Thursday, March 25, 2010

Eadweard Muybridge and Hoyt Axton



In 1872, former Governor of California Leland Stanford, a businessman and race-horse owner, had taken a position on a popularly-debated question of the day: whether all four of a horse's hooves left the ground at the same time during a gallop. Stanford sided with this assertion, called "unsupported transit", and took it upon himself to prove it scientifically. Stanford sought out Muybridge and hired him to settle the question.[2]

In 1877, Muybridge settled Stanford's question with a single photographic negative showing Stanford's racehorse Occident airborne in the midst of a gallop. This negative was lost, but it survives through woodcuts made at the time. By 1878, spurred on by Stanford to expand the experiment, Muybridge had successfully photographed a horse in fast motion.

This series of photos taken in Palo Alto, California, is called Sallie Gardner at a Gallop or The Horse in Motion, and shows that the hooves do all leave the ground — although not with the legs fully extended forward and back, as contemporary illustrators tended to imagine, but rather at the moment when all the hooves are tucked under the horse as it switches from "pulling" with the front legs to "pushing" with the back legs. [2]

Muybridge derived his animal subjects from
the Philadelphia Zoological Garden, male performers
from the University. The women were professional
artist's models, also actresses and dancers, parading
nude before the 48 cameras.

Jim Morrison, Notes on Vision

A happy Lizard King

This is the first material I'd heard by Hoyt Axton.
He wrote and performed great songs, but it was
his incredible finger-style guitar that pulled it
all together for me. Not many guitar accompaniments
could stand on their own, but his could. Every song on
this album is a classic, but Daddy Walked in Darkness
and I Never Knew My Father haunt me to this day.
If you can, sample 500 Miles if you can find it.

The artist is a graphic athlete.

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