Media Archaeology &
'Time Based' Visual Media Related Publications
- Only available from the distributor, seller, or publisher - follow links from each publication -
Early Visual Media never offer Books, Blu-Ray's, DVD's, etc. for sale

Catalogues & Books / Academic Journals / Blu-Ray & DVD / Optical Toy Replica's
Media-Archaeology & Pre-Cinema - Vintage Photography - Early Cinema - Related Popular Arts


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Please refer to 'Early Visual Media' as your information source for the publication(s) you order
Dutch Perspectives, 350 Years of Visual Entertainment
By Willem A. Wagenaar, Annet Duller, Margreet Wagenaar-Fisher
based on the research of Willem A. Wagenaar and Annet Duller
A Magic Lantern Society publication
! This book is printed in a limited edition, don't wait too long to order from Margreet Wagenaar) !

Dutch Perspectives, with over 600 illustrations, most in colour and many previously unpublished, concentrates on the Dutch contributions to media entertainments from 1659 through to the late
20th. century.

While the book’s geography is well-defined, its eclectic collection of essays covers a wide range of materials, from important original research on the visual sources of the early 18
th. century Musschenbroek slides, accompanied by illustrations drawn from several Dutch museums and private collections, to a unique memoir of a fairgrounds Bioscope show and their serpentine dancer who worked at the turn of the century, accompanied by the surviving slides that created the butterfly patterns for her performances.

Further chapters of the book document the illuminated peepshows and fireworks without powder that were alternatives to projected images, the use of the magic lantern for political and satirical commentary in the 18
th. and 19th. centuries, new research on a previously unrecorded Dutch life-model slide maker named Jacob van Staveren who worked in the early 20th century, and a valuable record of modern magic lantern performers, including Peter Bonnet and Willem Albert Wagenaar.

Order directly from
Margreet Wagenaar in the Netherlands.
(This book is printed in a limited edition, don't wait too long to order)

Download pdf form
to order this book at the Magic Lantern Society (UK)

A chapter by Annet Duller gives for the first time a detailed record of the appearance and use of the magic lantern in books, popular prints, and songs for children in The Netherlands. At the centre of all of these topics on the magic lantern and early cinema is the life and work of the late Willem Albert Wagenaar, a long-standing member of the Magic Lantern Society, a major collector, and an enthusiastic showman. The book reprints his classic essay on the true inventor of the magic lantern that discusses Athanasius Kircher, Thomas Walgenstein and Christiaan Huygens; it presents for the first time his original essay on the surviving Musschenbroek lanterns and their slides; and gives a clear impression of his own lantern shows and his skills as a showman and entertainer.
Read more information in Dutch.

The Temple of Minerva, 1837 - 1901
By Jeremy Brooker
Magic and the Magic Lantern at The Royal Polytechnic Institution
(Information from the publisher)

The Temple of Minerva is a book about a particular building and its importance in the history of cinema, stage illusion and the magic lantern.

The building once known as the Polytechnic Institution in Upper Regent Street has seen many alterations over its 175 years, reflecting changes in the institutions occupying it and in the nature of entertainment and education. But it was once a familiar London landmark and a popular destination for visitors to the metropolis.

Jeremy Brooker is focusing on three of the most significant optical devices of the whole Victorian era: dissolving views, ‘Pepper’s’ ghost illusion and the Cinématographe, all inextricably linked to the evolving physical nature of this one building.

The Temple of Minerva is one of the definitive works on this fascinating institution and its impact on visual media and 19th-century culture. For more reading on The Royal Polytechnic Institution see also The Eduction of the Eye.


'Before the Movies
By Terry Borton and Deborah Borton
American Magic Lantern Entertainment and the Nation's First Great Screen Artist, Joseph Boggs Beale.
(Information from the publisher)

Before the Movies is the first book about American screen entertainment in the pre-movie era.
A groundbreaking study, lavishly illustrated with 330 color pictures, it is a comprehensive survey of the American artists who created early magic-lantern stories and songs for the screen.

The book emphasizes the work of Joseph Boggs Beale, a pioneer in the field and demonstrates that Beale almost single-handedly created American-made screen entertainment for the generation before the movies.

His lifetime output was 2,073 images in 258 sets - the screen-time equivalent of 14 full-length films - which millions enjoyed every year. The provenance, attribution, and dates of Beale’s lantern slides are discussed in detail, and a comprehensive catalog of his lantern images makes Before the Movies an essential reference volume.

Click cover for more information at Indiana University Press.
Disstributed for John Libbey Publishing.


25 Years of Collecting Optical Toys & Pre-Cinema
By Georg Füsslin
A visual index of collectable optical toys
Richly illustrated

25 Years of Collecting Optical Toys & Pre-Cinema.

This book is a richly colorful illustrated visual catalogue of Georg Füslin's Optical Toys & Pre-Cinema collection gathered over the past 25 years.

Illustrated toys include Thaumatropes, Phenakistiscopes, Zootropes, Praxinoscopes, Tachyscopes, Mutoscopes, Kinora's, Magic Lanterns, Peepshows, Panorama's, Anamorphoses, Shadows, Feu Pyriques, Camera Obscura's, Polyorama Panoptiques, Lithophanes, Kaleidoscopes, Photographs, ... and related paper ephemera & books.

The book has no text chapters but displays a myriad of full color illustrations depicting rare items within the field of optical media archaeology.

Click cover for more information at Füsslin Verlag.
Click here order the book or other related titles by the same publisher.


Illusions in Motion:
The MIT Press
by prof. Erkki Huhtamo
Media Archaeology of the Moving Panorama and Related Spectacles
! Important new title !
Illusions in Motion, Media Archaeology of the Moving Panorama and Related Spectacles.

Professor Erkki Huhtamo's new book 'Illusions in Motion: Media Archaeology of the Moving Panorama and Related Spectacles' has been just published by the MIT Press. It is a huge exploration of media culture between the eighteenth and the twentieth centuries.

The centerpoint is the moving panorama, once a hugely popular media spectacle, which has been nearly completely forgotten. The book brings it back to living memory, also discussing its relationships with other spectacles, such as dioramas and magic lantern shows.

It also investigates how panoramas inspired writers, scientists, philosophers and cultural commentators. The work took more than a decade to research and write, and is meant as a demonstration of what a media-archaeological approach can achieve.

The book is richly illustrated with material from Huhtamo's media-archaeological collections, and was magnificently designed by UCLA Design Media Arts Chair Willem Henri Lucas and Jon Gacnik.

Watch a video of Erki Huhtamo introducing his 'Illusions in Motion' book.

Read more
on Moving Panorama's
Click cover to see the
MIT Press announcement for this book.or PDF flyer.
Read a review on this book by Jussi Parikka.

about this book with Erkki Huhtamo
Erkki Huhtamo is Professor of Design | Media Arts at the University of California, Los Angeles and co-editor of "Media Archaeology, Approaches, Applications, and Implications".


Memories of a Lost World
By Charlotte Fiell & James R. Ryan
Travels through the Magic Lantern
  Great Photo book
Great Lantern Slide book

Memories of a Lost World - Travels through the Magic Lantern

This great, 704 p., picture book
offers a view to the world, 1870 - 1930s, trough 900 magic lantern slide photographs. All slides are from the author's Fiell publishing archive.This is a trilingual book, English, German and French.

In this pre-globalized world we visit Northern Europe, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Southern Europe, Northern Africa, Central & Eastern Africa, Southern Africa, The Middle East, Southern Asia, Eastern Asia, South Eastern Asia, Oceania, Antarctica, South America, Central America, United States of America, Canada and Alaska.

The book opens with a short introduction on the history of the magic lantern slide and an essay on the importance of the use of photographical magic lantern slides as popular projected spectacle both to entertain and educate.

Click cover to see the FIELL's book page for this publication.
promotion PDF is available showing some wonderful images from the book.


Approaches, Applications, and Implications
Edited by prof. Erkki Huhtamo & Jussi Parikka
University of California Press announces

introduces an archaeological approach to the study of media - one that sifts through the evidence to learn how media were written about, used, designed, preserved, and sometimes discarded.

Edited by Erkki Huhtamo and Jussi Parikka, with contributions from internationally prominent scholars from Europe, North America, and Japan, the essays help us understand how the media that predate today’s interactive, digital forms were in their time contested, adopted and embedded in the everyday.

Providing a broad overview of the many historical and theoretical facets of Media Archaeology as an emerging field, the book encourages discussion by presenting a full range of different voices.

By revisiting ‘old’ or even ‘dead’ media, it provides a richer horizon for understanding ‘new’ media in their complex and often contradictory roles in contemporary society and culture.

Click cover to see the University of California Press bookpage.

Erkki Huhtamo is Professor of Design | Media Arts at the University of California, Los Angeles and the author of "Illusions in Motion".
Jussi Parikka is Reader at Winchester School of Art (University of Southampton, UK) and the author of "What is Media Archaeology", "Digital Contagions: A Media Archaeology of Computer Viruses" and "Insect Media: An Archaeology of Animals and Technology".


