Edgar Leciejewski’s bildarchive
The Photo Book as Flip-Book
As we celebrate cinema’s 125th birthday in 2020, the flip-book and its ancient predecessors are where images learned to move. And it is where this essay series on Leipzig photographer Edgar Leciejewski started when I flipped the ten pages of his dine & dash series of the window views.
By Jutta Brendemuhl
Pocket cinema. Kineograph. Folioscope. Flip- or flick-book. The roots of moving image books — also a form of “image archive” as in Edgar Leciejewski’s bildarchive — can be traced back thousands of years to a bowl from present-day Iran, which upon spinning shows the motion sequence of a jumping goat. Think of it as the precursor to Eadweard Muybridge’s famous 1878 Horse in Motion “gif,” which marked the invention of chronophotography, the photographic technique that captures the passing of time. German film pioneer Max Skladanowsky presented his first moving image experiments in 1894 (a year before his big movie debut at Berlin’s Wintergarten) as a flip-book—he had invented a hand-crank camera but not yet a projector to cast the image. Walt Disney Studios honors their flip-book legacy with a Mickey Mouse flip-book animation as their production logo.
Next up: You (and me) try our hands at DIY flip-books.