I’m Going To Make You Shake

I'm Going To Make You Shake

I'm Going To Make You Shake II

I'm Going To Make You Shake III

It is a bit difficult to shoot stroboscopic photographs against a light background due to the compounding of exposures in-camera. You have to underexpose quite a bit to get results worth keeping.

(Special thanks to Kate & Sam for the amazing dancing robots!)


10 Comments so far. Comments are closed.
  1. Angela,

    I know it is terribly pretentious of me to say this, but the robot reminds me of Nude Descending a Staircase.

    • ratchetcat,

      It’s the same for me, Angela.

      It’s interesting how stroboscopic photographs of motion — particularly of inorganic forms in motion — bring Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase so quickly to the mind’s eye, isn’t it?

      I believe Duchamp was ahead of his time in envisioning what stroboscopic photography would and could capture. That is a claim I can’t substantiate — I’m a little unclear on what he might have encountered in terms of photography at the time — but that painting remains in the mind like the first memory of fire.

      • Angela,

        I started poking around and discovered that the famous sequences of a horse galloping and cantering were done in 1878 by Eadweard Muybridge. He also did lots of human movement studies. The dates for them are around 84-85. Duchamp was about 10-15 years after that, right? So I think he was probably paying attention to what was going on with technology at the time. Artists tend to be on the bleeding edge of things.

      • ratchetcat,

        True. Muybridge was probably a big influence on Duchamp.

        As far as I can determine, stroboscopic photography didn’t really get going until Gjon Mili and Doc Edgerton developed multi-flash strobes in the 1930s. “Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2” — the image I imagine most people think of when they think of Duchamp and stroboscopic movement — dates from 1912.

        So, I would suspect Duchamp visualized the movement shown in his painting based on exposure to Muybridge and, perhaps, other examples of early animation.

  2. Pretty neat idea, that.

  3. Kate,

    Exposure always loves to trip up the best of ideas.

  4. christy,

    Re: Angela and jon’s conversation . . . I found this tidbit on wikipedia:
    “Duchamp depicts motion by successive superimposed images, similar to stroboscopic motion photography. Duchamp also recognized the influence of the stop-motion photography of Étienne-Jules Marey, particularly Muybridge’s Woman Walking Downstairs from his 1887 picture series, published as The Human Figure in Motion.”

    • ratchetcat,

      Makes a lot of sense. Duchamp took that influence a step further and conceptualized a visual space in which the motion of the figure over time was compounded and uniquely abstracted. His was the first popular visualization of motion in that way… and it’s remarkable that it still resonates with viewers today.