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Publication: The Projectionists: Eadweard Muybridge and the Future Projections of the Moving Image

  • 9 November 2020

The Projectionists: Eadweard Muybridge and the Future Projections of the Moving Image by Stephen Barber and published by Diaphanes is now available to purchase. This book was supported by a Paul Mellon Centre publication grant.

Book cover featuring 19th century black and white street image Eadweard Muybridge is among the seminal originators of the contemporary world’s visual form, with its concentrated image-sequences of bodies in movement and its ocular obsessions. This book examines an almost unknown dimension of Muybridge’s work, as a moving-image projectionist, who toured Europe’s cities to enthral beyond-capacity audiences with unprecedented projections and who built a moving-image auditorium — long before cinemas were created — in which to project his work at the 1893 Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition. That final invention of Muybridge’s was both an all-engulfing catastrophe and the vital precursor for the following century’s worldwide manias for projection. Based on entirely new research into Muybridge’s travels, audiences, auditoria and projectors, this book explores his initiating role in moving-image projection and also maps Muybridge’s driving inspiration for subsequent artists and filmmakers preoccupied with the volatile entity of projection, from 1890s Berlin to contemporary Japan, via further spectacular World’s Exposition events and cinemas’ overheated projection-boxes.