Los Ecos de una Lámpara Maravillosa
By Francisco Javier Frutos Esteban
la linterna mágica en su contexto mediático
Book & Multimedia DVD production

The Echoes of a Marvelous Lamp - Magic Lanterns in their Media Context

This Spanish doctoral thesis combines an illustrated textbook accompanied by a multimedia DVD with more than 1000 Magic Lantern related illustrations.
Unlike the Spanish printed book, the DVD is also readable in English and contains a multimedia application that presents the graphic and audio material of the project '
The Echoes of a Marvelous Lamp'.

This interactive version unveils the 'Universe of the Magic Lantern' by displaying 145 descriptive files and many animated magic lantern slides or other related optical devices.
Illustrations are from various sources, public a private, including 'Early Visual Media'.

Unfortunately something went wrong with the author's photo credits and many phantasmagoria slides are wrongly credited with copyright to
me which is a pity for the original copyright holders such as the Hauch Collection in Denmark, the Cabinet of Physics in Helsinki & others.

The DVD is easy to browse through by following different historical or thematic itineries such as lanternists, audience, artefacts, etc. Plays with or without glass organ music in the background.
Besides some errors in captions (e.g. Theatrum Mundi marionette wrongly marked as Théatre d'ombres) the interactive DVD is a wonderful and useful illustrated source.

Click cover to see the Salamanca University bookpage.



3D Displays and Spatial Interaction:

Exploring the Science, Art, Evolution and use of 3D Technologies.

Vol I: From Perception to Technology.  

Scientific extremely well researched and equally interesting for media scholars in the field of both, historical and the very latest modern new media and it's applications.
One does not need to be a scientist to learn a lot from this enlightening, 419 pages, book with over 244 illustrations, many of them in color.

The book focuses on modern 3D displays and spatial interactions but links contemporary haptic 3D technologies with their historical forerunners such as stereoscopy, Pepper's Ghost & the Fantasmagoria.

'He who does not honour the past is not worthy of the present'.
Everyone involved with old and/or new media should read this most informative source which also deals with the use of new technologies in popular entertainment and virtual reality environments linked with the notion 'Suspension of Disbelief'.

The book reproduce the 'Moisse Fantascope' and explains the
18th. century Phantasmagoria shows, forerunner of the creation of ethereal images by modern computer applications & interfaces. The historical ethereal image is wonderful illustrated by a smoke projection performed by the late Mike Bartley.

For the first time the book also reproduces an hitherto unknown Phantasmagoria poster recently discovered in the library of the University, Ghent. This Dutch language poster, 1831, annouced a 'Pantasmagoria Ghost Show' in Ghent.

By Barry Blundell

Further a great variety of information about the early origins of stereoscopy and Pepper's Ghost based computer interfaces. And much more to discover, both on old and new media ... Click cover for more information from the publisher or to order this book. More information on the author's personal or AUT University web site. Read the forword by Gregg Favalora or download the table of content.

By Phillip Steadman

Over 100 years of speculation and controversy surround claims that the great seventeenth-century Dutch artist, Johannes Vermeer, used the camera obscura to create some of the most famous images in Western art.

This intellectual detective story starts by exploring Vermeer's possible knowledge of seventeenth-century optical science, and outlines the history of this early version of the photographic camera, which projected an accurate image for artists to trace.

However, it is Steadman's meticulous reconstruction of the artist's studio, complete with a camera obscura, which provides exciting new evidence to support the view that Vermeer did indeed use the camera.

These findings do not challenge Vermeer's genius but show how, like many artists, he experimented with new technology to develop his style and choice of subject matter. The combination of detailed research and a wide range of contemporary illustrations offers a fascinating glimpse into a time of great scientific and cultural innovation and achievement in Europe.

Click cover to see the accompanying webpage or goto to the publisher's webpage.


Viewfinding - Perspectives on New Media Curriculum in the Arts
Edited by Cathy Mullen and Rahn Janicei
This is a collection of essays on the arts, new media, popular culture, and technologies as they influence practices of curriculum development and teaching. The authors - artists, educators, scholars, and researchers with both scholarly and practical expertise - share their teaching practices and curriculum knowledge, and reflect upon challenging issues in contemporary art, popular culture, new media, and technology.

Each chapter proposes pedagogical structures and curriculum resources that can be adapted to diverse school contexts and technical resources. The perspectives gathered in this book reflect ideas drawn from several disciplines, including contemporary art, histories of the arts, culture and technology, cultural studies, and media studies, as well as various approaches to the study of technologies; authors also incorporate a range of educational theories and instructional practices, mainly from the visual and performing arts.

At times explicit and at others implicit, these wide-ranging conceptual influences inform the varied curriculum and teaching practices described here. Together, these essays and their companion DVD, which illustrates many of these diverse perspectives, provide a comprehensive and thoughtful look at arts-based approaches to new media.

Click cover for more information



A History of Early Television

Selected and with a new introduction by Stephen Herbert

Selected & introduction by Stephen Herbert
Selected & introduction by Stephen Herbert
Selected & introduction by Stephen Herbert.
Transferred to Digital Printing 2008 - Click publication covers for more information
See also Herbert's 3 volume set on Early Film
See also Donald F. McLean's book & CD-rom on the first Televison images from the late 1920' recently being restored using the old Phonovision records.

Routledge's A History of Television. This three-volume collection reprints two important 1920s/30s books relating to television, and a collection of short articles covering the social, aesthetic and technical aspects of the medium. Items range from 1870s prophecies, experiments and cartoons, to 1930s accounts of the first public broadcasting systems in Britain, Germany, and the USA. The pieces are from newspapers, specialist journals of the period, and popular magazines.

Technical articles included are chosen for their accessibility to non-specialists with limited technical knowledge. The selection comments on the progress of television in many parts of the world.
The set includes a general introduction by the editor, which places each item in context and provides a comprehensive account of the medium to c.1940.

  • Volume one
    • Part 1: Dreams and Experiments. Fantasies and Predictions, and the First Proposals for a Practical System.
    • Part 2: Early Successes. Television Becomes a Reality: The First Successful Experiments.
    • Part 3: Broadcasting Begins Experimental Transmission.
  • Volume two
    • Part 4: A New Era (Britain and Europe) High Definition and Regular Broadcasting, as Seen from Britain.
  • Volume three
    • Part 5: A New Era. High Definition and Regular Broadcasting in the United States of America'.
See more Televison History books
See also Routledge's Encyclopedia of Early Cinema
See also Herbert's 3 volume set on Early Film & Pre-Cinema
See Routledge's Encyclopaedia's on 19th & 20th Century Photography


A History of Pre-Cinema

Selected and with a new introduction by Stephen Herbert

Selected & introduction by Stephen Herbert
Selected & introduction by Stephen Herbert
Selected & introduction by Stephen Herbert.
See also Routledge's Encyclopedia of Early Cinema
See also Herbert's 3 volume set on Early Film
Transferred to Digital Printing 2007 - Click publication covers for more information

Routledge's A History of Pre-Cinema. This set collects together for the first time rare and scattered material on the history of pre-cinema. It includes articles on stereoscopic photography; the use of kaleidoscopes; optical illusions; theatre design; magic lanterns and mirrors; shadow theatre, and much more. The articles are taken from sources such as The Magazine of Science, The Art Journal, The British Journal of Photography, Scientific American, American Journal of Science and Arts, and The Mirror.

This three volume set is a unique facsimile set of rare documents on 'Time Based' Visual Media. The books concentrate on items published before the spread of cinema and later references to devices of that period. Priority is given to documents that are rare and/or difficult to consult. For this, the set has great value for researchers by giving insight on vintage documents dating back to the period before the dawn of cinematography & cinema.

  • Volume one focuses on the Camera Obscura, Photography, Stereoscopy, Moving photographs, Chronophotography, Optical & philosophical toys.
  • Volume two focuses on Peepshows, Panorama's, Diorama's, Magic mirrors, Shadowplay, Magic Lanterns, Pepper's Ghost, Recreative science, various optical devices.
  • Volume three is a reprint of Olive Cook's 'Movement in two Dimensions'.
See also Herbert's 3 volume set on Early Film & Television
See Routledge's Encyclopaedia's on 19th & 20th Century Photography

By Friedrich Kittler

Optical Media

This major new book provides a concise history of optical media from Renaissance linear perspective to late twentieth-century computer graphics. Kittler begins by looking at European painting since the Renaissance in order to discern the principles according to which modern optical perception was organized.

He also discusses the development of various mechanical devices, such as the camera obscura and the laterna magica, which were closely connected to the printing press and which played a pivotal role in the media between the Renaissance and the Counter-Reformation.

After examining this history, Kittler then addresses the ways in which images were first stored and made to move, through the development of photography and film. He discusses the competitive relationship photography and painting as well as between film and theater, as innovations like the Baroque proscenium or 'picture-frame' evolved from elements that would later constitute cinema.

