Background Information

The works in Gallery 2 refer to the experiments of 19th Century French Scientist Étienne-Jules Marey which were fundamental in the fields of cardiology, medical imaging and aerodynamics and whose work was instrumental to the birth of cinema. Marey studied human and animal movements and how the blood flows around the body. He was the first to use moving images for purely scientific reasons, and in 1882 he invented a photographic gun capable of taking 12 consecutive frames a second which could be reproduced on the same plate.

Called chronophotography, this proved essential for the first motion picture cameras. The technique was re-appropriated by modernist artists such as Marcel Duchamp in his famous work Nude Descending a Staircase, 1912, and by the Futurists.

Before Marey turned to photography he used a system of pneumatic sensors and inscriptors to study the motions of people, horses and birds, and to probe the hidden motions of the blood and the heart. It is these pneumatic studies that have proved so inspirational to Bernie Lubell's work.

The pioneering work of Marey in both physiology and cinema can be seen in the Media Lounge on the DVD and in the book Cinema Before Cinema: The Origins of Scientific Cinema, and in 

Marta Braun's book Picturing Time: The Work of Étienne-Jules Marey (1830-1904).

Image credits:

Images 1, 3 and 4 - La Circulation Du Sang à L'état Physiologique et Dans les Maladies by E.J. Marey. Published by G. Masson, Éditeur, Libraire De L'Académie De Médecine.

Image 2 - La Pulsation du Coeur by E.J. Marey, taken from Picturing Time by Marta Braun.