Wk03 - Chronophotography

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Re: Wk03 - Chronophotography

Post by amandajackson » Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:25 pm

"Rather than impede or freeze motion, Marey wanted to capture data at discrete regular intervals which could then serve to reconstruct (one wants to say deconstruct) the original action." (p. 85)

Marey was more interested in the discrete pieces that made up an object rather than the complete whole. It is said that his work was a prelude to cinema, but in many ways Marey was ahead of the technology introduced by the motion picture. The easiest way to depict this is to understand the difference between analog and digital. Analog is continuous while digital is the conglomeration of discrete intervals. There is no string of numbers that code the functions of an analog device, there is only fluid motion: natural, chemical or mechanical. When thinking of an analog clock, we think of the gears that make the clock hands move. Image By looking at the individual stages of an object or a phenomena, Marey had the ability to truly understand its existence, how it came to be and how it was put together.

When we look at a flower, we see a flower. But if Marey were to look at a flower he would see it's entire lifespan. How it started, what it looks like now, and what it is going to be. In other words, he would see the discrete intervals of time that passed to make the flower what it is.

The following depiction of Zeno's paradoxes shows how a finite length (which includes time- a line in space) can be divided into an infinite number of pieces, all with a length of zero.


Sol LeWitt represents a similar idea to Marey in his "A Wall Drawing Retrospective." By recording a timelapse of the construction and painting of a wall, LeWitt shows the individual intervals of work and time that make up the finished product.
Watch the timelapse:http://www.massmoca.org/lewitt/timelapse.php?id=1

This a link to a youtube video of a Monarch Butterfly Pupatation Timelapse. If Marey's work had developed as far as digital media, his work work have been similar to a timelapse; it would depict each interval of life.

Marey's ideas are very similar to a "flip book". Each image is a fragment of the whole book, drawn on its separate page, but when you flip through the book at a rapid pace, the images appear in a fluid motion.
Last edited by amandajackson on Tue Oct 16, 2012 1:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Wk03 - Chronophotography

Post by ashleyf » Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:39 pm

“One can say that digital media have blurred the line between work and play, between science and art, between product and process”

Etienne-Jules Marey changed the game when he became obsessed with motion. His motion pictures were the result when he thought about merging the study of science and art together. This was also an obsession with movement and measurement. Analyzing and capturing these events were always so exciting for him because he was able to visualize a complex physical process. He thought this would help bridge the imagination with the reality; what we see is actually what we think. At this point, it was a big path to follow and there were no glitches, it was a one way street. The quote mentioned above talked about how Marey merged work into play and science into art. These are things that have stuck with us since that moment. This was crucial. Image
Theres an artist this week we see an artist names James Pomery, an american artist who did spinning artworks. Without Etienne-Jules Marey we wouldnt have Pomery might not be doing what he did before. What we learned from Pomery because of his studies were more about spacing out and putting art into a space for people to see. Image

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Re: Wk03 - Chronophotography - Sydney VandeGuchte

Post by sydneyvg » Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:01 pm

Etienne-Jule Marey was a French photographer from the 19th century, who created the chronophotographic gun. This gun was actually a camera that captured images that were stills of movement. Part of what makes Marey’s work so visually enticing is his ability to bring form to fleeting moments. His work captures that which slips away in real time and space. As an artist-scientist, his obsession with movement is an “obsession of representation and measurement” (p. 2). Marey stressed the importance of his work as the analysis of the motion, rather than just creating an appealing image. His pieces resemble freeze-frames of motion that “reveal the hidden, not record the already visible” (p. 5). Rather than smooth analytic data, as you see when you watch a recording from cinema, Marey’s work represents digital data in a visual graphing. Through his photos that he has taken with the chronophotographic gun, he is able to view various processes of life in their entirety and fully realize their existence.
Marey "Flight of a Gull"
Marey "Sculptures of Birds in Flight"
Although the invention of cinema followed the creation of Marey’s chronophotography, author Stephen Mamber argues that its invention was actually backward working. Cinema simply replayed life as it were- short-lived and momentary- while chronophotography enabled a whole new way of seeing by slowing down time and giving concrete form to what couldn’t be grasped.

This concept of freezing motion and portraying movement in time and space inspired many artists including Marcel Duchamp. Mamber mentions Duchamp’s “Nude Descending a Staircase” as inspired by Marey.
Marcel Duchamp "Nude Descending a Staircase"
Upon googling Duchamp’s work, I stumbled upon Dutch sculptor, Peter Jansen’s work. His piece “Human Motion” seems to be capturing seconds worth of movement in the 3D form similarly to how Marey sculpted the above works of the flying birds. More of his work can be seen at http://humanmotions.com/
Peter Jansen "Human Motion"
arabesque-703503.jpg (9.65 KiB) Viewed 5399 times
Peter Jansen "Nude Descending a Staircase"
nude_descending_a_staircase-764359.jpg (8.61 KiB) Viewed 5399 times

Another modern version of Marey's work are GIFs, such as those that are seen on tumblr and other websites. GIFs are image files that are compressed to reduce transfer time and often use multiple frames of images to create an animation. Some examples of GIFs can be found at http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/gif

“The most appealing chronography is not the most useful,” quotes Mamber from Marey (p. 6). This quote seems to sum up Marey’s view on his work. He took his work very seriously, acknowledging its beauty while also knowing its potential to make and spread new knowledge.

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Re: Wk03 - Chronophotography

Post by andysantoyo » Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:31 pm

“Marey does not seem interested in the life-like; rather, he finds ways conceptually to display traces of movement hidden or obscured by everyday perception” (85).

One of the artists that uses this concept is Aaron Koblin, who mapped the flights of various airplanes and their destinations. Koplin's video format is another format of visualization that Ettiene-Jules Marey was trying to accomplish with his photographs of the racing horse. They are graphing what would otherwise prove to be difficult for human eyes to see. With their results one can analyze and “see” the horse does in fact lift all its feet off the floor at the same time, and the flight patterns of airplanes; both of the these forms of visualization are also considered art in itself. The subject of both of these artists visuals are not really the horse or the planes, but rather the results in which they present.
AAron Koblin's Flight Patterns
Professor Legrady's colleague, JoAnn Kuchera-Morin, who is the director of the AlloSphere Research Facility in UC Santa Barbara, takes her visualizations a bit further. The AlloSphere is designed to provide visualizations and sounds from inside the brain. Through the AlloSphere one can see what takes place inside their brains, seeing and hearing even the tiniest neurons in one's head. As much as it is a help in the development of future science, the visuals and sounds are astounding, therefore also creating it into a mesmerizing art piece. It comes to show how far art and photography and video have changed and aid in further understanding what is otherwise “blind” to human eyes.
JoAnn Kuchera-Morin's AlloSphere
From Marey, to Koplin, to Kuchera-Morin we can see how far art and technology have progressed and inter-merged to create an irreplaceable entity of wonder. This technology is useful to aid and discover new possibilities for future artists and scientists alike. Not only can it be aesthetically profound, but scientifically useful for generations to come, as technology has taken a greater part in the lives of humans. Through this technology people can come to understand to world and it's surroundings better, perhaps make more scientific findings that can alter even more the way things are seen in the future.


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Re: Wk03 - Chronophotography

Post by rosadiaz » Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:36 pm

“A visual hallmark of all of Marey's work is a dense compression of visual information-his was a science-art of overlap, collage, simultaneous frozen motion, multiple view-points. This love of serial overlapping seems to be both an appreciation of its intrinsic elegant beauty and to have an overriding goal of how sense could be made of patterns which resulted when minor variations were graphed over a neatly designed set of parameters.” (p. 85)

As many have stated Marey’s obsession with movement and capturing movement, this desire to led to several ways movement can be produced through photo-stills, sculptures or a painting. He wanted to show not what was already visible but the hidden—what cannot be seen before and after an image was taken. Images from photography had to be abstracted to reveal to the viewer what was not there before or ‘hidden’ from the ‘overly distracting’ still picture.

