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#291 :: Flickering Postcard

November 26, 2004

Eadweard Muybridge began his landmark “Animal Locomotion” studies to settle a bet: Railroad baron (and namesake university founder) Leland Stanford hired him to prove that a galloping horse lifts all four hooves off the ground at once. What unfolded from there was a 3-year-period of scientific and artistic fertility that would prove to be a visual wellspring for anatomists, photographers, cinematographers, animators, lovers of the moving image and countless art students who believed anything looked cooler if you put it on a grid. You can find Muybridges in multiple media; in the Smithsonian, collections of animated gifs, digital flip books and flickering postcards. This one is by, which apparently can translate any animation into a lenticular postcard, the sort that used to be reserved for visions of Jesus and Mickey Mouse. The inscription on this mounted rider says: Cantering – (from the Attitudes of Animals in Motion album) 1878-81.” Here’s how the lenticular thing works.

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