Phenakistoscope meets Variophone

Skills: Borut Kumperščak, Installation, Performance, Vesna Krebs

Concept and Animation: Vesna Krebs
Programming and Sound: Borut Kumperscak
Sound engine: Berkan Eskikaya, Louis Pilford

Phenakistoscope was an early animation device that used a spinning disk of sequential images and the persistence of vision principle to create an illusion of motion. Original phenakistoscope discs had slits cut into them and had to be viewed using a mirror. Phenakistomixer appropriates this by precisely synchronising disc rotation with the shutter of a video camera to achieve similar effect, and is used as a live visual performative tool.

Phenakistomixer version 3.0 is inspired by early 30s visual synthesizer Variophone in which optical sensor linearly scans monochromatic plates and translates reflected light intensity to sound waves.

The Variophone was invented by Evgeny Sholpo in 1930 at Alexander Shorin’s Central Laboratory of Wire Communication in Leningrad. Below a film demonstrating the how the apparatus works.