The beauty of movement was wonderfully captured by Harold Edgerton. His photos captured movement invisible or not captured through the naked eye. These small instances like a drop of milk producing a milky white crown in a red background. The intensity and the subtly of the movement draws the viewer into wanting more of the drop of milk or other liquids that would make such a dashing splash.

Andrey Razumovsky in a way used this milk method in his photography. Though it’s mostly just nudity splashed with milk, how the real or Photoshoped milk moves with the flow of the body is interesting. A person can see the ‘before’ movement as a model is walking or in a different posture.

Aside from milk a Korean artist named Lee, Ho-Ryon fuses the digital and the traditional by creating these movement like paintings of women. Lee takes several photographs of the models, overlaps them in Photoshop to get a sense of the movement from the body to the ruffling clothing. With the end result he would paint the movement like images. The perfected point/the middle is not the ‘surface’ but the conclusion of the overlapped images—set apart and no piled onto each other. Though his paintings are sensual, never revealing the face of the model only from the waist down or the back of the model it’s not only about sensuality. It’s about meaning, what is defined as meaning, the images of the meaning, and the ‘reiteration of image and desire.’ It’s a rather philosophical and psychological mind set when reading through the website but it makes a person think about the definition of words, what they mean to an individual and everyone else. Are the paintings just sensualization or overlapped images of someone, does the viewer want to know what is in between the images, or just merely seen as objects?

http://www.galeriebhak.com/artist/A041/ ... essay.html
http://designyoutrust.com/2009/05/milky-dressed-girls/ {NSFW}

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Re: Wk03 - Chronophotography

Post by giovanni » Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:41 pm

The point in Mamber's article that mostly cathched my attention is the following:
One quality Marey expressly valued is the central notion of the all-at-a-glance chart: the single image which brings out a complex activity which would otherwise lie unobserved.
Talkin about how Marey was anticipating the digital technological changes, I guess this claim is a nodal point.
We are living today in the so-called "information society" or to better say, a "knowledge society" marked out by some peculiar characteristics like: complexity, globalization, networkig as main metaphore of human activities, centrality of "meta-competences" and so on.
So, the "knowledge" or the "information" could be considered the most important asset in the contemporary society, and with the internet and the new digital technologies we are forced to face with the information overload.
Probably the research on data visualization, how to represent in a quick and clear way a huge amount of data, is one of the burning question and I was really surprised when I was reading that most than one hundred year ago one person could have an insight like this, and the fact that people now using similar techniques to represent complex activities

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Re: Wk03 - Chronophotography

Post by aleforae » Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:33 am

Christin Nolasco - Report on Chronophotography

"The all-at-a-glance graphic style of Marey is a forerunner of the visual compression implied in digital layering (showing you more than you can handle at the same time you see all that you need to know), new relationships made visible in aesthetically beautiful patterns of information."

In this passage, Steve Mamber makes it clear that though Marey's intentions may have been scientific, his works have proved to be works of art because of how he visualized such information. This information was presented in an aesthetically pleasing way despite the compression of various stages of a movement into a single composition. However, it is probably because his particular method of compression and overlaying that he became such a notable figure in both science and art. He allowed viewers to witness information they could not see with the naked eye by presenting it to them all at once.

A man pole-vaulting, image by Etienne-Jules Marey.

Carlo Carra, a leading artist of the Futurist movement and metaphysical artist, has works that are quite similar to that of Marey's work despite the difference in artistic medium (Carra using mainly paint and Marey using mainly photography). Their concept is similar. Both artists utilize composite images in order to reveal a sort of movement within a single image rather than compiling several images and keeping them separate. Carra may be a bit more aggressive in his overlaying of images than Marey was, but the general goal is still achieved. That goal being a revolutionary and visually provocative way to present new information. This can be seen in Carra's "The Red Horseman" below. Though somewhat abstracted, it is strongly implied that the horse is meant to be galloping through the multiplicity of the same horse's legs. This concept of the moving horse is also somewhat related to Eadweard Muybridge's "first film" of the galloping horse in 1878.

