.sfmoma.org/events/1886#ixzz1NXeYJmx8
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

http://www.sfmoma.org/events/1886#ixzz1NUa2KpZZ

Posted here by Stephen Herbert

News and Events roundup, February 2011

The lack of posts on this blog recently is certainly not due to a reduction in Muybridge activity. Other pressures have kept me away, so today a quick roundup of some recent happenings.

Roundtable Discussion: Cinema as a Paradigm Shift in Vision

Thursday 27 January.
Speakers from the Muybridge in Kingston programme returned for a group discussion examining how Muybridge’s work formed part of a wider 19th Century shift in vision as a way of understanding the world. We were gathered together within the exhibition space, around us the glowing images of wall-mounted zoopraxiscope discs and lantern slides. Speakers were Dr. Pasi Valiaho, Prof. Esther Leslie, Deac Rossell and Professor Stephen Barber. As Chair of the event (significantly assisted by Alexandra Reynolds) I certainly enjoyed the evening, and judging by the quality of responses from the audience, they did too. Marek Pytel, master animator of Muybridge images, later remarked: “Sitting, talking about perhaps an end of cinema, while surrounded by the very artifacts of its projected beginnings was actually quite moving. Sometimes one takes these things for granted – and one shouldn’t.”

Other events held at Kingston between September 2010 and January 2011 are detailed on the Muybridge in Kingston website.
http://www.muybridgeinkingston.com/event.php

Muybridge workshops

Rich Bunce gives us a taser of the work of his students at one of the recent Muybridge-related workshops:
http://www.richbunce.com/blog/tag/muybridge/

(c) Rich Bunce

Last Muybridge Workshop

Friday, February 25th, 2011

“This week I completed the last of the Muybridge workshops, which have formed part of the education programme at Kingston Museum; run in conjunction with the  Exhibitions on Muybridge’s work at both the Museum and Tate Britain.

The workshops have been great and really enjoyable to run to do which is always a bonus! Here are some highlights from the work…”

Click on the title above to see the work animated on Rich’s website.

Helios opens in San Francisco

Muybridge is back in San Francisco in a big way, starting on Saturday, as the Helios exhibition opened.
SFMOMA Showcases Exhibition: Helios: Eadweard Muybridge in a Time of Change

http://www.artdaily.com/index.asp?int_sec=2&int_new=45299

This first  review questions whether the exhibition should have grasped the thorny subject of attribution:

Photograph of Yosemite Valley from the 'Helios' exhibition

‘Helios: Muybridge in a Time of Change’ review
Kenneth Baker, Chronicle Art Critic
San Francisco Chronicle February 26, 2011 04:00 AM Copyright San Francisco Chronicle.  (Section reproduce here for purposes of review.) Saturday, February 26, 2011

‘…Weston Naef, , a ranking expert on Muybridge’s contemporary E. Carleton Watkins (1829-1916), argues that Muybridge bought the rights to negatives made by others, including Watkins, to market many of the pictures issued under his own name, or under his short-lived commercial moniker, Helios. That Watkins and Muybridge would have connected in the small 19th century world of San Francisco photography seems certain.

The organizer of “Helios,” Corcoran chief curator Philip Brookman, answered Naef’s suspicions by pointing out that some Muybridge landscapes from the period in question include darkroom manipulations, such as the addition of clouds from separate negatives, that appear nowhere in Watkins’ work.

Clearly, over time Muybridge did master the techniques of wet collodion photography and cultivated his own vision of landscape, of history inscribing itself on his time and of his medium’s potential for scientific scrutiny.

Incorporation of the controversy into the SFMOMA presentation – admittedly no small task – might have enriched it. But there is plenty to occupy the eye and mind in the show as it comes.

Muybridge’s innovations went to the brink of cinema, paving the way for the regime of kinetic imagery under which the whole world lives today.

Dwelling in the image world that Muybridge helped create, we inevitably view his work with the slant provided by the famous studies in “Animal Locomotion” first commissioned by railroad baron and university founder Leland Stanford.

“Helios” gathers those sequential pictures – which evidence a bizarre clinical curiosity as well as technical genius on Muybridge’s part – in a depth never seen in an exhibition before.

SFMOMA has appended a small contextualizing roomful of late 19th century American pictures from its own stellar photography collection. But visitors who remember the engrossing 2003 exhibition “Time Stands Still: Eadweard Muybridge and the Instantaneous Photography Movement” at Stanford will wish for more in the way of historical framing.’