The central question, however, is the impact of film on the ancient monopoly of writing, as it not only provoked new forms of competition for novelists but also fundamentally altered the status of books

In the final section, Kittler examines the development of electrical telecommunications and electronic image processing from television to computer simulations.
In short, this book provides a comprehensive introduction to the history of image production that is indispensable for anyone wishing to understand the prevailing audiovisual conditions of contemporary culture.
Click cover to see the table of contents on the publisher's website.


Quando Il Cinema Non C'Era
By Donata Pesenti Campagnoni
Storie di mirabili visioni, illusioni ottiche e fotografie animate
Quando Il Cinema Non C'Era investigates the rich world of 'Philosophical toys' before the invention of cinematography.
As a non Italian reader I include the description of the publisher, UTET Universita, in full.

Lanterne magiche, fantascopi, panorami, «giocattoli filosofici» dai nomi stravaganti: questi e altri ingegnosi dispositivi hanno dato spet-tacolo fino all’alba del XX secolo, suscitando incanto e meraviglia prima che l’era del cinema si affermasse. Tante storie diverse che raccontano di illusioni ottiche più o meno sofisticate, ricche di piccoli capolavori, gemme dell’artigianato del tempo, macchine fantastiche oggi troppo spesso cadute nell’oblio.

Con la competenza e l’amore che nascono dalla lunga e continua frequentazione, Donata Pesenti Campagnoni ripercorre queste storie dimenticate che talora si incontrano per poi procedere parallelamente, incrociarsi di nuovo o, più semplicemente, proseguire per la propria strada e disperdersi. A completare il libro, Roberta Basano ha curato le schede tecniche sui dispositivi e i protagonisti di queste storie.

Quando il cinema non c’era, senza nulla togliere al rigore della ricostruzione storica, è per questo un libro che si legge tutto d’un fiato, per perdersi in un racconto di luci e di ombre, di prodigiose apparenze e di mirabili visioni, che fa rivivere la magia di un mondo scomparso affascinante e meraviglioso al tempo stesso.


Le Cinéma Graphique
By Dominique Willoughby.

Le Cinéma Graphique

'Le Cinéma Graphique' offers a 170 years history of animated drawings and optical toys to the age of today's digital cinema. The amazing world of serial drawings and paintings to conjure-up the of cinema and his early forerunners such as Emile Reynaud's 'Theatre Optique'.

The book offers a new approach on the history of cinema, the arts, spectacles, television, Internet, audiovisual design and video games. This is one of the rare well researched publications offering a wide scope on the development of the animated image.

The author studied intensively the art of graphic cinema and realized a film on the movement of stroboscopic discs from the 19th century.

Click book cover for more information on the Le Cinéma Graphique.


Lanterne Magique et Film Peint, 400 Ans du Cinéma
Lanterne Magique et Film Peint
400 Ans du Cinéma
By Laurent Mannoni
Laurent Mannoni & Donata Pesenti Campagnoni
By Laurent Mannoni.
Click publication covers for more information

'Lanterne Magique et Film Peint, 400 Ans du Cinéma' a new lavishly illustrated catalogue by Laurent Mannoni & Donata Pesenti Campagnoni is accompanying the spectacular & well researched exhibition featuring more than 500 rare items on the history and art of projection. Both, catalogue and exhibition are an impressive homage to the, for the general public, less known history of animated projected images long before the advent of cinematography.

The two main public-collection sources to realize this unique assembly are the Cinémathèque Française, Paris and The Museo Nazionale Del Cinema, Turin. Both museums are without doubt the most important museums in the world when it comes to Media Archeological research, conservation and presentation of Pre-Cinematographic curiosities. Starting point of both museum collections where the private collecting activities of two pioneer collectors.
The English collection of Will Day was acquired by Henri Langlois as a starting point and historical breeding ground of the Cinémathèque Française.
Maria Adriana Prolo's collection was the fundamental start for the historical base of the The Museo Nazionale Del Cinema which was more recently extended with another English pioneer collection, The Barnes collection of Cinematography.

Several of today's private collectors, François Binétruy, Olivier Auboin-Vermorel, Laura Minici Zotti, David Robinson, Thomas Weynants, enthusiastically offered important loans to this unprecedented exhibition & catalogue in the field a growing academic research topic, Media Archeology.

Since my web site 'Early Visual Media' originated long after the publication of one of the best researched books in this field,
'The Great Art of Light and Shadow' by Laurent Mannoni, this publication was never added on the current page until today. While
Lanterne Magique et Film Peint is focusing on the history of the projected image, the former book investigates the whole field of media archeology based on new research by Laurent Mannoni who consulted the original sources himself instead of trusting the existing previous publications. The book is "widely regarded by historians of the early moving picture as the best work yet published on pre-cinema". The same seems to be true for the current exhibition and catalogue. 'The Great Art of Light and Shadow' is also available in French and Italian.

The result is a re-written archeology of the media, a topic with an expansive growing interest judging the current frequent appearance of contemporary art-works based on the forgotten media explained in the above exhibition & catalogue and
also the 'The Great Art of Light and Shadow'.
Therefore, 'Lanterne Magique et Film Peint' also shows the work of Norman McLaren, Stan Brakhage, José Antonio Sistiaga & Anthony McCall.

Below, three more important books, that should be in any Media Archeology library, published long before the start of this website
Click cover for further information


The Education of the Eye, History of the Royal Polytechnic Institution, 1838-1881
By Brenda Weeden.
(information from publisher)

The Education of the Eye
History of the Royal Polytechnic Institution, 1838-1881.

The University of Westminster has always been at the forefront of technological change in the heart of London, providing educational programmes shaped by the changing needs of the capital. It has also contributed to the social and cultural life of London in some remarkable ways.

When the University’s predecessor, the Polytechnic Institution opened to the public in the newly fashionable Regent Street in August 1838, it was committed to the promotion of science. It achieved this aim by visual means, exploring innovative ways of demonstrating practical science and new technologies to a general audience.

The Royal Polytechnic Institution became a major Victorian tourist attraction. Visitors could be submerged in the diving bell, have their photograph taken in Europe’s first photographic studio, see the new industrial machines in motion, or watch a spectacular lantern show in the Polytechnic Theatre.

The Education of the Eye tells this exciting story for the first time, drawing on an extensive range of primary and secondary sources. In keeping with the Polytechnic's reputation for visual spectacle, it is lavishly illustrated with more than 70 contemporary images, many of which have not been previously published.

For more reading on The Royal Polytechnic Institution see also The Temple of Minerva.


The Claude Glass
By Arnauid Maillet, translated by Jeff Fort.
Use and Meaning of the Black Mirror in Western Art    

The Claude Glass, Use and Meaning of the Black Mirror in Western Art

This 'great book' on a less known optical device is dedicated to Yves Rifaux, director of the Musee de L'Art de L'Enfance, who recently passed away.

Among the many rare optical toys (including some rarely seen phantasmagoria items) the museum also displays a circular Black Mirror, often named Claude Lorrain glass, an optical device subject of this research work.

This is the first thorough study of a largely forgotten optical device from the eighteenth century.
The 'Black Mirror' was used as a drawing aid by artists and became especially associated with Claude Lorrain.

The publication reconfigures our historical understanding of visual experience and meaning in relation to notions of opacity, transparency, and imagination. Many are familiar with the Claude glass as a small black convex mirror used by artists and spectators of landscape to reflect a view and make tonal values and areas of light and shade visible.

The book can be ordered from The MIT Press or Zone Books.
The Musee de L'Art de L'Enfance is now carefully exploited by Sophie, wife of Yves Rifaux, both I was very pleased to meet in their museum & wonderful garden during the Animation Film Festival, Annecy, 1993.

Edited by Paul St. George.
Contemporary Chronophotography and Experimental Digital Art    

 (information from publisher)

, Contemporary Chronophotography and Experimental Digital Art

This volume explores the proliferation of contemporary art that uses sequences of images to explore ideas of space, time, movement and duration. Etienne-Jules Marey, Eadweard Muybridge and other 'chronophotographers' first explored these ideas at the turn of the nineteenth century; since then chronophotography has been in the shadow of cinema, but now its emerging once again in post-cinema practices, digital art and new experimental photography.

At the beginning of the twenty-first century, artists have found that sequences offer new opportunities for exploring continuing issues regarding aesthetics that operate at the intersection of time and space.

The book contains a number of illustrated essays by international critics and theorists and discusses the work of a wide range of artists engaged in contemporary chronophotography. The introduction also uses insights from chronophotography to dispel the myth of persistence of vision.

The book can be ordered from Wallflower Press.


Lanternes Magiques:
Laurent Mannoni, Frédérique Goerig-Hergott.
Le Monde Fantastique des Images Lumineuses    

'Lanternes Magiques - Le Monde Fantastique des Images Lumineuses'

A richly illustrated catalogue almost entirely devoted to the world of the Toy Magic Lantern. This exhibition publication depicts many rare toy magic lanterns in full color accompanied by a detailed description.