The Red Horseman by Carlo Carra (1912).

Francis Picabia was an artist who dabbled heavily in the Surrealist movement, much like Picasso. Though not all of his works portrayed movement like Marey or Carra may have, many of his works were still provocative because they were largely composite images. He did, however, have a transparence series which heavily involved a sort of movement. In comparison to Carra, most of Picabia's works which did illustrate movement were much simpler, as seen in the image below. This may have been more aesthetically pleasing to certain viewers who could not handle processing as many composites as those in Carra's works. Though very simple, and largely only consisting of two movements, viewers still have enough visual information to determine that the two people are embracing. Picabia could have just made the two people already embracing. However, by instead choosing to illustrate the process of the embrace, the subtle change in expression, emotion, and body language is able to witnessed. Such subtleties would normally go unseen in real life, but Picabia manages to capture that brief moment in an overlaid image much like Marey and Carra.

A piece from Francis Picabia's transparence series.

http://mit.edu/6.933/www/Fall2000/edger ... -Marey.jpg
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-BagFN55G-90/T ... -carra.jpg
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5056/540 ... 404ee9.jpg

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Re: Wk03 - Chronophotography

Post by dslachtman » Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:32 am

" 'Movement' as a word equally conjures up the artistic and the scientific. The dancer, the athlete, the beating heart, the gallops of a horses hooves, the tracing of a figure through space-all can suggest a simultaneous desire to capture and to analyze."- Stephen Mamber

To create an image of movement is to call upon science as well as art, in effect using artistic visual means to portray a scientific method or observation. The artists Marey, Bragaglia, Muybridge and Mach are all photographers who capture the movement of a figure or object through space, an early start to the collaboration that we see in today's scientific world, just like at UCSB in the MAT program. These photographers were the among the first to use the artistic medium of photography to visualize the scientific phenomenon of movement, time or change. Marey's works go so far as to map progression of a movement by overlapping images. One can draw points on the multiple subjects so that the image acts as a chart, just as a scientist would draw conclusions from observing a subject.
Muybridge worked with movement in a unique way when he spent some time working in a hospital to photograph patients with affected movement. These photos were used by doctors to research disabilities by offering a visual aid. Muybridge used his medium to help with scientific discovery in the medical field during his time at the hospital.
muybridge paralysis.jpg
I did a project showing progression of time while I was abroad in Australia, in which I mapped 2 games of lawn bowls by showing the path of the all, and connecting the winning balls on tracing paper of each round. I had not previously heard of Marey but learning about his work reminded me of the assignment.
Last edited by dslachtman on Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:02 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: Wk03 - Chronophotography

Post by kevinalcantar » Tue Oct 16, 2012 1:19 pm

“Crucial to this method was his technique of mapping points and trajectories, so that what unfolds over time in an image is another form of the trace – a series of lines and points, superimposed as it were, over the likeness of the body producing them, the superimposition becoming so dominant as to take on life as a pattern of representation of its own – patterns that would dominate the figures in works such as those by Duchamp which followed Marey’s manner of seeing.” –Stephen Mamber, “Marey, the analytic, and the digital

Etienne-Jules Marey was a French physiologist who through his invention of the chronophotographic gun in 1882 laid the foundation for what would become not only modern cinematography but also our current concept of digital information.

While it can be tempting to place Etienne-Jules Marey’s photographic work next to Eadweard Muybridge’s photographs, Marey’s work was concerned more with the locomotion and the movement of objects through time and space. Marey’s work was more than simply photographing a horse in motion, instead focusing on how that particular horse might move through time and space and what trajectory such movement would create.


