Hacker in Residence: The Harmonic Skew Zoetrope

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Introduction

There are many things in our world that appear constant but are actually flickering at frequencies faster than we can easily perceive. Whether it’s the rapid sequence video frames, the alternating current in our power outlets (and the resultant imperceptible blinking of our light fixtures), or even the compression and rarefaction of the air molecules that make up sound waves, these frequencies are all around us.

Sometimes the curtain is pulled back and we can see evidence of these frequencies. The wagon wheel effect is one such case. Sometimes, these artifacts are undesirable (like banding in video of a screen), but other times they are the underlying mechanic of a device’s functionality (like a zoetrope).

The Harmonic Skew Zoetrope uses moving subject matter and scanning lines of light to create the experience of visual distortion somewhat similar to slit scan photography, but without the mediation of a screen.

-Hacker in Residence, Jesse Harding

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