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Such a medium was William Haxby, and I feel, in these days of suspected mediumship, I cannot pay a more appropriate tribute to his memory, than by the above letter.

The power of materializations, in private seances, to bridge the movement through the scandal-ridden decades of the 1870s and 1880s, cannot be underestimated. We will not ever know how many "beautiful manifestations" were witnessed in those small gatherings free of "suspicion and its accompaniments," but we can be sure there were many, and not a few of them produced in the presence of William Haxby.
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In May of 1874, the London Spiritualist community was still dealing with the aftermath of the 1872 Hudson spirit-photograph scandal , and Hudson's resulting penury .
Samuel Guppy, Mrs. Guppy's first husband, a Dickensian figure, and the author of (1863) has much invested in Hudson's spirit photographs, and is the most visible cheerleader for Hudson. He's also a wonderful writer, as this bit of correspondence (from the Medium and Daybreak for May 29, 1874) indicates:

All the remittances were enclosed in letters of sympathy, but there was one letter, not a remittance; but a very curious, anonymous letter, in red ink, and as the writer is quite evidently as to all the imputations on Mr. Hudson, and expresses himself in terms of genuine detestation of all frauds, and imputes to me that in assisting Mr. Hudson I am aiding and assisting in what might be a continuation of deceiving the public, I desire to inform that gentleman, and any others who may share his opinions, what I did, and hope that you will spare me room.

Some time ago, calling on Mr. Hudson, I found a lady there for her carte de visite; she knew friends of mine, and she told me that she had been entranced at seances. I sat with her at the small table at Hudson's studio, and she became nearly entranced; I asked her to sit with me for a spirit-photograph, and she did, and a very clearly-defined spirit was on the plate; but when I showed it to friends, I was met by the remark, "Hudson took it, and it is unreliable." So one day I said to Mr. Hudson, "Will you let me use your studio as my own, with any sitter I may bring, not interfering at all[?]" He consented instantly; indeed there was not much to hinder consent, for I never found a sitter there. One day I met Mr. [MD: Charles E.] Williams and Mr. Hudson [MD: see below] coming toward my house, and I said, "Come to Hudson's." There I took a new plate, cleaned it myself with spirits and red powder, and working it all through entirely, Mr. Hudson not doing anything nor entering the dark room, and in that plate is a very clear and beatiful photograph of a spirit-form, and the witnesses are Mr. Williams, Mr. Hudson and Mrs. Hudson, who was in the outer room.

The same idea of treating an image as a collection of elements that can be changed independently and re-assembled into new images is behind Photoshop Layers. Importantly, Photoshop was developed at the same place where the principles of digital compositing were defined earlier. The first version of the program was written by brothers Thomas and John Knoll when Thomas took a six-month leave from the PhD program at the University of Michigan in 1988 to join his brother who was then working at ILM.

This link between a popular software technique for image editing and a general principle of modern computer programming is very telling. It is a perfect example of how all elements of modern media software ecosystem – applications, file formats, interfaces, techniques, tools and algorithms used to create, view, edit, and share media content – have not just one but two parents, each with their own set of DNAs: media and cultural practices, on the one hand, and software development, on the other.

In short: through the work of many people, from Ivan Sutherland in early 1960s, to the teams at ILM, Macromedia, Adobe, Apple and other companies in the 1980s and 1990s, media becomes software – with all the theoretical and practical consequences such a transition entails. This article dives into Photoshop Filter and Layers menus to discuss some of these consequences – but more still remain to be uncovered.

References Adobe, Photoshop Help , http://help.adobe.com/en_US/Photoshop/11.0/, accessed October 9, 2011. Dictionary.com, “Wave. (n.d.),” Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) . Retrieved December 29, 2007, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/wave/ . Alan Kay and Adele Goldberg, “Personal Dynamic Media”, IEEE Computer . Vol. 10 No. 3 (March), 1977. Lakoff, George Mark Johnson (1980), Metaphors We Live By . Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Lev Manovich, The Language of New Media (The MIT Press, 2001.) Thomas Porter and Tom Duff, “Compositing Digital Images,” Computer Graphics vol. 18, no. 3 (July 1984): 253-259. Lia, Liaworks , http://www.liaworks.com/category/theprojects/ , accessed October 9, 2011. Manovich, Lev. “Alan Kay’s Universal Media Machine,” in Arild Fetveit Gitte Bang Stald, eds., Northern Lights 2006: Digital Aesthetics and Communication (University of Copenhagen, 2007). Lev Manovich, Software Takes Command. The first draft November 2008, online at, http://www.softwarestudies.com/softbook/ . Azriel Rosenfeld, Picture Processing by Computer (New York: Academic Press, 1969). C.E. Shannon, “A Mathematical Theory of Communication”, Bell System Technical Journal , vol. 27, pp. 379-423, 623-656, July, October, 1948. Noah Wardrip-Fruin and Nick Montfort, eds., New Media Reader, (The MIT Press, 2003), 395. Emphasis mine – L.M. Wikipedia, Reebok Mens STUDIO LES MILLS CARDIO PUMP FUSION Dance Shoes Black / White Black M843N52
accessed October 9, 2011.

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