American artist Bernie Lubell takes particular inspiration from the work of 19th-century French physiologist Etienne-Jules Marey. On the occasion of his exhibition The Origins of Innocence at V2_ in Rotterdam, Bernie Lubell discussed his work in a Sunday matinee with Marta Braun from Ryerson University (Toronto, Canada).
Marta Braun is an
expert on Marey and can provide a comprehensive insight into his work. Fascinated by understanding movement from horses and birds to human limbs and the heartbeat, Marey's work was pioneering
in cinematography, medical imaging, cardiology and aviation. He was the first to use moving images for purely scientific reasons, and in 1882 he invented a photographic gun capable of taking twelve consecutive frames a second which could be reproduced on the same plate, a technique called chronophotography.
Before Marey turned to photography he used a system of pneumatic sensors and inscriptors to study the motions of people and animals, and to probe the hidden motions of the blood and the heart. It is these pneumatic studies that have proved so inspirational to Bernie Lubell's work. After suffering heart problems himself in 1995, Bernie adapted Marey's pneumatic sensor
technologies to explore the conflicted relationship we have with the machines
we have become ever more dependent on.
Sunday Matinee with Bernie Lubell and Marta Braun (2009) from V2_ on Vimeo.
The matinee program was held inside the exhibition space.
Marta Braun is director of the graduate program in Photographic Preservation and Collections Management at Ryerson University in Toronto. Her internationally acclaimed book Picturing Time: The Work of Etienne-Jules Marey (1830-1904), was shortlisted for Britain's Krasna-Krausz award for the best internationally published book in photography.