The catalogue offers historical essays written by leading pre-cinema historian Laurent Mannoni (Cinémathèque Française) and other researchers + a complete list of the exhibited lanterns, slides, illustrations, etc.

In addition, a chapters with biographical information of Toy Magic Lantern manufacturers turns this catalogue into a valuable reference source.

Molteni, Carpenter & Westley, Bing, Carette, Falk, Planck, Rose, Schoener, Ganz, Aubert, Giroux, Lapierre, Lefèvre, Maison de la Bonne Presse, Martin, ... etc.

The exhibition runs in the Musée Unter Linden Colmar, France.

See Early Visual Media's Toy Magic Lantern page.
Click book-cover to visit the exhibition website.


Blickmaschinen - Visual Tactics
Máquinas de Mirar.
Nike Bätzner, Werner Nekes, Eva Schmidt
Nike Bätzner, Werner Nekes, Eva Schmidt.

'Blickmaschinen - Visual Tactics' a new and most surprising catalogue accompanying the traveling exhibition (Siegen, Budapest, Sevilla) with the publication's name.
Many contemporary artist's often turn their attention to the charm of historical media, parallel to their use of technologically complex, new media such as video, digital camera's and computers.

The exhibition is adopting a media-archaeological perspective by confronting the work of many today artist's with a selection of media-archaeological artifacts from the notorious Werner Nekes collection

The German language version of the hardcover catalogue, published by Dumont, offers thematic media-archaeological essays and a myriad of color illustrations, both depicting the work of participating artists as well as historical curiosities collected by experimental filmmaker Werner Nekes. This publication certainly is one of the most important new media sources published in 2008. Also available in Spanish language to accompany the 'Máquinas de Mirar' in Sevilla.

Click book-cover to visit the informative exhibition website or go to the museum website in Siegen. After Siegen, Blickmaschinen will travel to Budapest (Pillanatgépek) & Sevilla.

Technologies of Magic
Edited by John Potts and Edward Scheer.
A cultural study of ghosts, machines and the uncanny
 (information from publisher)
Technologies of Magic

Technologies of Magic collects essays that investigate the coexistence of very old forms of thought belief in ghosts, magic, spirits and contemporary culture.

Offering a new way of thinking about technology in today’s world, this distinctive collection frames ghosts and magic as fundamentally performative performing new kinds of cultural work in the world. Modern ghosts are not asked to identify themselves, but are instead made to account for the work they do.

- John Potts is an associate professor in media at Macquarie University in Sydney. He is the author of Radio in Australia.

- Edward Scheer is senior lecturer in the School of Media, Film, and Theatre at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. He is the editor of 100 Years of Cruelty: Essays on Artaud and Antonin Artaud: A Critical Reader.

Click on cover for more detailed information or order this book from the publisher.


Picturing Dissolving Views:
August Strindberg and the Visual Media of His Age
By Vreni Hockenjos..


Picturing Dissolving Views: August Strindberg and the Visual Media of His Age.

(Review from 'The Magic Lantern Society' Newsletter
No. 90 - December 2007)

A remarkable doctorial thesis by Vreni Hockenjos for Stockholm University. August Strindberg (1829 - 1912), Swedish author & playwright, was known for his 'cinematic vision. The purpose of this thesis is to outline the visual media that could have contributed to this vision and how they could have influenced Strindberg.

Strindberg himself wrote about sciopticons, transforming pictures and dissolving views, so it seems he was very conscious of the visual culture of his age. The book is in English, and really a history of the visual media in Strindberg's time. it is interesting as a general history of pre-cinema media and its impact on Strindberg's work.

The book is well illustrated, and some of the illustrations are not commonly known. There is a large section on magic lanterns, some work on panoramas, and some very interesting illustrations of moving panoramas, shadow theatre and photographic practice.

To order a copy of this interesting and easily readable thesis, contact the author, Vreni Hockenjos by e-mail.

For more information click on the cover of the book.
Read an abstract of the thesis in PDF format.


Performing Illusions - Cinema, Special Effects and the Virtual Actor
By Dan North..
 (information from publisher)    
Performing Illusions.

The camera supposedly never lies, yet film's ability to frame, cut and reconstruct all that passes before its lens made cinema the pre-eminent medium of visual illusion and revelation from the early twentieth century onwards.

This volume examines film's creative history of special effects and trickery, encompassing everything from George Méliès’ first trick films to the modern CGI era.

Evaluating movements towards the use of computer-generated 'synthespians' in films such as Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001), this title suggests that cinematic effects should be understood not as attempts to mimic real life perfectly but as constructions of substitute realities, situating them in the cultural lineage of the stage performers and illusionists of the nineteenth century.

With analyses of films such as Destination Moon (1950), Spider-Man (2002) and the King Kong films (1933 and 2006), this new volume provides an insight into cinema's capacity to perform illusions.

Click cover for information or order this book from Wallflower Press.
Click cover for information or order this book from Columbia University Press.

Arctic Spectacles: The Frozen North In Visual Culture
Russel Potter.
1818 - 1875    
'Arctic Spectacles: The Frozen North In Visual Culture, 1817 - 1875' unveils the phenomenon of the 19th. Century fascination in Western culture for the Arctic regions and how this part of the world, unseen by the majority of the public, was depicted through time.

The book illustrates the Arctic region in various 'new media' from the traditional fine arts to engravings, panoramas, magic lantern slides, photographs and describes the display of true Inuit's in a cabinet of Arctic curiosities.

The far North remained a largely mysterious world described by early adventurers. 'Arctic Spectacles' offers a wonderful insight in both, artistic & commercial images as seen in the illustrated press alongside the challenging stories of early arctic explorers.

Russel A. Potter is professor of English at Rhode Island and editor of 'The Arctic Book Review'.

Click on cover for more detailed information or order this book from the publisher.

Laterna Magica - Magic Lantern Vol I
By Deac Rossel.
 (information from publisher) 
Bilangual edtion: German/English
Laterna Magica - Magic Lantern Vol I

Whether as a scientific instrument or as a machine for instilling fear and raising ghosts, the magic lantern from its first appearance in the 17th century immediately hovered between the realms of science and trickery, between instruction and illusion. Both scientists and charlatans knew its importance for their very different purposes.

This first volume covers the 17th and 18th cennturies, plus the travelling lanternists - often Savoyards - who brought projected entertainment across Europe through the turn of the Nineteenth century. "Laterna Magica / Magic Lantern" is an attempt to bring together into a single narrative parts of lantern history that have previously been treated separately. It follows the central theme of the projected image in depth while simultaneously recognising the diverse and multifaceted offshoots produced by magic lantern culture.

We often think of the magic lantern today as the “precursor” of the movies and modern digital media; this it undoubtedly was. But at the same time, the magic lantern in its day was not a precursor of anything, but was a sophisticated instrument through which news, entertainment, and visual delight was projected for families, informal groups, and, ultimately, public audiences at fixed shows who enjoyed the elaborate and extraordinary visual rhetoric produced by highly skilled showmen.
With the help of many previously unknown pictures and texts, this first bilangual (English/German) volume by the author Deac Rossell describes the history of the magic lantern up to the end of the 19th century. Click on cover for more information or to order this book.

Phantasmagoria - Specters of Absence
By José Roca.
 (information from publisher)    

Phantasmagoria - Specters of Absence.

Long before large art exhibitions and blockbuster shows, crowds were awed by traveling shows called “Phantasmagoria” in which familiar scenes and stories were performed with the use of magic lanterns and rear projections to create dancing shadows and frightening theatrical effects.

These lively, interactive events incorporated storytelling, mythology, and theater in a single art form that entertained while providing a space for thinking about the otherworldly playing with the viewers’ anxieties regarding death and the afterlife.

A comparable trend can be seen in works by contemporary artists who create ghostly images to reflect on notions of absence and loss, using spectral effects and immaterial mediums such as shadows, fog, mist, and breath. These artists’ approaches range from the festive to the ironic, counterbalancing the emotionally charged, often somber implications of their subject matter.

The shadow literally, the absence of light, represents something that is beyond the object yet inseparable from it. In many of the works in Phantasmagoria, shadows are used to allude to death, the obscure, and the unnamable, and to construct allegories of loss and disappearance.

See the origin of phantasmagoria on Early Visual Media.
(follow subsequent pages)

In several of these pieces, the artists evoke the history of the shadow theater, as in a video animation by South African artist William Kentridge, and in the shape-shifting shadow cast by French artist Christian Boltanski’s revolving doll, recalling imagery from the carnival as well as figurines used to celebrate the Mexican day of the dead.

