Thursday, 7 August 2008

Étienne-Jules Marey (1830 - 1904)

Étienne-Jules Marey (1830 - 1904) : During the 1860s Marey threw himself into the study of flight, first of insects and then birds. His aim was to understand how a wing interacted with the air to cause the animal to move.Using his chronophotographic cameras, first with glass plates and then with celluloid film, Marey succeeded in photographing the different phases of the flight of birds - seagulls, pigeons, herons and so on. The results, when compared with the graphs he had previously obtained, allowed Marey to publish a substantial volume entitled Le Vol des Oiseaux ("The Flight of Birds") in 1890. Alongside the plates and films, and with Georges Demenÿ's assistance, Marey once again produced sets of magnificent drawings. Better still, in 1887 he created a number of bronze and plaster sculptures which were truly kinetic works of art. His intellectual project therefore consisted of five successive steps: 1) Chronophotographic and/or graphical analysis of the flying bird; 2) A drawing or sketch based on this record; 3) Formation of sculptures to synthesise the analysed movement; 4) "Reanimation" of the sculptures by arranging them in a zoetrope; and 5) Scientific commentary by publication of books and papers.

No comments: