The Graphic Method Bicycle

In the autumn of 2008, "The Graphic Method Bicycle" (1979) by Dick Raaymakers, was performed by Bart Visser and Edwin van der Heide in different venues in The Netherlands, Belgium and England.

The Graphic Method Bicycle

foto: Jan Sprij

Sep 2008
Nov 2008

The Graphic Method Bicycle is inspired by the work of the French physiologist and film pioneer Etienne-Jules Marey (1830-1903). In 1878, Marey developed a technique which he called "chronophotographic" and described in his work La méthode graphique, to record physical movements in graphic time patterns. Like the fluid, living motion of a cyclist that is dissolved into a series of dead, still, but continuous photographic images. In The Graphic Method Bicycle this technique is reversed and stretched out: a motion sequence captured in photography is brought to life.

A nude man, sitting on a bicycle, is pulled extremely slowly forward by a motorized winch and steel cable at a speed of a fifth of an inch per second on a track some thirty feet long. As he moves, the cyclist is lifted up off the saddle by one of the pedals. This forces him to make a normal dismounting movement. At the same extremely low speed, he must swing his leg over the saddle without touching or leaning on it. The simple manoeuvre is stretched to half an hour and requires incredible concentration and effort from the performer.

The 2008 performance was executed by two artists and former students of Dick Raaymakers: Bart Visser and Edwin van der Heide, and has been produced with the help of Paul Beuk, STEIM and V2_.


Performance dates:

26 and 27 September, TodaysArt, Nieuwe Kerk, The Hague

11 October, Korzo theater, The Hague

13 November, November Music, Gent (BE)

15 November, November Music, Den Bosch

21 November, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Huddersfield (UK)


more information: The Graphic Method Bicycle

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