Mist, breath, and fog are often associated with mystery; in their double status as perceptible yet almost nonexistent phenomena, they suggest evanescence or absence. For instance, one senses the fleeting yet precise way that memories arise in the spectacular work by Brazilian artist Rosângela Rennó, which shows video images of anonymous family-album photos projected onto intermittent effusions of vapor. In Danish artist Jeppe Hein’s work, viewers sitting on a bench are unexpectedly enveloped in a sudden cloud of mist.

Throughout the installations presented here, artists’ use of shadows or actual fog evokes the alluring enigma and magic of Phantasmagoria. The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue with a text by curator José Roca, director of the Museo de Arte del Banco de la República, Bogotá, Colombia and a short story by Bruce Sterling. Click on cover for more information or to order this catalogue.


Phantasmagoria - Spirit Visions, Metaphors, and Media
by Marina Warner.
(information from publisher)     

Phantasmagoria explores ideas of spirit and soul since the Enlightenment; it traces metaphors that have traditionally conveyed the presence of immaterial forces, and reveals how such pagan and Christian imagery about ethereal beings are embedded in a logic of the imagination, clothing spirits in the languages of air, clouds, light and shadow, glass, and ether itself.

It reveals how their transformations over time illuminate changing ideas about the self. Phantasmagoria also tells the accompanying story about the means used to communicate such ideas, and relates how the new technologies of the Victorian era were applied to figuring the invisible and the impalpable, and how magic lanterns (the phantasmagoria shows themselves), radio, photography and then moving pictures spread ideas about spirit forces.

As the story unfolds, the book features the many eminent men and women--scientists and philosophers--who in the Society of Psychical Research applied their considerable energies to the question of other worlds and other states of mind: they staged trance séances in which mediums produced spirit phenomena, including ectoplasm. The book shows how this often embarrassing story connects with some of the important scientific discoveries of a fertile age, in psychology and physics.

'Phantasmagoria - Spirit Visions, Metaphors, and Media'
can be ordered directly from: Oxford University Press. Click on cover for more information or to order this book.

The Man Who Stopped Time
by Brian Clegg.
(information from publisher)    
The Man Who Stopped Time.

The photographs of Eadweard Muybridge are immediately familiar to us. Less familiar is the dramatic personal story of this seminal and wonderfully eccentric Victorian pioneer, now brought to life for the first time in this engaging and thoroughly entertaining biography.

His work is iconic: the first icons of the modern visual age. Men, women, boxers, wrestlers, racehorses, elephants and camels frozen in time, captured in the act of moving, fighting, galloping, living. Scarcely a day goes by without their derivate use somewhere in today's media. And if most of us have seen Muybridge's distinctive stop-motion photographs, all of us have seen the fruit of his extraordinary technological innovation: today's cinema and television.

But it is his personal life that possesses all the ingredients of a classic non-fiction best-seller: a passionately driven man struggling against the odds; dire treachery and shocking betrayal; a cast of larger-than-life characters set against a backdrop of San Francisco and the Far West in its most turbulent and dangerous era; a profusion of scientific and artistic advances and discoveries, one hotly following on another; the nervous intensity of two spectacular courtroom dramas (one pitting Muybridge against the richest man in the land and staring ruin in the face, the other sees him fighting for his life).

And for the opening act, a foul murder on a dark and stormy night.

Skillfully articulating the fascinating history of a now ubiquitous technology, author Brian Clegg combines ingredients from science and biography to create an eminently readable, fast-paced, and surprising story.

Click on cover for more information or to order this catalogue.

The Haunted Gallery - Painting, Photography, Film c. 1900
By Lynda Nead.
The Haunted Gallery.

The dawn of cinema dramatically changed our visual culture.

'The Haunted Gallery' is a fascinating and well illustrated book showing the influences of the young medium, Moving Pictures, in relation to Painting, Photography, Magic Lantern pictures, Astronomy and Stage Magic at the 'hing point' of the 19th. & 20th. Centuries.

This groundbreaking book explores the history of Visual Media in Britain during this key period that witnessed a transformation from stasis to movement across the entire range of Visual Media.

For this as it may, this book should become one of the inavitable reference sources for all 'vintage and today's' media history enthusiasts.
Click on cover for more information or to order this book.

'The Haunted Gallery' (291 pages) can be ordered directly from:
Yale University Press.

See also Routledge's Encyclopedia of Early Cinema

Multimedia Histories:
Edited by James Lyons & John Plunket.
From the Magic Lantern to the Internet.    

Multimedia Histories.

'Multimedia Histories: From the Magic Lantern to the Internet' is the first book to explore in detail the vital connections between today's digital culture and an absorbing history of screen entertainments and technologies.

It moves from the magic lantern, the stereoscope and early film to the DVD and the Internet. By reaching back into the innovative media practices of the nineteenth century, "Multimedia Histories" reveals many of the continuities between nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first century multimedia culture.

Comprising some of the most important new work on multimedia culture and history by key writers in this growing field, "Multimedia Histories" will be an indispensable new sourcebook for the discipline. It will be an important intervention in rethinking the boundaries of Anglo-American film and media history.

'Multimedia Histories' can be ordered directly from: Exeter Press
Click on cover for more information or to order this book.

Technology: Art, Fairground and Theatre.
By Petran Kockelkoren.
Techniek: Kunst, Kermis en Theater.    

Technology: Art, Fairground and Theatre.

'Technology: Art, Fairground and Theatre' presents a highly diverse parade of inventions that have influenced our perceptions marches: from the perspective paintings of the Renaissance, continuing with the notorious 'train sicknesses' of the nineteenth century, to the modernday 'helicopter view'.

A constant feature of the sensory transformation through history is instruments and machinery, from the camera obscura, via the stereoscope to the multimedia art of today. And in the same way, an ever-returning question is what these things do to us.

Petran Kockelkoren (1949) holds the chair in Art and Technology at the Department of Philosophy, University of Twente. He also holds a lectorship Art and Technology at ArtEZ, Institute of the Arts. This book is a revised version of Kockelkoren's inaugural oration, published as part of the series 'Fascinations.

'The Cinema of Attractions Reloaded' can be ordered directly from: NAi Publishers

This book is available in English or in Dutch.
Click on cover for more information or to order this book.

Visit the Fairground page on Early Visual Media.


The Cinema of Attractions Reloaded
by Wanda Strauven.
(information from The University of Chicago Press)    
The Cinema of Attractions Reloaded.

Twenty years ago, noted film scholars Tom Gunning and André Gaudreault introduced the phrase “cinema of attractions” to describe the essential qualities of films made in the medium’s earliest days, those produced between 1895 and 1906. Now, 'The Cinema of Attractions Reloaded' critically examines the term and its subsequent wide-ranging use in film studies.

The collection opens with a history of the term, tracing the collaboration between Gaudreault and Gunning, the genesis of the term in their attempts to explain the spectacular effects of motion that lay at the heart of early cinema, and the pair’s debts to Sergei Eisenstein and others.

This reconstruction is followed by a look at applications of the term to more recent film productions, from the works of the Wachowski brothers to virtual reality and video games.

With essays by an impressive collection of international film scholars—and featuring contributions by Gunning and Gaudreault as well—The Cinema of Attractions Reloaded will be necessary reading for all scholars of early film and its continuing influence.

'The Cinema of Attractions Reloaded' can be ordered directly from: Amsterdam University Press. Click on cover for more information or to order this book.
See also Routledge's Encyclopedia of Early Cinema

Eyes, Lies and Illusions
by Laurent Mannoni, Werner Nekes, Marina Warner.
Drawn from the Werner Nekes Collection    
Eyes, Lies and Illusions.

Currently the successful exhibition 'Eyes Lies and Illusions', previously running in the Hayward Gallery in London, is now housed in the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI)
The new, black-cover, edition of the same catalogue is co-published in association with the Hayward Gallery.

Text is by cultural historian Marina Warner and the leading writer on the 'pre-history' of cinema, Laurent Mannoni. An alphabetical list of important key terms is provided by Werner Nekes.
Both, exhibition & catalogue, unveil the fascination for the history of the popular culture since the Renaissance till today.

Both editions of the catalogue are an an important well illustrated pictorial source for the depiction of perceptual ambiguity in Western art, science and popular culture, from Anamorphose to Zootrope.

'The Australian edition of 'Eyes, Lies and Illusions' is available from ACMI.

Visit the Optical Toys introduction page on Early Visual Media.
More information on Werner Nekes

Deep Time of the Media
by Siegfried Zielinski.
Deep Time of the Media. (information from publisher)
Toward an Archaeology of Hearing and Seeing by Technical Means.

Deep Time of the Media takes us on an archaeological quest into the hidden layers of media development -- dynamic moments of intense activity in media design and construction that have been largely ignored in the historical-media archaeological record.

Siegfried Zielinski argues that the history of the media does not proceed predictably from primitive tools to complex machinery; in Deep Time of the Media, he illuminates turning points of media history - fractures in the predictable - that help us see the new in the old.

Drawing on original source materials, Zielinski explores the technology of devices for hearing and seeing through two thousand years of cultural and technological history.

