Archive for August, 2010

art 2840 reading I

August 30, 2010

This reading was from Techniques of the Observer by Jonathan Crary. Fascinating to me was the efforts in formulating theories of “persistence of vision.” Work with figuring out how long after images would last in the retina helped with developing instruments that utilized the persistence of vision to create the illusion of motion. One such instrument was the phenakistiscope. Developed by Joseph Plateau, the phenakistiscope used a wheel of still images spinning viewed through slits. As the images spun past the slits, the persistence of vision gave the appearance of the images being in continuous motion. With technology like this being developed, the role played by the observer was changing. The observer was becoming more actively involved becoming a part of the machine that they powered to view images, also moving from viewing static things to experiences that involved involvement, such as dioramas that caused the viewers to move their heads and eyes to see an entire scene.