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Mesmerizing 3D-Printed Zoetropes Explores Human Movement and Light

As bipeds, our range of movement is limited. But when we dissect our mobility using technology and art, the fluidity of it springs to life. Akinori Goto is a Japanese media artist who’s designed some mesmerizing 3D-printed zoetropes for the 21st century. Check out the video above from his installation, which won Runner-up Grand Prix and Audience Award at the Spiral Independent Creators Festival.

Zoetropes are old-school cool–these rotating, hand-drawn images represent the historic pre-animation we can all admire. The Ghibli Museum famously build a large-scale zoetrope featuring multiple bouncing Totoros and floating umbrellas in order to help link the studio’s animation back to the past. (I’ve been lucky enough to see that Ghibli zoetrope in person, and trust me–it’s epic!)

In Goto’s zoetropes, human figures showcase the most mundane of movements, walking, next a high caliber dance movement from ballet, a piqué, arabesque. And even if the movement stays the same, the installations aren’t entirely fixed on a loop–the human figures change and bend with light as time goes by.

Goto commented on his process on the You Fab website:

This is a media installation born from a combination of modern technologies. The time axes of movement are connected through three dimensions and given form through 3D printing. Through the application of light, the transitory movements of time are visualized. This installation will show in a new light that movement, to begin with, is realized through its relationship with time, and that time continues on incessantly, through the past, present and future.

Luke Yeung, a judge for the Festival, also noted that Goto’s work builds on the historical collaboration between art and humanity. “It is both as simple reflection of the experience in our daily lives but also symbolic of meaning as an art and cultural artifact,” said Yeung.

You can follow Akinori Goto through his Tumblr page. Let us know your reactions to this cool mix of technology and art in the comments below.

Images: Colossal

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