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GIF Zoetrope - 2018

Mediums and Methods

Walnut, brass, leather, 3D resin printing, video, embedded microcontrollers, c/c++ programming.


Portland, Oregon

This project is part of a series of intentionally complex modern sculptural interpretations of antique objects. This Zoetrope, more correctly a Praxinoscope (a successor and improvement on the better-known zoetrope) displays simple animations of only a few frames by placing a paper strip of still images onto the inside of a rotating barrel with a carousel of angled mirrors at its center. By spinning the barrel, the viewer can see individual frames flashed on inner mirrors as they line up with their eye in sequence giving the perception of motion. As the animations consisted of only a few frames, had no sound, and were often designed to flow seamlessly from the last frame on the strip to the starting frame in a smooth constantly repeating animation it occurred to me that these paper strips were basically the analog gifs of their day. Instead of film strip media like those used in its predecessor, my Gif Praxinoscope contains a series of 12 high-definition color LCD screens onto which the individual frames of a selection of curated gif images loaded on an SD card are parsed and displayed as a series of still frames emulating the paper strip of the original invoking feelings of both nostalgia and modern wonder, much like the Victorians felt with the original.

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