Helios: Eadweard Muybridge in a Time of Change: Photographs, books and ephemera. Through June 7. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 151 Third St., San Francisco. (415) 357-4000. http://www.sfmoma.org.
E-mail Kenneth Baker at kennethbaker@sfchronicle.com.
This article appeared on page E – 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/02/25/DDGE1HT66F.DTL#ixzz1F9b9MxDP

New animated film completed

Previously mentioned on Muy Blog, a new animation has now been finished  – as reported in asahi.com news

http://www.asahi.com/english/TKY201102220290.html

ANIME NEWS: Director Yamamura completes new short at Canada’s NFB.
by ATSUSHI  OHARA
2011/ 02/23

Muybridge's Strings

(c) 2011 National Film Board of Canada/NHK/Polygon Pictures

Animation artist Koji Yamamura (Mt. Head and Franz Kafka’s A Country Doctor) has completed his long-awaited animated short, Muybridge’s Strings, in a coproduction with the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and others.

Yamamura took seven years to finish the 12-minute short, slated for release this year….

“I aspired to become an animation creator after seeing NFB works when I was a university student,” Yamamura said. “I had always dreamed of making animated works at the NFB.”

Muybridge’s Strings follows the life of groundbreaking British photographer Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904)…..Yamamura’s animated short also includes a parallel story about a girl growing up in modern Tokyo. The film’s score includes J.S. Bach’s “Crab Canon.”

“I wanted to draw ‘time’ in a documentary style with a poetic manner,” Yamamura said. “I wanted to capture moments of connection of the two stories that seem related to each other at one point, yet detached at another.”

The director said he came up with the idea immediately after completing Mt. Head in 2002. Yamamura sounded out the NFB for a possible collaboration through an animation creator he met at a French film festival. Later, Yamamura found a producer who was interested in his works and willing to join forces with him.

Yamamura looked for financiers from Japan while he worked on Franz Kafka’s A Country Doctor. He began full-scale work on Muybridge’s Strings after gaining consent from Japan Broadcasting Corp. (NHK) and CG animation studio Polygon Pictures Inc. as co-producers.

Yamamura spent about two years in Japan drawing key sketches for the project. Later, he spent five weeks in a wintry Montreal, where the NFB is located, late last year for editing, sound effects and other production work….

Yamamura is the first Japanese director to produce an animation at the NFB.

“(At the NFB), everyone from legendary masters to artists younger than myself is spending a great deal of time working on projects. It is like a school, with each artist interacting with one another.

“Their artistic creativeness is highly respected, but that doesn’t mean they can make whatever they want. I felt they all had a sense that they were doing their jobs ‘for the sake of animation art.'”

Many artists at the NFB, Yamamura added, spend several years making a short film, just as Yamamura did.

“It would be great for artists dedicated to animated shorts to make 10 or so good ones in their lifetime. You can’t create it if you don’t offer your life to it,” Yamamura enthused.

Yamamura had trouble finding sponsors for the project, which put the production on hold. But even so, he said, that was not a waste of time.

“If everything had gone easily and I finished my film in three years, it might have turned out different from what it is now. You can’t get to the bottom of your work if you don’t go through trial and error and have time to think,” Yamamura said.

“Thanks to advancements in personal computers and other devices, we have more convenient tools. But you have to give much thought to each frame and make it with your own hands. It takes time.” ATSUSHI  OHARA

 

 

 

 

Eadweard Muybridge Online Archive

A newish website that tags itself ‘Muybridge’s Home’ launched this month:

“We officially launched on February 14, 2011 and are in the process of processing and uploading all eleven volumes of “Animal Locomotion.” We hope to have them all up soon.”

“Welcome to the Eadweard Muybridge Online Archive. Here you will find images from Eadweard Muybridge’s seminal work Animal Locomotion, photographed from the original 1887 publication with the kind support of the Boston Public Library and its extraordinary Rare Books Department. These extremely high resolution images are presented copyright free and ready for download.

Dave Gordon, Curator”
http://www.enlightenedmonkey.net
http://www.muybridge.org/

February News Roundup posted here by Stephen Herbert
http://fada.kingston.ac.uk/staff/stephen_herbert/stephen_herbert.php

{ California Historical Society } photographs on view

The California Historical Society has always been important to Muybridge researchers. The CHS published new research before the first biographies, in articles such as ‘Eadweard Muybridge’s Yosemite Valley Photographs, 1867-1872’ by Mary V. Jessup Hood and Robert Bartlett Haas, (The California Historical Society Quarterly, March 1963.) A recent blog posting gives details of items currently on loan to Muybridge exhibitions.

Stereoview, 'Watch Tower', CHS Collection

“In June 2009, CHS was invited by the Corcoran to lend fifteen works by Muybridge plus an additional photo album from its permanent collection for the exhibition, Helios: Eadweard Muybridge in a Time of Change. Organized by the Corcoran’s chief curator, Philip Brookman, this first major retrospective of over 300 items from thirty-six lenders examines Muybridge’s career and extensive pioneering work in areas such as The Geology of Time: Yosemite and the High Sierra; War, Murder, and the Production of Coffee: the Modoc Wars and the Development of Central America; Motion Pictures: the Zoopraxiscope; and Animal Locomotion.

