2D vinyl record zoetrope

As the summer progresses and my post-concussion syndrome symptoms slowly improve, I’ve had increased opportunities to continue work on my ongoing zoetrope/phonotrope gallery installation entitled OUROBOROS. This proposed exhibition (venue TBD) will include (at least) four different zoetropes on record turntables and an accompanying 20-minute audio track created by my collaborator, Zev Farber.

The video above is a test of a paper printout for a playable vinyl record zoetrope, which is currently under production. The record will have a 4:53 minute edit of the original soundtrack, and will be available for purchase in a very limited run of 25.

Will post a video on the actual vinyl, once I receive it.

3 thoughts on “2D vinyl record zoetrope

  1. Super cool work, Jennifer. I always adore the way you imbue your stuff with such a light macabre touch, never heavy handed, always lots of room for us to think and wonder. Really love the perfection of the line-weight and design in this one. Is it sixteen segments to time-out to a very slightly slowed 33 1/3 RPM? Do you use fluorescent lights to help push the effect, or does the eye sort out all the details adequately, as a matter of persistence of vision? (as a turntable tech in a previous life, we used lots of strobing for reference sync – but always with fluorescents, so I never got a chance to check with incandescent, let alone LED). Lastly but extra-tastically (the way the different layers of math interact, always fascinates me most) – do you ever get a contextual moire effect happening, with heterodyning between light frequency, image pattern frequency, and classic video (59.97hz) frequency?

    • Hi Paul! Thanks so much for your comment. The animation on a phonotrope can’t be seen clearly by the naked eye — at best, it will just look all blurry. The eye needs little split-second “gaps” sandwiched between each separate image to appear as a single, moving image. On a traditional zoetrope, there are small vertical slits cut into the circular drum through which the paper strips with the images are viewed (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBg6dAE3mI0). With these phonotropes that I’ve been creating, you substitute the vertical slits with a video camera set at a specific frame rate — in this case, 12 FPS — in order to correctly view the animation. I use an app on my smartphone that allows me to adjust the frame rate. You also need a very bright, direct light on the record. The brighter, the better. You can make the animation viewable with a strobe light, too, but I find I get a superior image with the smartphone. The correct number of “frames” for each phonotrope is a mathematical calculation factoring in the size of the disc (12″ or 8″ diameter), the speed of the turntable, and the frame rate of the camera. This particular zoetrope is 16 frames at 45 rpm + a 12 fps frame rate. Tess Martin — an animator whose work inspired my recent experiments with phonotropes — explains this all so much better than I: https://vimeo.com/341993213

      • Super cool, thanks for the link – I love obsessives who get right into it! (Leonardic?) ;o)

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