Eadweard Muybridge Motion Study Motion Study

The source of imagery for this project comes from Eadweard Muybridge, a photographer who, in 1872, developed a technique for photographing animals in motion. Muybridge would set up a row 6 to 24 cameras that photographed an animal when it tripped a cable that released the shutter as it moved past his lens. He continued and refined this practice for 2 decades, eventually moving from studying animals to humans who he frequently photographed naked.

In this work I am bringing together disparate historical processes. Eadweard Muybridge’s bank of cameras that he used in the mid 19th century is remarkably similar to the contemporary flatbed scanner in that both photograph objects directly in front of them over a fixed space. Though Muybridge was primarily interested in arresting motion of his subjects, he inadvertently created moving pictures. I’m taking Muybridge’s static interpretation of motion and reanimating them as a Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) and then reinterpreting that motion using modern photographic technologies (a tablet and a flatbed scanner). 

I wanted to take Muybridge’s outcome that through photography rendered the fleeting aspects of motion visible. His unwilling 12 framed movie is reduced to a single frame of mechanically juxtaposed images. The pixels of the tablet are visible in the scans and the process is laid bare. Similarly, Muybridge’s images had markings on them, writing, dust and other evidence of their creation.

"It was as though he [Muybridge] had grasped time itself, made it stand still, and then made it run again, over and over." Rebecca Solnit