'Deep Time of the Media' can be ordered directly from:

ISBN: 10:0-262-24049-1 or 978-0-262-24049-9
Click cover to open the publishers's bookpage.

He discovers the contributions of "dreamers and modelers" of media worlds, from the ancient Greek philosopher Empedocles and natural philosophers of the Renaissance and Baroque periods to Russian avant-gardists of the early twentieth century.

"Media are spaces of action for constructed attempts to connect what is separated," Zielinski writes. He describes models and machinesthat make this conncection: including a theater of mirrors in sixteenth-century Naples, an automaton for musical composition created by the seventeenth-century Jesuit Athanasius Kircher, and the eighteenth-century electrical tele-writing machine of Joseph Mazzolari, among others.

Uncovering these moments in the media-archaeological record, Zielinski says, brings us into a new relationship with present-day moments; these discoveries in the "deep time" media history shed light on today's media landscape and may help us map our expedition to the media future.

New Media 1740 - 1915
Edited by Lisa Gitelman and Geoffrey B. Pingree.
New Media 1740 - 1915. (information from publisher)

Reminding us that all media were once new, this book challenges the notion that to study new media is to study exclusively today's new media. Examining a variety of media in their historic contexts, it explores those moments of transition when new media were not yet fully defined and their significance was still in flux.

Examples range from familiar devices such as the telephone and phonograph to unfamiliar curiosities such as the physiognotrace and the zograscope. Moving beyond the story of technological innovation, the book considers emergent media as sites of ongoing cultural exchange.

It considers how habits and structures of communication can frame a collective sense of public and private and how they inform our apprehensions of the "real."

'New Media 1740 - 1915' can be ordered directly from:

ISBN: 10:0-262-07245-9 or 13:978-0-262-07245-8
Click cover to open the publishers's bookpage.

Book of imaginary Media
Siegfried Zielinski, Bruce Sterling, Erkki Huhtamo, Edwin Carels, Eric Kluitenberg, etc.
Book of imaginary Media.
excavating the dream of the ultimate communication medium.

'Where people fail our machines will succeed'. (see back cover)
This book investigates the above stubborn myth of Western society through early examples of fascinating inventions such as the Camera Obscura, Peepshows, Magic Lanterns, Phantasmagoria, Photography, Cinematography, etc., to name only a few in direct relation to this website.

The various chapters are written by leading specialists in the field of 'old & new media'.
Siegfried Zielinski, author of the book 'Media Archelogie' and various others publications.
Erkki Huhtamo, media researcher & historian at the UCLA.
Bruce Sterling. Science fiction writer and founder of the online 'Dead Media Project'.
Edwin Carels, director of MuHKA_media, freelance curator & writer researches pre--cinema and the iconography of death in the current publication.

Further authors are:
Eric Kluitenberg (editor), Timothy Druckery &, John Akomfrah, Zoe Beloff.

This tantalizing media history book, published by NAi Publishers, is accompanied with a DVD featuring various artists who express their perception on 'imaginary media'.

Montreurs et Vues d' Optique
by Pierre Levie.
This book on the Peepshow and Peepshow Views is a wondrous and well illustrated new addition to Media Archeology. No matter the 'Boîte d' Optique' is one of those important historical Media treasures, still little is known about his public and private use as well as the images that where shown when peeping inside.

Pierre Levie, Belgian filmmaker, unveils additional information about this and related early popular entertainments. E.g. the transparent views and spectacles of puppeteer Jean Baptiste Van Weymersch (1780 - 1857) who happened to stay two months in Lede, the village where I grew-up.

'Showmen and Perspective Views' is published in French by Editions Sofidoc and offers a
Mondo Niovo of historical information about this early optical 17th. & 18th. century apparatus and how it was used.

Visit the Peepshow page on Early Visual Media.

Restoring Baird's Image by Donald F. McLean.

This book provide fascinating reading on the early development of television based on experiments by Nipkow, originated at the end of the
19th. Century.
In spite of the large amount of technical information the book reads easily thanks to the historical background information provided by the author.
By this as it may, the book tells two stories, interwoven into a surprising history of of the medium television which became so obvious for us all today.

Most surprising is the author's research followed by the restoration of John Logie Baird's earliest television recordings. The worlds first recording of a television signal, known as Phonovision, dates back to 1927.

Further the book provide information on the first television 'Stars' such as Betty Bolton and the Paramount Astoria Girls. Both where recorded on Phonovision between 1932 & 1935.

Further a double CD documentary by the same author is introduced.
Both the book and CD documentary, The Dawn of Television Remembered, are unique source material for an unknown but recent chapter in media history

Early Visual Media devoted a page on this pioneering mechanical era of television.
A lecture on the restored images can be downloaded at http://www.tvdawn.com/ Order the book from books@theiet.org.
See also Routledge's Encyclopaedic 3 volume set by Stephen Herbert on Television
Visit Donald McLean's website on early televison.

E. J. Marey
Sous la direction de Dominique de Font-Réaulx,.
Actes du colloque du centenaire
Thierry Lefebvre et Laurent Mannoni.

E. J. Marey.
Actes du colloque du centenaire

In 2004, the centenary of the death of E. J. Marey was celebrated (1830 - 1904).
Marey was the inventor of 'La méthode Graphique, Chronophotography and and keyfigure in the cinema pioneer era.

The text of the 2004 colloquium «Étienne-Jules Marey et le Film Scientifique», is now available in a new key reference book 'E. J. Marey.
Actes du colloque du centenaire'
In addition, the book is accompanied by an an unprecedented chronopictorial reference source featuring a DVD with 400 early films.

More information on this well illustrated book can be read on the Cinémathèque's Colloque Marey page.
The book is available in the Cinémathèque' s bookshop or can be ordered directly from the publisher ARCADIA.

400 chronophotographical films from the period 1890 - 1904, preserved by the Cinémathèque Française, are now available to the public for the first time.

Both, book & DVD, make a fascinating reference and should be available in all filmlibraries and private film bookshelves of the avid pre-cinema & cinema collector, historian or researcher.


Image Makers - From Shadow Theatre to Cinema
by Jordi Pons i Busquet.
Image Makers - From Shadow Theatre to Cinema.

This updated book is an English translation of the original Catalan & Spanish versions published previously in 2002 by the Girona Film Museum.

Although written for the general public, 'Image Makers' is a well researched and wonderfully illustrated catalogue of the Thomàs Mallol collection, founding source for the museum.

Beside an explanative and pleasant to read text the lay-out of this museum catalogue is most attractive.
All artifacts illustrated in the book are on display in the museum. The Film museum was inaugurated in 1998 in the city of Girona near Barcelona.

The catalogue offers at the end a good thumbnail illustrated chronology from Plato to 2001 and a selected bibliography.

In addition, an informative text on the originator of the collection, Thomàs Mallol, concludes this important catalogue.

The catalogue can be ordered directly from the museum shop via labotigamuseu@cdgir.com

The Panorama Phenomenon
by Ernst Storm & others.
The World Around - The Panorama Phenomenon.

On the occasion of the 125th. birthday of the creation of the 'Panorama Mesdag' the latter housed the yearly IPC International Panorama Congress and opened the Exhibition 'The World Around - The Panorama Phenomenon'.

To accompany the exhibition a small (96 p.) but well illustrated catalogue is published in which the history and different aspects of the Panorama is clearly explained.

The chapters are written by various specialists in the Panorama field. The catalogue features an overview of all historical Panoramas still in existence today.

In addition to the historical part of the catalogue this publication offers an illustrated overview of newly realized Panoramas all over the world.

This catalogue is available both in English(original version) & Dutch in all museum shops of the participating Panoramas. (€ 20,00). An additional German and Japanese version of 'The Panorama Phenomenon' is planned for next year. Click catalogue cover to visit the Exhibition page.

Moving Image Technology: from zoetrope to digital
Leo Enticknap

'A wide-ranging and engaging overview, informed by the author's own experience and extensive research. This is a comprehensive and provocative plea for the importance of an understanding of moving image technology as the basis for an understanding of its uses. If you need to get your head around the subject, what it is and where it came from, this is the book: there's nothing else like it'
(Stephen Herbert)

Leo Enticknap argues that the underlying economic and cultural factors which drive technological development have remained largely constant since the day of the standardisation of the 35mm film format in the 1890s, up to present-day developments in digital filmmaking and exhibition.

The book is designed for students reading humanities subjects which approach moving image technologies from a myriad of standpoints but who need to be well-versed in the many roles of technology.

(Information from the back-cover of the publication)

'The best book to turn to for an up-to-date survey of the history of moving image technology' (John Belton)

The book is published by the Wallflower Press
Click cover for more information.

Apparaturen bewegter Bilder: by Daniel Gethmann & Christoph Schulz  
Kultur und Technik Band 02.

This German language academic publication in the series 'Kultur und Technik', Band 02, explores the historical and technical development of apparatus to produce the illusion of movement.

