Friday, 14 June 2013

The Prehistory Of Cinema & The Archology of The Moving Image

Lest stray into the world of  film as I think it can tell us a lot about the development of video work and electronic media, after all one of the many progenitor technologies to video synthesis works are light shows, lumia and visual music works. However before we even get to cinema as an established art there were many artists and engineers experimenting with the new medium and contributing to it's development. Some of these works are almost like mechanical and chemical realisations of ideas that would later be explored in a similar way electronically by artists and engineers at the dawn of the video age.

Probably the best and almost definitive resource in the study of the the prehistory of cinema is Werner Nekes whose site and video series Media Magica, display and describe a dazzling series of optical toys, illusions and various moving image machines. Go buy the series!


Another Excellent website is whose links section is fantastic
here is a picture from the site of three children playing with a Chromatrope, as you can see it is very like a video synthesis work and even more similar to lighting effects still used today and that were present in many Lumia displays and their later descendants the light shows of the 1970s.

Antiquarian Holographica is another excellent source of information about a very large collection of artifacts documenting the history of 3D photography, film ,holography and work like laser light shows and even lumia!

And finally for now here is an amazing timeline of historical film colours that really bring home the structures in the mechanics of film that artists somtimes playwith

all images taken from their respective websites please ask and I will remove if necessary, more at some later date...

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