If there’s one thing we can’t get enough of on Colossal it’s zoetropes, a filmless animation technique that relies on a rotating sequence of images or objects that’s photographed or displayed with a strobe light to create the illusion of motion. We’ve seen a few different takes on the medium from chocolate to 3D printing to ceramics to my all-time favorite the turntable phonotrope. For his degree project at the ANU School of Art in Australia, digital artist Elliot Schultz devised his own method: the Embroidered Zoetrope.
The 2013 installation involved the creation of 10″ discs embroidered with sequences of images that fit on standard turntables. Each piece was displayed with a standard strobe light that effectively brought the animation to life. The precision of the machine embroidery coupled with the texture of thread makes these really special to watch. He shares about the project:
Inspired by the work of Alexandre Alexeieff and Claire Parker, I aimed to guide my production process indirectly through the limitations afforded by alternative media. Their invention, the pin screen, was used as the sole medium in the production of six short films, and shaped the outcome of their work. In response, I have designed and embroidered animated sequences onto discs, similar to the Phenakistokope, Zoopraxiscope and Stamfer Disc layouts. This repurposing of media introduced strict parameters, namely spatial, tonal and temporal, and has greatly informed all stages of my process.
Watch the video above to see Schultz’s animations in action, and you can see a nicely presented project view of the embroidered zoetrope over on Behance.