The book is a thorough study on the of the development of
19th. Century optical media which are a result caused by research in the field of experimental physiological demonstration apparatus.

These experiments are today recognized as the true predecessors of the medium film prior to the cinema as an entertainment offered to the public by the Lumière brothers and their contemporary inventors.

With various contributions by Astrid Deuber-Mankowsky, Mary Ann Doane, Michel Frizot, Daniel Gethmann, Vinzenz Hediger, Hans-Christian von Herrmann, Christoph Hoffmann, Ute Holl, Frank Kessler, Christian Lebrat, Philippe-Alain Michaud, Bernhard Siegert und Joseph Wachelder.

The different chapters explain the development from peepshow view apparatus to projection apparatus. The book is published by Christoph Schulz & Daniel Gethmann both authors of

LIT Verlag: Click cover to open the page to order directly from the publisher.

On the occasion of the opening off the 'Flip Book Show' in the Foto Museum, Antwerp, the FoMu published a dossier in their regular Foto Museum Magazine No. 35. The Flip Book Show is a major interactive multimedia exhibition where books turn into cinema, both in the exhibition vitrines and in the hands of the individual visitors.

Previously on display for the first time in the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf (2005), Curators
Christoph Schulz & Daniel Gethmann are the first in the world to devote a suchlike interactive exhibition on the 'Flip Book' genre. Therefore, this multimedia 'Show' is a major candidate for traveling in and out Europe to various Foto, Film, Media and Contemporary Art Museums.

The Flip Book Show mainly features the work of contemporary experimental artist's but also provide an historical introduction and artefacts on this pre-film medium which became a huge inspiration source for artists until today. In addition to the original catalogue (out of print), the Foto Museum Magazine features new articles by co-workers of the FotoMuseum, MuHKA_media, Christoph Schulz & others.

"THE FLIP BOOK SHOW" Books turns into cinema

Exhibition curated by Christoph Schulz & Daniel Gethmann - 16/06/06 - 10/09/06

Schijnbewegingen - Tussen Fotoboek en Cinema' (In Dutch)

  • 'The Flip Book Show' by Christoph Schulz - curator 'Daumenkino, The Flip Book Show
  • 'De Avond voor de Zwarte dag' by Frank Albers - docent Sint-Lukas, Antwerp
  • 'De Twee EJM's van de Seriële Fotografie' by Siegfried Zielinski - media archeologist
  • 'Philosophical Toys' by Thomas Weynants - MuHKA_media / Early Visual Media
  • 'Van Mini tot Micromovies'by Guy Voet - Head of photography department FoMu
  • 'De filmkijker' by Pool Andries - curator, head of collection department FoMu
  • 'Actuele Flipbooks' by various contemporary artists, Keith Haring, John Baldessari, etc.

The Flip Book Show exhibition offers the public an 'interactive journey' into the medium of the 'Thumb Cinema', preceding the animated images in film. Many flip books can be manipulated by the visitor.

In addition to the originals on display, all flip books can be seen in movement by the aid of mini 'Medion Computers'.
Tiny MP4 players acting as a contemporary digital flip book are available to guide the individual visitor through the interactive exhibition of 'micro movies'.

To situate the Flip Book in the myriad world of historical 'Optical Toys', the chapter 'Philosophical Toys' by your webmaster, describes the Thaumatrope, Phenakistiscope, Zootrope, Praxinoscope, Mutoscope, Kinora, filoscope, the newspaper movie machine, etc. Throughout the dossier, the pages work as a flip book.

More than 170 contemporary artist's show their Flip Books and experimental 'micro' films, John Baldessari, Robert Breer, Tacita Dean, Elliott Erwitt, Julia Featheringill, Gilbert & George, Douglas Gordon, Keith Haring, Sabine Hecher, William Kentridge, Sigrun Köhler, Jonathan Monk, Bruce Nauman, Tony Oursler, Diether Roth, Miguel Rothschild, Jack Smith, Beat Streuli, Andy Warhol, Janet Zweig ... to name only a few. Contact the above curators for further information about this unprecedented event and experience. The Flip Book Show is available for museums by request.

Head editor of the Foto Museum Magazine - Inge Henneman. Copies of this issue (No. 35) can be ordered from Ann.Verbecque@fotografie.provant.be (€, 10)
A year subscription is available for €, 25 - 3 issues - from FotoMuseumMagazine@fotografie.provant.be

Few copies of the original, German language, catalogue are still available in the Antwerp museum shop. This catalogue includes a DVD featuring a large selection of the Flip Books in motion seen in the exhibition. Obviously, this 336 pages lavishly illustrated catalogue + DVD is a major candidate for republication and translation into English.


Il rigore Del Nero
Absolutely Black
Il Rigore Del Nero:
Silhouettes e Teatri d' Ombre

Both in Italian & English, Laura Minici Zotti and others unveil the absolutely black hidden world of the silhouette.

This book offers an historical overview on the shadow image as seen in shadow marionettes, cut-outs and the magic lantern slide.

In addition, paper ephemera illustrate the history and use of this familiar technique.

Less know to those not so familiar is the technique of the White Shadow which was often used for simple projection without a lantern or optical accessories.

It's of less importance whether Antoine de Silhouette lent his name on this popular technique. According to Gisele Freund, this 'myth' is wrong:

"Monsieur de Silhouette was not, as has been claimed, the creator of the cut-outs that put his name into common usage. The actual inventor is unknown. The word silhouette, which includes by extension all figures seen in shadowed profile, appeared in the middle of eighteenth century. Its etymology is quite unusual. Named Controller General in 1750 when France was heading toward bankruptcy, M de Silhouette levied, with some difficulty, certain public taxes to boost government revenues. For a time he was considered the savior of the French State, but the deficit was too great and he was forced to delay certain payments while suspending others entirely. His popularity plummeted, and the public became spiteful. A new style of clothing appeared: narrow coats without pleats and breeches without pockets. Without money to store in them, what good were pockets?
These clothes were said to be styled à la Silhouette, and to this day, anything as insubstantial as a shadow is called a silhouette; in short time, the brilliant Controller General had become no more than a shadow of himself.
Gisele Freund 1980; p. 12-13. Photography & Society. London and Bedford:






Previously, the catalogue "Ich Sehe Was, Was du Nicht Siehst !, Sehmaschinen und Bilderwelten" of the homonymous exhibition in Köln is now the accompanying catalogue for a renewed exhibition in Hamburg, Germany.
"Schaulust: Sehmaschinen, Optische Theater & andere Spektakel" is featuring more objects compared to the original exhibition.

Although the catalogue is the same, this publication (456 pages) remains a most valuable richly illustrated source for the fascinating world of Visual Media. (ca 300 illustrations)
"Schaulust" is opening on October 25 in the
Altonaer Museum / Hamburg, Germany and runs till 1 April 2006.

Compared to both, the exhibition in Cologne and "
Eyes, Lies and Illusions" (see below) in the Hayward Gallery London, "Schaulust" will be enriched with many more items.

For those who missed these previous exhibitions, the current exhibit will be a unique occasion to see the richness of the Werner Nekes collection on the "Geschichte der Visuellen medien"
Obviously, the catalogue should find a place in the library of all enthusiast of media archeology.

See also a page on Optical Toys on Early Visual Media.
More information on Werner Nekes


Realms of Light: Uses And Perceptions Of The Magic Lantern,
From the
17th. to the 21st. Century
Edited by Richard Crangle, Mervyn Heard, Ine van Dooren

Thirty two essays by leading writers in the field present a rich and varied series of a still little known medium, enlivened by over 280 illustrations.

The book is organised in four interrelated and overlapping sections, covering the main areas of lantern use, its applications in different cultures, examples of particular use and, finally, the lantern's continued influence after the exaggerated reports of it's 'death' at the end of the nineteenth century.

This is an exploration of a fascinating history, but one which emphasises the lantern as a living medium that still plays a role in the culture of today.

(Source: The Magic Lantern Society Publication Page - London)
Click cover for more information on this and other Magic Lantern publications..

Cinema Before Cinema: The Origins Of Scientific Cinematography
Virgilio Tosi

'Cinema Before Cinema' is one of the most useful sources I ever came across. The book argues that cinema began before the public screening of the Cinématographe Lumière on 28 December 1895.

The reel origins of cinema can be found in the work of early scientific experimenters such as Etienne-Jules Marey, Georges Demeney, Jules Janssen, Albert Londe, Ottomar Anschütz, Eadweard Muybridge, etc.

Originally this book was published in the Italian language (1984), 'Il Cinema prima di Lumière'. Initially accompanied with a video documentary, the current English translation is accompanied by a DVD documentary ''The Origins of Scientific Cinematography''.

In addition to the original '84 version, the translation is enriched with new research and insights.

'Cinema Before Cinema' is published by the British Universities Film & Video Council Click cover for more information.

