Tuesday 30 November 2010

Eadweard Muybridge in motion

Was Eadweard Muybridge the first artist to predict cinema with his work?

If you are in London before 16 January, one show that you should not miss is the Eadweard Muybridge exhibition currently getting rave numbers at Tate Britain. While he was certainly a 19th century artist, the implications of his discoveries remain every bit as gripping and influential as they were a century ago.

Muybridge’s art is a visual template for how photography may combine research and with scientific discovery. His work is utterly innovative.

Background to the exhibit can be found at:

Michael Wilson writes very well about the many inventions of the artist.

Was Muybridge a scientist, a photographer or an artist? Or was he all three at once?

David Campany has also written a fascinating essay about the on-going influence of Muybridge’s photo-sequences. You can access this text online:

If you want to find out a whole lot of information on Muybridge from one source, I recommend you go straight to:

To understand the process of step frame photography check out:

The Muybridgizer is an astonishing user-based network of how the artist’s way of seeing can be applied to the world today. Utilise your iPhone; here is their blurb: “The Muybridgizer allows iPhone photographers to take pictures inspired by the iconic works of early photographer Eadweard Muybridge.”

Here is a link to the Apple itunes application:


Amy Cooper said...

I remember learning about Muybridge's photo-sequences at school and university. But I didn't realise what a fascinating character he was. Not only did he choose to change his name from plain Edward Muggeridge to Eadweard Muybridge - he also shot his wife's lover! This is the stuff that should be taught alongside his great innovations in my opinion...

HMS said...

I did see the exhibition in London, and it was fascinating seeing a lot of work in a similar vein in a condensed way. It gives a real sense of his working methods and his thinking. The exhibition conveyed the powerful sense of discovery and excitement, from that era when photography was still evolving as a medium.

The exhibition also had a series of his concertina folding topological surveys that operate as museum pieces in their own right. The massive foldout images of San Francisco are particularly memorable. What those early works do in the context of the exhibition, is introduce the sequential thinking that is inherent in the later locomotion works.

I agree that the links between photography and scientific thinking are engrossing.