Press Release – Sacramento, CA – Artist and inventor Les Cookson with the help of illustrator and author Ken Higginson are using the internet to help revitalize the centuries old animation device that started it all—the ZOETROPE. The Kickstarter campaign will run through March 10th, 2017.
The zoetrope, first invented in 1833, was one of the first animation devices, and the granddaddy of modern movies. It consists of a slotted cylinder, or drum, containing animation strips and discs that spin on a wooden stand. By viewing the spinning animation through slits in the drum, the blur of color is broken into a rapid succession of sequential images producing the illusion of motion.
Cookson, with his 10+ years of experience building optical devices, not only designed his zoetrope, the ZOEFLIX, to be functional and beautiful, but also to improve it by adding features like a built-in light to make the images brighter and clearer. Additionally, this new design fits more nicely together and features a solid hardwood stand and lid to balance out its handcrafted, eco-friendly, faux leather drum.
Higginson has thoughtfully remastered the historically inspired zoetrope animations to showcase a full range of artistic possibilities. He is utilizing modern printing technology to add depth to the animations with background elements and creative tweaks that place the characters in a setting and tell a more complete story. The effect is truly mesmerizing as you can see for yourself: https://youtu.be/8UC8j4pg1iA
“Today, we are so saturated with electronics that when we see an elegantly simple device like a zoetrope creating a breathtaking moving image—we think it’s magic—and that’s the point! Science and magic used to be one in the same, and the zoetrope embodies that forgotten past.” remarks Cookson.
If the Kickstarter crowd funding is successful, the internet, which has disseminated so many digital GIFs, will have helped revitalized the original GIF—the zoetrope. More information is available at www.ZOEFLIX.com