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“Terrors and Pleasures of Levitation”

This photo from the 60 from the 60’s exhibit at the George Eastman House, entitled “Terrors and Pleasures of Levitation” nicely illustrates the following in our reading:

“At the turn of the century and later, scientists in physiology and other fields used photographs and motion picture film to conduct fram analyses in order to reveal aspects of a living or moving entity (such as a body or a machine).  The idea was that by breaking down and freezing moments in the flow of a body’s or a machine’s continuous process, we might learn something about its function — something imperceptible to the eye, imperceptible in the unaltered footage. (Sturken & Cartwright, pg. 289)”

The photo shows a muscular male form in the midst of a mid-air leap.  With his arms outspread and head up, his body language in this photo suggests his is the “pleasure” rather than the “terror” of levitation.




I like this image and you’re right, it goes along really well with the quote you’ve chosen, and from the definition you really can get a sense of what the author is talking about. Looking at the position of the limbs and the muscles you really do see what the body can do.

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Although I chose to use a different image for my post this week, I also took photos of these images. I thought that they were a direct representation of this section in the reading and an interesting concept.


I think this is a fantastic study on nonverbal communication, even if it was unintentional. Your observation that his head is up, arms are spread apart and what that means for his current psychological state is a poignant one. I would imagine most people would guess the same thing, which would suggest that this stance has some accepted meaning in society. Science galore.


I feel the image and quote you selected go along with each other perfectly. You can almost feel that the jumper has no worries at the moment, seems totally relaxed.


When I saw this series of photos I thought they were some of the best ones at the Exhibit in relation to this week’s reading! Glad you covered this series, though I wish there had been a way to grab a good photo of the set of three. Short story– when I was there a couple was by me and they blatantly failed to initially see the model is wearing pants in the pictures. They were like “Oh my, he’s naked!” fairly loudly in the exhibit. I almost laughed out loud and wanted to tell them to take a second look at the photo… Hopefully they did.


One of my favorite images from the gallery


Great way to illustrate the reading. It’s also interesting when the author mentions that the motion study has been refined with new techniques and image manipulation. It caught my attention that the image is called “Terrors and Pleasures of Levitation”. The man in the picture doesn’t look like being terrified at all, he seems to be enjoying the fall.


This is a really neat picture nowadays and I can imagine that in 1972 it was way more shocking to see these kinds of images. The three images exposed like this really caught my attention in the exhibit but I couldn’t find a way to relate it to the article but you definitely did and linked it all really good.


The three images in this series were by far my favorite of the exhibit. They illustrated the reading really well, but I was more interested in what it would feel like to be living the experience (assuming they used a trampoline) rather than simply reading and writing about it.

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