Muybridge

In this series of works, I am reinterpreting Eadweard Muybridge’s stop-motion photos from the 1880’s. It is from toy flip-books of the photos comprising his seminal publication, Human and Animal Locomotion, which my work borrows from.

I am interested in the idea of playing with his iconic images-- to make his frozen photos “move” again. Muybridge’s high shutter speeds broke down movement into distinct visual images, separated by equal intervals of time that could be analyzed frame by frame, all to observe a cause and effect sequence for scientific study. From a physical point of view, each of the still images is actually a record of a period of time of about 1/2000 of a second—a short time but still a duration of time. From a phenomenological point of view though, can this freeze-frame image, in a sense, be re-activated to release the latent motion it originally recorded?

With Photoshop, I alter Muybridge’s image by distorting, blurring, warping, stretching, or twisting to imply a sense of motion. I would like to elicit a metaphorical sense of allowing time re-flow. Like pressing
<PLAY> after the <PAUSE> button has been on for the past 130 years.

But how is this new motion read in today’s time? What visual consequences present themselves by re-animating flow of time? I feel a new narrative is posed by the isolation of a single Muybridge image from the context of its original sequence. My selection of alternate colors further jars the meaning. Effects of blurring and distortion torque space and memory of time passed.

With the application of a thick top coat of glossy resin, the picture plane of the photo image becomes visually slippery, and appears to float somewhere within the thickness.  I think of my Muybridge images as cast in another type of frozen state, much like an ancient biological specimen locked away within a piece of crystalline amber.