CHS stereo card with the classic image of Contemplation Rock, Glacier Point, 1871, was chosen as one of two images selected to illustrate Muybridge’s work in the Washington Post review of the exhibition, on view this last spring and early summer at the Corcoran Gallery. Three small works from CHS group were shipped to the exhibition’s second venue at the Tate Gallery [Tate Britain] in London and are currently on view there. The Helios exhibition will travel to its last venue, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, [early in 2011] for fourteen weeks of viewing. We hope you will visit Helios at SFMOMA, and visit CHS where more works by Muybridge from our permanent collection will also be on view during that time. More works by Muybridge are available for viewing in our North Baker Research Library, where we welcome visitors from around the world.

Cheryl Maslin, CHS Registrar/Collections Manager.”

http://californiahistoricalsociety.blogspot.com/2010/12/eadweard-muybridge-in-california.html

The current CHS headquarters at 678 Mission Street accommodates the administrative offices, North Baker Research Library and the exhibition galleries. Galleries are open to the public from 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday. The California Historical Society has over 3,100 dedicated members. The Society publishes “California History”, a quarterly journal and keeps an active public program schedule, including exhibitions, lectures, book talks and other events. The Society holds one of the richest collections of primary and secondary materials in the state on the social, cultural, economic, and political development of California. The North Baker Research Library provides public access to the collection, Wednesday through Friday, 12:00 to 5:00 p.m. questions or comments: californiahistoricalsociety@gmail.com

Posted here by Stephen Herbert

Weird Adventures airs on BBC tv

Andy Serkis. Photo (c) BBC

Apart from re-enactments in a 1960s US programme introduced by Ronald Reagan, Eadweard Muybridge as a character of considerable importance in the story of the creation and recording of the modern world has been absent from television. The Weird Adventures of Eadweard Muybridge is the first programme to attempt to tell the full story. It does touch on most aspects, leaving out the bits with very little visual material – the five years spent as a bookseller in New York, totally avoided in the commentary – and his various activities during the five ‘lost years’ back in Europe in the 60s. But for a one-hour programme, it packs a lot in.

Philip Brookman talks with Alan Yentob. Photo (c) BBC

The talking heads include Philip Brookman, whose exhibition in Washington did so much to introduce Muybridge to a wider public; author Rebecca Solnit, in splendid hat, musing on Muybridge in San Francisco as she wanders through the harbour; print collector Michael Wilson marvelling at the artistry of the travel photographs; Jonathan Miller not getting it at all, and insisting that Muybridge was simply an entertainer; recent biographer and long-time chronophotography specialist Marta Braun talking about the Animal Locomotion sequences; art curator Ann Dumas of the Royal Academy of Arts explaining the connection with the ballet dancers of Degas; and Kingston Museum curator Peta Cook introducing the sacred scrapbook, and zoopraxiscope discs.

A nice touch was Stanford Red Barn (Palo Alto) horse trainer Rachel Williamson confirming that the 1870s horse photos are still used today in the equestrian world.

Rachel Williamson. Photo (c) BBC

I got my fair share of the running time, mostly talking about the complexities of the image projections at a Muybridge lecture, and I also managed to get the last word in. [voice from across the room – “you always do…”]

‘Andy Serkis as Muybridge’ said the blurb, and he appeared reading Muybridge’s own words, wearing just a hint of period costume, but no stick-on beard. Serkis was also one of the expert talking heads, since he’s very familiar with the subject, having been developing a Muybridge feature film project for some years. And of course, he’s best known for being Gollum in the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy – his physical image altered by CG techniques, in a modern development of the motion capture and image manipulation used by Muybridge for converting his photo sequences to painted animations.

No recent news on the feature movie, but perhaps it will happen someday.

Posted here by Stephen Herbert

2011 Calendar now available

The 2011 Muybridge calendar from Tate / Flame Tree Publishing is now available – details (of American edition?) here:

“Edweard Muybridge Wall Calendar: Inspired by the Tate Britain exhibition, this calendar centers around one of photography’s pioneers, Eadweard Muybridge and his celebrated experimental works showing animals and humans in motion. His photographs used new mechanisms that he invented to freeze the image of a galloping horse or a man sprinting. This revolutionary motion-capture technique produced iconic images that have profoundly influenced generation upon generation of photographers, artists and filmmakers. Further information about Muybridge’s life and works can be found underneath each image.”

UK sales: special offer here:

http://www.waterstones.com/waterstonesweb/products/tate+edweard+muybridge+-+2011+wall+calendar/7926794/

Posted here by Stephen Herbert