Marey's myographic and electronic recording instruments, central to his celebrated methode graphique Marey , had failed satisfactorily to record bird and insect flight because the act of recording impacted on the movements of their wings Braun Marey's solution was to engineer a method of chronophotography that could register animal motion without such interference and thus allow its analysis.
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For Uexktill, also, the object was analysis of the living and moving animal, but he saw no general problem in interfering with its state. He describes poisoning the brittle stars, cutting through nerve tracks or ablating their arms in order to trace modi- fications in movements and in order to understand the function of different body parts.
Two methods for the 'photographic registration of time' [photographische Zeitschreibung] Uexktill a: 5 were available. In the first, different phases of motion would be recorded within a single frame, meaning that the animal had to be fixed in place whilst moving. To investigate the brittle star's gait, Uexktill secured it onto a piece of cork. In this state, the movements of its arms are accel- erated, he acknowledged, but remain comparable to the freely moving brittle star.
With this method, the amplitude of motion is recordable as a 'registration of amplitude' [Amplitudenschreibung] Uexkiill a: 6. In the second method, the animal is recorded on film in free movement. Such recordings 'define the coordination of the movements in every given moment' and, accordingly, he names this method the 'registration of coordinates' [Koordinatenschreibung] Uexkiill a: 5.
Using both methods, Uexktill produced a series of images examining the brittle star in locomotion, in ingestion or performing what he called intelligence tests. Through both methods of observation, the five- armed brittle star is shown moving four arms together, in pairs, whilst its fifth arm remains inactive. This gait is distinct insofar as the fifth arm is carried in front or dragged behind. The original German the unevenness of the ground traversed Uexkiill a: 7.
The insight he derived ftom this is that, here is rather clumsy, a fact tha t probably combined, amplitude and coordinate registration allow the biologist access to a complete recording indicates Gexki. Initially, he took this as proof that there is an 'invisible machine' at work in the organ- time. As mentioned cannot be deduced ftom the visible machine, then it is justifiable to conclude that there is a second above, Cexki. Yet in the same year he would reject this later- after having mechanistic notion. Here he still refers to finally it is not only something organic, but an organism' Uexkiill b: 4.
Drawing on Kantian vocabulary, he claimed that organisms are defined by their purpo- gist the'enduring and sivenesses Organismen sind Zweckmaf5igkeiten and that the principal duty of the biologist is to detailed observation investigate this fact Uexkiill Sb: 6. For instance, since all living beings live according b: One has to turn towards investigation of the living organism as whole to register its purposiveness at work. Since the rhythms of all animal movements are short-intervalled, they can be conveniently regis- tered using chronophotography on a single photographic surface, the advantage being that different phases of movement are conjoined in a single image that enables immediate comparison.
On this basis, Uexkiill forecasted that chronophotography would attain the 'widest distribution' and use. In fact, he imagined the future of the scientific cinematography as a synthesis of chronophotography and stereoscopy, which would facilitate true-to-life recorclings UexkiiliSb: The scientific use of motion pictures developed in a different direction. Uexkiill was left to fulfil this prophecy himself when, later, he requested that Zeiss develop a device that would allow him to make stereoscopic exposures on a single photographic surface.
He presentee! In Theoretical Biology , Uexkiill similarly identified Biology's purpose as being to investigate the plan-like qualities of organisms. In this book, he points out the organism's plan as having an inherent inflexibility or lack abberations. Using the example of 9. Recording this using cinematography, he writes: '[through the bridge-formation that them to other beings, abilities and fields, e.
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A skilled musician could then read from the pattern what the melody had been as well as to peoples. Subjective times and Umwelten rendered visible It is worth noting that Baer's description Uexkiill favoured chronophotography on a single surface as a way of making distinct phases of should not be under- motion and distinct motions easily comparable. But to demonstrate his conception of subjective stood as mere science times and Umwelten, he needed to turn to further cinematographic techniques, especially time-lapse fiction, but in the context of nineteenth- and slow motion.
His use of these state-of-the-art techniques, however, was deeply informed by century experiments on pre-cinematographic approaches to understanding perception. Tune-lapse, for instance, was a In crucial points of his theory, he refers to a thought experiment, given in by the naturalist popular effect used and entomologist Karl Ernst von Baer during a lecture at the Russian Entomological Society.
