Futurists championed dynamism and reluctantly allowed photography, which they characterised as arresting motion, into their fold. Anton Bragaglia (and his brother) developed long exposure techniques which they christened Photodynamism and briefly showed with the Futurists around 1913. The above photo is called The Slap and shows what they were trying to achieve – ‘depicting movement as an indivisible reality, rather than a sequence of static poses.’
The Bragaglia brothers (in reactive Futurist mode ) rejected the analytical techniques of Marey and looked for a way to express the actual feeling of motion. They chose simple actions especially those involving change of states. They often filmed people at work, studies include: Carpenter Sawing, The Typewriter, The Bow, The Guitarist and also basic everyday transitions like Walking, Standing Up, Man Rising, Young Man Swinging. Several images were made with just the title Change of Position.
What I particularily like about these images is the density of action. The way in which you are drawn into the study. The simplicity of the events also appeals to me. The micro-narrative. At some point I plan to create this type of intimate study using digital long-exposure techniques.
Photodynamism was eventually ejected from Futurism, but perhaps not before inspiring Balla to push his paintings further.
The brothers were inevitably drawn toward film. Unfortunately only a few stills survive from their Futurist film Thais which looks intriguing.
I came across this amazing image by of a city in motion by Mario Bellusi
called Modern Traffic (1930) but can’t find much more information about him. This links strongly with SemiConductor’s work at St.Pancras train station. The throng of the city is a photographic subject i’d like to explore further time permitting, and will involve looking deeper into the Futurist catalog.