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Article by SVA Alumnus Sarah Sze in 'The New Yorker'

From The New Yorker: “In the late eighteen-seventies, the photographer Eadweard Muybridge conducted an experiment to prove that, at one moment, a horse at full gallop has all four legs off the ground. Muybridge set up a system of trip wires that triggered cameras as a horse ran past. The shutters rose and fell—capturing the horse suspended in midair.

Muybridge’s sequence of photographs, titled ‘Sallie Gardner at a Gallop,’ helped lay the groundwork for moving images. Now, a little more than a century later, we are all photographers, taking, sending, and receiving photos at such a rate that they practically merge into a moving film. Personal, impersonal, searched, and researched images blend together in streams and scrolls, taking us everywhere and nowhere at the same moment. On my desktop, I flip through images from today’s news in one window, while in another there is a live feed from a space station two hundred and forty miles above the Earth.

What strikes me now about Muybridge’s horse, centered in a frame of white pixels, is that the image is somehow descriptive of the disorientation that comes from this proliferation of images. To experience everything at once is to be left, like Muybridge’s horse, in a state of suspension, without a sense of beginning or ending, without a sense of time passing. This creates a narrative, but one that lacks an arc.

In recent years, images on screens have become substitutes for materials and objects..." (continue reading)

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