Sep 11, 2015

Kinetoscopic Records, for Peephole Cinema, at UnionDocs, in Brooklyn, on September 18



A new exhibition for the Peephole Cinema series (created by curator Laurie O'Brienopens September 18 at UnionDocs Center for Documentary Arts in Brooklyn, New York. The opening reception is 5:00 to 7:00 pm. 

"Kinetoscopic Records" features ten very short moving-image works programmed by Dan Streible (keeper of this blog).

The exhibition, viewable only through the peephole on the door at 322 Union Avenue in Brooklyn, will run 24 hours a day for nearly two months.


See looping DV of ten works in five mintues.

• W. K.-L. Dickson, Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze, Jan. 7, 1894  
• Evan Meaney, Re_Sneeze  
• Jodie Mack, All Stars   
• Joel Schlemowitz, The Invention of the Gramophone
• Danielle Ash, Creature of the Gowanus 
• Tom Whiteside & Anna Kipervaser, Ott Gotcha 
• Andrea Callard, Something Medical 
• Bill Brand, Ornithology 4 
• Mono No Aware, Sneezes
• Bill Morrison, Dancing Decay 


Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze, better known as Fred Ott's Sneeze, was shot on 35mm in January 1894 -- one of the first movies ever made. But it was only seen as still photos on paper until 1953, when Kemp Niver rephotographed the paper frames on 16mm film, part of the Paper Print project conducted at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in cooperation with the keepers of the Paper Print Collection, Library of Congress Motion Picture Division. That black-and-white 16mm film was the basis for all subsequent copies of The Sneeze that we have seen, including every version currently on the Internet.

However, the Peephole Cinema exhibit features the Library of Congress's newer and longer version, which uses all 81 surviving frames of Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze, not just the 45 frames that Niver used. Combining the 45 sepia-color frames from the January 1894 copyright deposit photograph with the additional 36 frames (half-tone, black-and-white) published in Harper's Weekly in March 1894, the new Library of Congress digital composite version runs approximately 7 seconds. 

It reveals that the single continuous take recorded Fred Ott sneezing twice! 

Go to the Peephole Cinema at UnionDocs to see it.