Video sculptor Ray Rapp reanimates motion studies by Eadweard Muybridge and found imagery. The essence of technology, the consideration of adjusting to new methods of visualization was one of the fundamental changes Muybridge’s work brought about in the late 1800’s. His creation of the Zoöpaxiscope was the forbearer to the motion picture projector. In Rapp’s video sculptures, reproductions of Muybridge’s and other motion studies are appropriated and digitally reanimated. This is done by alternating positive and negative versions of each image. Simple reanimations are turned into retro-strobing visions.
By literally deconstructing the latest technology and combining it with reanimations of classic images, Rapp’s installation presents a striking contrast between the colorful high tech of today and the historical images of “one of the progenitors of motion pictures”. The fetishism of the technologies used to create the reanimations harkens to the engineering wonder of mechanisms in Muybridge’s time while reminding us how invisible it has become in our time.
Ray Rapp earned his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, as well as BA from San Francisco State University and a BA from the University of California, Berkeley. His installation work has been in solo exhibitions at the Frederieke Taylor Gallery in NYC, Connecticut College Center for Arts and Technology, the Kitchen in NYC, Queens Museum, and the Brooklyn Arts and Cultural Association. Group shows include those at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Diverse Works in Houston, Katonah Museum of Art, Myron Hokin Arts Center at Columbia College in Chicago, and Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center in Buffalo. Rapp has taught and lectured widely. He received the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation Grant and was an artist in residence at the MacDowell Colony. His work resides in collections at the Brooklyn Museum, Experimental Television Center in Owego, Musee du Petit Format Cul-des-Sarts (Couvin) in Belgique, the Library of Congress, and numerous private collections.