Muybridgize This Sucka…

This is a brief feature on the Muybridgizer app for the iPhone. This app has been doing the rounds since last September and is a tie in with the Muybridge exhibition at Tate Britain. The exhibition is coming to an end on the 16th January so I thought that I better give it a plug before it disappears. Edweard Muybridge was a pioneering photographer who worked in the Nineteenth Century. He used still images to produce a moving image effect using a device he invented called the zoopraxiscope, which is quite frankly the best named device in the history of mankind. The zoopraxiscope was a way of projecting a series of static images that made them appear to be moving. I wasn’t sure who he was at first but it is the famous image of the running horse that jogged my memory. His work is brilliant as it essentially gives us the first glimpse into the past through ‘film’, and given that the moving image is so utterly ingrained on the modern imagination it helps brings the past to life. For much better introductions to his history and significance please visit the Virtual Victorian and the Victorian Peeper.

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The Muybridgizer app takes the principal behind his photography and sticks it on the iPhone. The app takes a series of still images using your iPhone camera and then pulls them together into a grid sequence, like so:

The app then enables you to flick through this sequence by running your thumb across the screen, creating an animated image just like the zoopraxiscope (love that word). It’s surprisingly good fun capturing the modern day in this old fashioned way (sort of reverse nostalgia?), anyway it’s all very Retronaut. I decided to try it out on the South Bank and have edited together the results on this video. The app doesn’t enable you to export the videos so I’ve filmed myself using the app, so beware the giant thumb. Oh, and enjoy the music.

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