“Shooting Film” – Etienne-Jules Marey (1830-1904)

Posted: April 4, 2018 in Uncategorized

Etienne-Jules Marey, the brilliant French physiologist, developed photographic techniques for the study of animal locomotion that directly influenced the invention of cinematography. His work and the images he created are among the very sources of modernity, yet his own history and background remain obscure. Marey’s strange story emerges in this fascinating account of a voyage of scientific and aesthetic study that would have reverberations in many aspects of modern culture.

  1. Jiahui (Karen) Chen says:

    The fact that a physiologist had such an impact in cinematography is cool, and shows how intersectionality and diversity in interests is vital for overall advancement. I often feel like education doesn’t emphasize multi-faceted learning and champions studying a specific field, but there’s many historical and modern examples of how application of knowledge in new ways is what leads innovation, rather than pure analytical learning.

    • I’m glad you found this intriguing. While I hear talk all the time about the importance of interdisciplinary studies, and I don’t see many persons actually doing it. Or, if they do attempt it, the conjunctions often seen forced and predictable. For instance, experimental or evolutionary psychologists trying to explain the power of Renaissance paintings through analogies to the migratory patterns of birds. Still, interdisciplinary studies done right are both fascinating and productive. I can’t say I’m a great success at this sort of teaching, but it’s certainly what I try to do.

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