Here, in dioramas since the Baer presented his so-called moment-theory [Momenttheorie] and introduced the idea of distinct s and persistence of vision was demon- biological times. According to Baer, we take our measure of time from the pulse, which determines strated for the first time the 'time we need to become aware of an impression on our organs of perception' Baer 50 with the thaumatrope and which, thus, acts as the time-unit of apperception.
As the rabbits' pulse, for instance, runs much in On this basis, he seeks to problematize the sense in which natural scientists are constrained to take themselves as a measure of things in both spatial and temporal terms, which leads to misconceptions of living nature and its laws. To illustrate this, he imagines a person whose life runs very fast and which thus only spans a month.
This person's pulse would beat a thousand times faster than normal, meaning their perception would be accelerated accordingly. As a conse- quence, this person might well observe a bullet on the fly, but would have no conception of the seasons. He carries this thought to the extreme of imagining someone with a lifespan of 40 minutes, for whom things such as grass or flowers would appear changeless and therefore inanimate Baer At the opposite extreme, someone whose life was slowed down a thousand times would not distinguish day from night.
For them, the sun would appear as a bright trail in the sky, like the lasting afterimage of a light source moving in the dark Baer Here he refers to it as This observation is crucial for Uexki. He takes Baer's lesson as being that our world-view and 'melod J. To l;exki.
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This is a notion Uexki. The researcher along with every other being lives according to their distinctive subjective that leads out of one's own Umwelt and is time and the perceptual world it enables. In the face of this, the biologist must change his ways of at the same moment seeing and questioning.
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It is the manner in which new ways of questioning life are thus made what distinguishes explicit, as Heidegger notes when commenting on Baer and Uexki. While tion of contemporary biology is a matter of newly discovered facts. The transformation of seeing and questioning is always the We have created decisive thing in science. He takes it to further demonstrate his notion of conformity with plan and to enable the anthro- deepening and broad- pomorphic limitations and differences involved in biological investigation to be overcome so that ening his environment.
Only us, because they are either too fast -like a bullet flight - or too slow - like the growing of a plant' the knowledge that Uexki. In bringing such events into the range of human perception, for Uexki. This film compresses a hour process of the formation of the dictyostelium path leading out of the into half an hour Arndt and Meyer , Arndt For Uexki.
Cinematographic techniques also offer the possibility of investigating one's own perceptual Umwelten and Uexki. He takes cinema to function as a model of human perception, not in the conventional sense that cinema exploits the parallels between camera and eye as passive receptors of the image.
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Rather, they are analogous insofar as they both enable the active exploration of phenomena, such as the perception of motion and the persistence of vision. The possibility to simulate a continuous movement in showing jerkily stagnant picture, relies on the sub-perceptiveness of nearby moments. Uexkiill  82 This explanation of the persistence of vision is crude.
But Uexkiill's accomplishment is to translate the phenomena into biological terms. Space, as such, is displaced into locality [Ort] and time by moment. With this terminology, he refers again to Baer. But where Baer saw himself as being bound necessarily to anthropomorphic measurements, Uexkiill finds indexes of the historicity of subjective time.
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This, one might note, gives an uncommon inflection to a famous Benjaminian expression: 'Clearly, it is another nature which speaks to the camera as compared to the eye' Benjarnin Uexkiill's turn to chronophotography is rooted in his interest in observing the whole living animal, and his conceptions of conformity with plan and purposiveness emerge on the basis of this technique. Chronophotography verifies his projection of the organism's plan-like qualities as these can only be detected through observation of the whole living animal in its natural movements.
The extension of these investigations into techniques of time-lapse and slow motion not only provide methods for further research into the Umwelten of animals, but they also force reflection on and enable investigation into the investigator's own Umwelt. Whilst some, if not many, of Uexkiill's specific claims may have been superceded in the later development of biology and its techniques of visualization, these implications of his Umwelt research remain of interest insofar as they foreground not only the relatedness between animal and Umwelt, but also open onto their relationship to the researcher and to the means of their research.
References Arndt, Arthur , 'Rhizopodenstudien Ill. Untersuchungen iiber Dictyostelium mucuroides', in H.
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