Creative work of Julian Antonisz

Julian Antonisz (Antoniszczak) was a director of experimental film animations, composer, designer and inventor. He co-founded Kraków’s legendary Animated Film Studio. Antonisz was also the creator of the “coarsograph”, an image-making device for blind persons. Notably, Antonisz had such interesting ideas concerning bringing art closer to blind persons as early as the 1970s.

A scanning coarsograph (dimensions: 72 × 42 × 34 cm)

Scanning coarsograph 

Invented circa 1983, an optical and electromechanical appliance for blind persons making it possible to create images read by touch. Antonisz called this technique scanning coarsography, and images obtained by its means coarsographs. Born as a result of experiments with the cinema for blind persons, the notion of the coarsograph consisted in scanning and reproducing selected images on celluloid.

On the photo: a scanning coarsograph (dimensions: 72 × 42 × 34 cm).

Reproducing images

A coarsograph was equipped with a lens and a phototransistor, which controlled the pressure exerted by the needle reproducing an image on celluloid in the form of carved parallel grooves.At the edges of the grooves chips and splinters appeared, giving a specific coarse image of the original, which could be read by touch. Coarsographs made that way had varied textures reflecting the chiaroscuro nature of the original image.