The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive


Muybridge A/D


Muybridge is Muybridge's dirty little secret.

Scanning the real in this case is a form of devouring.

The intense sexuality of some of the images contaminates the others.

Men and women do sports, women do narrative, flirt, kiss.

Men and women haul things up and down the obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Some women have shaved is not equivalent to some men have erections.

The analogic digital is transformed into the digital analogic through
abjection.

Modernism is in a neutral face going back farther than Daguerre.

In Muybridge smiles break through in an engagement with ... the camera.
Some of the plates seems smeared in some of the images, indicative of
a relative inattention to purity.

The digital is a construct of Muybridgian innovation which cannot keep
dust, poor development, dirt, out of the image.

Men and women are never posed together; men are posed with men and women
with women.

Neither men nor women have spread legs or other in/attentive views.

Shaved and erect, the viewer is drawn to the gridwork of the fetishized.

The woman with her hand between her legs is startled into what:
"Turning around in surprise and running away."

Uneasy arousal of abject and packaged death, therefore sublime.

Measurement/tolerance of Muybridgian intervals in contradistinction to
the unique characteristics of each image; development changes from one
plate to another; from one part of an image to another; from one part of
the plate to another. Smears spill, decathect boundaries; in these
primordial artifacts of the digital age, corrosion immediately set.

As in pornography, the authenticity of the image is guaranteed by their
snapshot-like quality in relation to formal framing (of bodies, movements,
desire).

"Stripped of all identity," thus women against men, but here in these
images as otherwise evidence.

Then within these images, lack of title, frame, enumeration.

What remains is what remains within any digital: a dream of measurement.

Measurement itself is always otherwise.

What you measure is torn within me.

The whole world speaks (is measured) between one's legs.

Muybridge, the technicians, the models: and here is someone erect.

The apparatus is the inverse of the panopticon: here, the viewer surrounds
the viewed.

{ This is not film. This is not nineteenth century. This is Muybridge.

This is not Muybridge. This is the deconstruction of media before media.
This is not deconstruction. }

Kissing, not fucking: everything concentrated to break concentration.

Someone says "Go" or "Start."

My hands are trembling; it's almost impossible to find the images again;
it's as if the book itself becomes a body, the smell of the page; darkness
where the legs meet.

The signs of the shaved or erect are outward, emblems, of interior states
and the secret holes of the body.

The abject-analogic contradicts, forecloses the measurement of the body.

One can only imagine drives skittering from image to image.

The images refuse their order, their accountancy; instead, what is
revealed, what sort of revelation, where does the body's desire twist to
the breaking point?

It's like this: the developer spews across the plate in its entirety.

Or this: one's hands trembling in the darkroom.

Or this: the grid-place Cartesian dream of a body splayed across time
and four spatial dimensions (the body opened and open, mathesis!) - this
laboratory, scene, stage, now emptied. Night carries its own silence.
Someone trembled swallowing the image.

If these are measurements, they're analogic; separated, one from another,
joined by tissue, joined by skin. The slightest movement registers - the
tilt and wobble of the ass (which is conjoined by its own apparatus
indicating degrees from the horizontal, suspiciously like a harass), the
rise of the penis, anything but speech. And so difficult to see the face.
But a surplus which is not punctum, which spews neitherness, something or
other inconsequential, an escape job.

An escape job because it is in the practice of this signifying that
signifying disappears. The signifying is the virtual; we have always been
virtual. What one witnesses in Muybridge beyond the formality (not form-
alism) of the grid is the imaginary. This is not the birth of the
imaginary, but its appearance at the chiasm of photography and motility:
photographic motility, the motility of the image. But of course the image
does nothing, means nothing, it's waiting for you. It's waiting for your
birth and your imaginary. But of course, it's not waiting.


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