Digital history & historiography

DEMA demonstration: Kinora Viewer Replica

A hands-on demonstration of the Kinora Viewer Replica. This public online event shows the fruits of a recent successful collaboration between the C2DH and the Department of Engineering. Combining historical inquiry with a hands-on and technical approach – involving the latest 3D modelling and desktop manufacturing engineering techniques – a media historian and two engineers joined forces to produce a working replica of a very special object in the history of (early) cinema: the Kinora viewer.

This rare motion picture apparatus from the early 1900s is arguably the first motion picture technology that was specifically designed for home use. The Kinora viewer makes use of a flipbook mechanism, in which a series of paper-based unperformated photographs were attached to a wheel. By turning the wheel and looking through the viewer, one could watch the series of photographs in motion. Originally invented by Auguste and Louis Lumière in 1896, the Kinora developed into one of “the most successful of the ‘home movie’ machines” of the early 1900s.

In this online event participants will be given a demonstration of both the recently manufactured Kinora viewer replica and the original Kinora viewer (ca.1907), which is part of C2DH’s media archaeological collection. The demonstrations will be combined with presentations highlighting the history of the Kinora as well as the process of making the replica in the Design Engineering Lab of the University of Luxembourg.

The event is organized by Dr. Tim van der Heijden (C2DH), Ing. Claude Wolf (Department of Engineering) and Morgane Piet, BSc. (Department of Engineering): an interdisciplinary and hands-on collaboration between the C2DH and the Department of Engineering, University of Luxembourg within the framework of the project “Doing Experimental Media Archaeology: Practice and Theory (DEMA)”.

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