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Muybridge: The Eye in Motion: Tracing Cinema's Origins (Solar Film Directives)


Muybridge: The Eye in Motion: Tracing Cinema's Origins (Solar Film Directives) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Much of contemporary visual culture can be traced directly to the work of Eadweard Muybridge, photographer and film pioneer. In Muybridge: The Eye In Motion, Stephen Barber analyses Muybridge’s prodigious output principally through the photographer’s own scrapbook, a multi-dimensional and unprecedented “memory-book” that was created in the final years of his life. Based on this extensive primary research into Muybridge’s personal archive, this innovative and ground-breaking book illuminates both the preoccupations behind his influence on twentieth-century artists like Francis Bacon, his role in the origins of cinema, and his early prefiguring of the digital world. The result is an authoritative and original look at the man, his body of work, and his influence.
Muybridge’s work was powered by an extreme obsessiveness and excess that enabled him to negate all preconceptions of art and to reconceptualize the dynamics of corporeal and urban forms. Above all, Muybridge envisioned the future of cinema by creating a moving-image projector—the zoopraxiscope—and by constructing the first identifiably cinematic space to project his compositions for an audience.
Intended for readers and students of film and art history, Muybridge: The Eye In Motion is the first-ever study focused directly on the relevance of Muybridge’s work for contemporary digital cultures. Complete with striking illustrations and outstanding reproductions of archival photographs, Barber’s book is the most comprehensive and fully-researched account of Muybridge’s contribution to the origins of film and the best new history of visual culture in years.

About the Author

Stephen Barber is the author of The Walls of Berlin: Urban Surfaces, Art, Film  and Abandoned Images, among other books. He is currently a research professor at Kingston University in the UK and a visiting fellow at the Berlin Free University.

Table of Contents

PART ONE: Muybridge’s Eye in Motion

Visualising Memory

    1. Introduction: Muybridge’s Eye in Motion

    2. Documenting Film’s Origins: The Scrapbook

    3. Traces: Scraps, Fragments, Residues

    4. Immediacy and Memory

    5. Narrative Erasures

Muybridge Projections

    6. Itineraries and Dead-Ends

    7. Topographies of the Body and the City

    8. An Eye into the Void

    9. Borderlines and Tracking-Shots

    10. Urban Panoramas

    11. Horse Latitudes

    12. Projecting Obsessions

    13. Malfunctions and Breakdowns

    14. The Spectacular

    15. Excessive Images

    16. Future Vision Laboratories

    17. ‘If this book is lost . . .’

Lost Archives

    18. Phantoms

    19. The Digital Archive

    20. The Corporeal Archive

    21. The Scrapbook’s Double

    22. Archival Oblivion: Ruins

    23. Archival Time

    24. Archival Eyes in Motion

    25. Film’s Origins, Film’s Vanishings


PART TWO: The Devil Knows: The Skladanowsky Brothers and Muybridge

    1. Introduction: Moving-Image Tricksters

    2. Film’s Devils: The Skladanowsky Brothers

    3. The Wintergarten Projections

    4. The Skladanowsky Films

    5. The Skladanowsky Brothers and Muybridge: Memory and Oblivion


PART THREE: Muybridge’s Scrapbook: Twenty-Five Disassembled Fragments

    Opening Projection

    Scrapbook Fragments 2–24

    Coda: Closing Projection

List of Images



Product Details

Barber, Stephen
Solar Books
Individual Photographer
Film and Television-History and Criticism
Edition Description:
Solar Books - Solar Film Directives
Publication Date:
50 halftones
10 x 7 in

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » Film and Video
Arts and Entertainment » Film and Television » History and Criticism
Arts and Entertainment » Photography » Photographers

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