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. Inspired by early 30s visual synthesizer Variophone in which light intensity was directly translated to sound waves, a software-based sound engine translates camera pixels to sound, thus keeping looping video and audio permanently in sync. The sound becomes mechanic to the extreme, but at the same time it is warm and comforting as it results from partially analog process.

Concept and Animation: Vesna Vega
Programming and Sound: Borut Kumperscak
Original sound engine: Berkan Eskikaya, Louis Pilford

Nikolai Voinov (1900-1958) demonstrates the techniques of Paper Sound and the creation of music for animation. The demonstration includes two short animations: “Rachmaninov Prelude”, 1932 (1:07) “The Dance of the Crow”, 1933 (2:11)


As a winners of the public call Phenakistomixer impressed the commission with conceptual simplicity and DIY approach: the role of the turntable is ingeniously reversed, from a traditional music-playing device to a source for creating visual material.  Video from live performance at Strictly Analog Festival 2014.

Notable PHMX performances and awards
• Roboexotica festival 2012, Vienna, Austria
• ACRA 9.0 Award for achievements in cocktail robotics 2012, Vienna, Austria
• Strictly Analog festival 2014, Ljubljana, Slovenia
• Apiary Sessions x SONICA 2015, London, UK

Official video for Leo Abraham’s track ‘Theory for Large Molecules’ made with Phenakistomixer.