See also Routledge's Encyclopedia of Early Cinema

Eadweard Muybridge: The Kingston Museum Bequest

For those fascinated by Edward Muybridge's influential sequence photography, Stephen Herbert, (The Projection Box), published a well illustrated book on the Kingston Museum Bequest. Click cover for more information on the authors.

The publication details Muybridge donation and bequest to the Royal Borough of Kingston. More than 200 illustrations accompany the most informative text.

These include Muybridge rarely seen Magic Lantern slides used in his lectures, animated silhouettes and colored drawings. Many illustrations are previously unpublished.
The book also illustrate Muybridge Zoopraxiscope and his biunial lantern. Click cover for more information.

Order the book from Stephen Herbert
Visit Stephen's personal website for all kinds of trivia


From Shadow Play to the Silver Screen

Precursors of the cinema
Paul Clee's new book "Before Hollywood, From Shadow Play to the Silver Screen" is an informative publication unveiling the story of the precursors of moving images and the dawn of cinema.

The book is illustrated with black & white images and written for 'young adults'.
Besides this target group, the book is a good introduction to all ages new to this part of early visual media history.

The story goes from the early use of the camera obscura till the pioneers of the first films by the brothers Lumière, Thomas Edison and the father of the special effects, Georges Méliès.

Several early key-devices (phenakistiscope, zootrope, praxinoscope, chronophotography, etc.) part of this history are clearly explained in their proper context.

Since the growing popularity in the early (pre)-history of cinema, this book is a most valuable acquisition to any enthusiast or library.

The book can be ordered from Houghton Mifflin Company.

!!! More Gothic News !!!
The Gothic Horror Theme - 'PHANTASMAGORIA' - Film & Theatre Archeology
Dr. Mervyn Heard's
Phantasmagoria: The Secret Life of the Magic Lantern.
new book based on two decades of research
published by 'The Projection Box'.
'Phantasmagoria : The Secret Life of the Magic Lantern'

"a full-blooded account of an extraordinary theatrical ghost-raising entertainment, and the true exploits of its mysterious inventor, Paul de Philipsthal" Click cover for full text

Ghost of the departed and apparitions of distant friends, appeared as if by supernatural forces to those who attended the Phantasmagoria presentations at London's metamorphic Lyceum venue in 1801.

Writing with humour appropriate to the subject - the protagonists were all engagingly eccentric and their effects often ridiculous as well as genuinely frightening.

Dr. Heard has produced a rare addition to the very few published accounts of theatrical ghost-raising.

The book is based on two decades of original research, much which led to his PhD awarded by the University of Exeter.
312 pages, profusely illustrated, with colour section. Order from Stephen Herbert.

See more books & CD-roms published by 'The Projection Box' or Stephen's personal web site.
(text selection from the original flyer - © Stephen Herbert)
Please read further for more Gothic information  
Important related Gothic exhibition
Inspired by Fuseli's Nightmare
See the other version of Fuseli'ss
Read more about Phantasmagoria on Early Visual Media.

Nowadays the fascination and interest in the 'GOTHIC' genre is growing gradually.
The name is given to art and literature dealing with themes of terror and the supernatural.

Dr. Mervyn Heard, involved in the TATE BRITAIN's current temporary exhibition, Gothic Nightmares, Fuseli, Blake and the Romantic Imagination produced a tempting short Phantasmagoria projection for the exhibition.

Dr. Heard
's book, announced above, is an inevitable source for the enthusiast in 'Spectral pre-film & Gothic theatre techniques'. It offers an in depth study on a lesser known part of pre-cinematographic entertainment and theatre history.

Early Visual Media website offers 13 well illustrated pages on the Phantasmagoria projection techniques, starting from here.

With the latter online images and accompanying texts, 'Visual Media' will convince visitors to acquire Heard's much more researched account on this ghostly subject: 'Phantasmagoria: The Secret Life of the Magic Lantern'

It is of utmost importance to emphasis that for the first time this popular ghostly entertainment - THE PHANTASMAGORIA - is shown in the context of works of art by well known painters such as Henry Fuseli (1741 - 1825) and William Blake (1757 - 1827) in one of England's major museums, or anywhere-else.
Phantasmagoria literally means 'a gathering of ghost's' - It's precisely the latter which is often seen in the work of artist's such as Fuseli, Blake, Abildgaard, etc. The phenomenon of the Incubus & Succubus, many of us are familiar with whether they like it or not, seems to be a fruitful inspiration source for the depiction of the Nightmare. Prints on the theme where widely spread.

The Nightmare
, fuseli's most famous work, is the central painting in the TATE's exhibition. Starting from this dark but tantalizing painting, Gothic Nightmares further explores 'The Nightmare in modern culture', showing also Murnau's (1888 - 1931) well known Nosferatu, Whale's (1889 - 1957) Frankenstein but also the lesser known film 'Gothic' by Ken Russel.

The films listed clearly all demonstrate the influence coming from Fuseli's 'The Nightmare' in the context of the Gothic, Romanticism and Erotism. Click the Gothic thumbnail to read more about this exhibition catalogue.


Move mouse over

One of the basic principles in 'pre-cinema' and 'cinema' history is the rapid succession of 'still' images.

Due to the fast replacement of slightly different images we experience an 'illusion of movement'. The historical explanation of this optical effect was originally unveiled by
the 'Persistence of Vision' as described by Joseph Plateau. New insights however proves this to be incorrect.

Two other phenomena allows us to see the different images as being one subject in motion: the phi effect, explained by Wertheimer in 1912, and visual masking, which frees us from retinal persistence or "Persistence of Vision".

The current exhibition, catalogue and DVD,
DAUMENKINO, THE FLIP BOOK SHOW, shows us both the historical flip book and contemporary Daumenkinos made by today's artists.
These vintage and modern 'Thumb Cinema's' can be admired in the current exhibition of the Kunsthalle in Düsseldorf. The catalogue is lavishly well illustrated and include a DVD showing historical and modern flip books in motion.

Later related historical devices such as the Folioscope, Kinora, Filoscope, Biograph, Mutoscope shows the flip book in his context and evolution.
Perhaps one of the most popular among these was the Kinora developed by the Lumière brothers after the dawn of cinema. By this as it may, the Kinora become the first 'Home Cinema' and the Flip Book his forerunner. Visit Pascal Fouché's FLIPBOOK website.

As read on the exhibition web site you will "Enter a world of optical wonders at the Hayward this autumn: a voyage of discovery through light and shadows. Strange effects and weird devices combine for a head-spinning experience. Be tricked by the many visual puzzles and wonder at the devices that captured movement hundreds of years before the invention of film." The exhibition is running from 7 October 2004 - 3 January 2005 in the Hayward Gallery, London.

Eyes, Lies and Illusions / The Art of Deception

Click the cover to order the hardback version of the catalogue, directly from

The interest in the history of Early Visual Media is growing as illustrated by the latest Hayward Gallery wonderful catalogue

This publication offers you a very informative text by Laurent Mannoni, today’s most celebrated authority in the history and archaeology of the pre-cinema & other visual media

Together with the fascinating illustrations this book is a most valuable reference source for collectors, historians, museums, libraries, etc.

More information on Werner Nekes

Further text is by experimental filmmaker Werner Nekes & cultural historian Marina Warner
See also an introduction page on Optical Toys on Early Visual Media


PERSPEKTÍVA - PERSPECTIVE is an important Hungarian catalogue published both in English & Hungarian language.

Various contributions are of interest to the Visual Media enthusiast.

Perspective often plays an important role in pre-cinematic devices and optical toys, e.g. the peepshow view, anamorphic images, camera obscura.

Loplop Peep-Show illustrates' a modern peepshow constructed by stop-motion animation filmers 'The Brothers Quay'.

This large format catalogue (520 pages) can be ordered from Miklos Peternak.




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Visit also the exhibition announcements page for related exhibitions.

See bottom of page for conditions to review or announce your publications.
Send books, catalogues, journals, DVD, video's, replica toys & suggestions too:
thomas@visual-media.be or thomas@visual-media.eu

Only relevant publications & facsimili editions of rare sources will be included after both, the approval and the receive of one complete review copy of an edition. (hardback or paperback)
Contact '
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Relevant subject matter are:
pre-cinema - time based media - optical toys - early photography - nitrate film - early film - mechanical television - conjuring arts - illusions - apparitions - spiritism - dance of death - physique amusante - optical scientific instruments - fairground - theatrum mundi - circus - popular visual arts - cabaret & vaudeville - street performers - vintage erotica -
extraordinary productions, events and occurrences - etc.

thomas wynan

Copyright: 2003 - 2004 - 2005 - 2006 - 2007 - 2008 - 2009 - 2010 - 2011 - 2012 - 2013 - 2014 - 2015 - 2016 - 2017 - 2018 by Thomas Weynants
he online Media Archaeology Museum version (24) Jan 2017 to Dec 2018 - All rights are protected by SOFAM.be