Since Marey's innovations, there have been many who have tried to replicate this unique way of seeing the world moving simultaneously in time and space. Marcel Duchamp's Nude Descending A Staircase (1912) is a notable example of modernist painting's interest in seeing time unfold all at once. Perhaps the artist that most typifies and captures what Marey was interested in is Anton Guilio Bragaglia. Consider this image entitled Change of Position (1911).


Bragaglia's photograph is astoundingly similar to Marey's photographs. However, though Marey's photographs were done with the intention of being used for scientific research, Bragaglia is an artist conisdering the implications of the camera's ability to capture a moment in time and what this means for art. Before photography, painting was the medium used to capture and reproduce a moment or an event. With photography, this became a thing of the past. Now, scientist and artists are pushing the capabilities of photography to different frontiers. What if you could capture multiple moments and string them together? What if you can capture an entire moment as it happens all at once on one photograph?

Etienne-Jules Marey was not aware but he was peering directly into the future; into the digital age. First, it is probably best to describe the main different between analog and digital. An analog signal is a continuous wavelength. A digital signal is a broken into a number of discrete samples. The rate at which you get these samples is the sampling rate. In many ways, Marey's work is much like a database cataloging the movements and trajectories of whatever he photographed. This recalls Lev Manovich's "Database as Symbolic Form." In it, Manovich writes that "many new media objects are collections of individual items, where every item has the same significance as any other" and that "database is defined as a structured collection of data." Marey's recordings of movement can be seen as collections of data that, when broken up, are equally significant.


Manovich's writing also described databases as being endless in that one can constantly add information "add a new line." Marey's images show a relatively small fraction of information compared to what is actually available. In his tracings of how a horse moves, Marey presents three variations of movement although there are infinite number of variations in the speed that he could have chosen to present. Marey's visualizations give his research a cultural significance that makes his findings more easily accessible but also causes many to confuse his intentions as narrative, not unlike cinema. Manovich also states that "databases becomes the centre of the creative process in the computer ages" much like how data and analysis were the foundation of Marey's creative process.


http://music.columbia.edu/cmc/musicandc ... /02_02.php
http://encyclopedia.jrank.org/articles/ ... raphy.html
http://transcriptions.english.ucsb.edu/ ... c_form.htm

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Re: Wk03 - Chronophotography

Post by samibohn » Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:07 pm

a still from the Lumiere film and a Marey chronophotograph

"Marey's chronophotographs are constructed to reveal the hidden, not to record the already visible."

This is how Marey's chronophotographs are different from the Lumiere brother's films. The short film from 1896 shown in this week's examples is attempting to record a glimpse of real life as anybody would see it if they were standing in the same spot as the camera. It's not very effective in that purpose, because of the limitations of the time and the media. Color film has not yet been invented (at least not for three more years) and that doesn't even begin to touch upon the other three senses (touch, taste, smell) or the emotional experience of being in that moment. Marey can't do any of those things either, but Marey's chronographs are trying to look beyond the moment that everybody else sees. He's breaking down and exploring every moment.


Muybridge was a photographer who took pictures that evoke a similar scientific questioning as Marey's chronophotographs when they are all viewed in a grid. They do not overlap, or compress the information in the way that Marey did. Muybridge did in fact create an early version of a projector with his photographs, so he was aiming for that recreation of movement and life in the traditional sense. However, where I see a similarity to Marey is his investigation of a horse trot. The eye cannot see whether all feet leave the ground, so Muybridge had to use the medium of photography to look beyond what the eye can see to discover the truth.


Edgerton follows in Marey's footsteps more than any of the other artists we looked at this week. Using different, more modern techniques, using strobes of his own invention, Edgerton creates images that look like newer versions of Marey's work. Because of his resources, high-speed photography, Edgerton can take pictures that Marey would not have been able to in his time. While Marey was exploring the science of movement, Edgerton explored photography itself, pushing it's limits. What they both have in common is that their photography is not only fascinating, but stunningly beautiful works of art.


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