Steppin’ Out: A Statement of Purpose

(Disclaimer: Much of the following is inspired by Michel Frizot’s essay “The New Truths of the Snapshot” featured in Snapshot: Painters and Photography, Bonnard to Vuillard, ed. Elizabeth W Easton.)

(Second disclaimer: I love puns.)

Bear with me here.

Until we developed the technology of photography to capture light faster than we could internalize and understand – to segment time into smaller increments than we could otherwise observe – we did not understand how we walked.

It was not until about 1880 that the physiology of a human gait was understood by regular people.   The timing is not coincidental.  Dry plate technology for photography was developed around 1880, able to take exposures of roughly 1/100th of a second.  (For reference, an exposure of a still, well-lit figure took an exposure time of as long as 1/2 a second.)  We hadn’t beat the speed of light, but we were finally beginning to beat the speed of sight.  Realities that were plainly in front of us had remained invisible until we could start breaking apart time.  We caught speeding trains without a trace of blur.  We proved scientifically that there is a moment when a horse runs that all four hooves are off the ground.  And we discovered in our own walking that, in physiologist Josef Maria Eder’s words, “contrary to all accepted ideas, it is the heel that first touches the ground; at the same time the end of the foot is raised firmly in the air.  Would a painter dare to draw these figures?”

Credit Brian Auer

Like so.

This next bit is one of my favorite parts of this little story, one that answers Eder’s question pretty definitively.   Continue reading


Why this blog is not called “Super-Fun Bitch Time” (and why I kind of wish that it were)

This blog has been in the offing for a while I think.  I am always looking for someone to talk to about what I see, watch, and read. More and more in the last few years the things I want to talk about are the -isms. Was that play/news article/tv show/movie sexist, racist, ableist? Does it handle LGBTQ issues well, or poorly? Were there even diverse characters at all? Does it set an incredible example with its female characters?

Finally this all boiled over recently in a conversation with Kate after watching the new Star Trek movie (about which we have FEELINGS, which I’m sure are forthcoming) and we said, OK, lets write about this.

When I was batting around names for this blog with Kate and company, I kept coming back to things involving the word bitch.  We didn’t really think that we could use the word bitch in the name but I kept coming back to it like it was something hot I wanted to touch. Continue reading