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.


2 Responses to “11_Photodynamism”

  1. Toby Clark Says:

    Hi Tim:

    I like the look of what you’re doing (and it seems that UAL is rather more pulled-together than it was when I did MA Industrial Design at Central from 1990-92) – I wondered if you’d seen this stuff via BoingBoing: http://www.boingboing.net/2008/06/13/longexposure-shots-i.html
    It doesn’t, perhaps, have quite the intention of your simultaneous/continuous images – but it does look cool!

    Just a thought: it strikes me that frame-by-frame animation is to a certain extent an act of differentiation (in mathematical terms, that is – ie looking at the instantaneous rate of change of a continuous function); what you’re doing is almost the opposite – a process of integration through time.

    (Blimey! where did that come from?)

    Anyway, best of luck with the MA – looks like you’re enjoying it.



  2. claradiasart Says:

    Reblogged this on claradias_art and commented:
    The beginning of motion and time in photography, film and painting!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: