Beginning in 1920 Marcel Duchamp involved Man Ray in a series of experiments based on his fascination with depicting motion and time. These early forays into the fourth dimension took many forms, from 3D cinematic tests to the noted and dangerous Rotary Glass Plates of 1920 which, when set in motion, almost killed Man Ray. Arturo Schwartz writes: "The Rotary Demisphere ...was much more elaborate than the 1920 apparatus. The hemisphere was fixed on a flat disc covered with black velvet, and these two elements in turn were covered and protected by a glass dome that was fixed with a copper ring on the face of which was engraved: Rrose Sélavy et moi esquivons les ecchymoses des esquimaux aux mots exquis. The demisphere and pun rotated together when activated by a small electric motor at the foot of the metal stand. Duchamp gave the work to his friend, the novelist Henri Pierre Roché, for safekeeping. The inscription on the verso is not Roché's signature but indicates that the print may have belonged to him. The Demisphere is now in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
This print was probably used for the cover of a 1954 history of French Cinema which included Man Ray's efforts in film. This view of the machine shows it without its protective copper cover.