Mécanisme de la Physionomie Humaine

Animated GIF created by Bill Domonkos, using images from Benjamin Duchenne's Mécanisme de la Physionomie Humaine (1862).

By applying electrodes to male and female volunteers, Duchenne was able to activate individual muscles in the face. He saw the human face as a map, the features of which could be codified into universal taxonomies of inner states, with each muscle representing a ‘movement of the soul’. He listed 53 emotions that could be classified in terms of muscular action.

See on our Tumblr here, and the Tumblr of Bill Domonkos here.


Bill Domonkos is an experimental filmmaker and video artist. His work combines computer animation, still photography, live footage and manipulated archive film footage. His work has been broadcast and shown internationally in cinemas, film festivals, galleries and museums. All animated GIFs published here under a CC-BY-SA license.