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The Anatomy of Movement.

Photographs by Harold Edgerton. Text by Gus Kayafas, José Gómez Isla.
La Fabrica, 2011. 92 pp., Illustrated throughout, 11¾x11".

Publisher's Description
An array of hydra like tentacles surround a ragged white ring (the immediate aftermath of a drop of milk falling onto a table); a sensuous red shape being stretched out at one end by a dense black spot (a bullet, in fact, being shot through a candle flame). MIT scientist Harold Edgerton (1903–1990) devoted much of his career to revealing images like these—moments exponentially too brief for the human eye to ever glimpse in real time, which today are a familiar part of our visual lexicon. As an inventor and electrical engineer, “Doc” Edgerton created and patented a series of high-speed electric flash mechanisms that enabled his cameras to capture the tiniest slices of time, and produced a substantial body of work almost as a byproduct of his experiments and researches. In this respect, Edgerton’s photographs can be seen as the surprising results of his adventures in mechanics, and as worthy successors to the earlier efforts of Eadweard Muybridge to divide up time and transcend the limits of the human eye. The literally arresting images collected in this survey of his career occupy a fascinating midground status between art and scientific artifact, and reveal Edgerton as a man magnificently obsessed with the paradoxes and wonders of motion.

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