31 July 2012

The Pristitrope

The what? I hear you ask. The Pristitrope is a modification of the zoetrope, a pre-cinematic optical toy that shows short, looped animations. It replaces the zoetropes static illustrations with 18 tiny LCD screens, merging a digital way of showing images with an analogue way of showing their movement.

The machine knows in which direction it is turning. Therefore, basic interactivity is possible, for example in the form of simple game structures or choices within a clockwise or counterclockwise narrative.

Altogether it is something quite wonderful and what you can see here was created by Quinten Swagerman. It is currently on display at the V2 (an interdisciplinary center for art and media technology) in Rotterdam so if you happen to be in Holland, make a run for it! What remains, however, is a question. How did Swagerman and his team of technical support maestros make the Pristitrope? The answer is in the video below and it is (almost) as fascinating as seeing the Pristitrope working.