At the age of nineteen, before he began his career as a theater director, set designer, and cinematographer, Bragaglia became greatly influenced by F. T. Marinetti, the founder of the Italian Futurist movement who espoused a love of danger, the beauty of speed, and the interdependence of time and space. Bragaglia soon extended this radically modern position to photography and sought to replace the frozen appearance of an instantaneous snapshot with a projection of the subject's dynamism, or interior essence. To accomplish his aesthetic goals, he left his camera's shutter open to register the absolute fluidity of motion itself-in this case, the fluttering of fingers across the keys of a typewriter. The result is a dissolution or dematerialization of the typist in a seamless picture of active life.
Inscription: Inscribed in pencil in unknown hand, print verso, C [sideways]: "N. 1 // Dactylographie."
[Edwin Engelberts, Geneva]; Gilman Paper Company Collection, New York, January 30, 1990
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Sight Unseen: Photographs from the Gilman Collection".
P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center. "Minimalia: An Italian Vision in 20th Century Art," October 10, 1999–January 2, 2000.
Museum of Modern Art, New York. "Inventing Abstraction, 1912-1925," December 23, 2012–April 15, 2013.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. "Italian Futurism, 1909–1944," February 21, 2014–September 1, 2014.
Oliva, Achille Bonito. Minimalia: An Italian Vision in Twentieth-Century Art. New York, 1999. p. 139.
Dickerman, Leah. Inventing Abstraction 1910-1925: How a Radical Idea Changed Modern Art. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 2012. no. 108, p. 133.
Greene, Vivien, ed. Italian Futurism 1909-1944: Reconstructing the Universe. New York: Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, 2014. no. 38, p. 94.
Original title in 1913 publication: "Dattilografa".