EPFC | February 24th, 2015

guest curator: Charlotte Taylor

It’s just another Marvelous Movie Monday… oh ohhh… Actually, it isn’t just another Monday, it’s the last Monday of February – a month of OPTICAL TOYS!

I couldn’t choose just one optical toy, so I’m leaving you with three – all built on pedal power! Because what’s better than optical bicycles?

Jodie Mack’s Bike-Cycle
A zoetrope geared to the pedals of experimental animation heroine Cecile Starr’s exercise bike. The documentation from this piece comes from Mono No Aware. I really wish I could have been there to experience it.
(More optical toys by Jodie Mack:

Peter Hudson’s Sisyphish 2002 and Deeper 2004
Bike powered, large scale, 3D stroboscopes. The magic of the stroboscope is that you don’t need walls and slats, or even mirrors — the strobe light functions like a shutter to create the motion. There are quite a few stroboscopes out there, but I love the simplicity of powering the entire mechanism, especially one this large, to just a bike. The documentation for both stroboscopes is from Burning Man.

Tim Wheatley’s Cyclotrope
These two experiments synchronize the spinning of a bicycle wheel with the shutter of a camera to create the animations you’re seeing on screen. Although probably not a true optical toy, since the animation depends on the camera, these are too cool not to share with you. &
(For more about the Cyclotrope Project by Tim Wheatley:
I’m so thankful and honored to have had the opportunity to curate this month’s movies. I hope you all have enjoyed them as much as I have enjoyed sharing them with you. If you’re interested in learning more about these and other optical toys, check out the Laura Hayes and John Howard Wileman Exhibit of Optical Toys at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics. (…/collections/…/opticaltoys.htm)

I’d love to see what you’re making, too!

Yay for film!
heart emoticon charlotte


EPFC | February 17th, 2015


Happy Monday, film friends!

This week’s optical toy comes in the form of a music video – “We Got Time” – song by Moray McLaren, video by David Wilson. Check it out here:

In the video, David uses hand painted records as praxinoscopes. There are some cuts (wipes), but all the animation is happening live or in camera. It’s pretty magical. If you’re interested in learning more about how he made it, there’s a great making of video here:

Yay for film!!!



EPFC | February 10th, 2015

guest curator: Charlotte Taylor

Happy Marvelous Monday, film friends!

February is a month of optical toy Mondays! This week’s magic is from Heidi Kumao’s “Cinema Machines” collection. From Heidi’s website: “From 1991-99, I created “cinema machines” for intimate installations. In each tableau, a sabotaged household object is fitted with a zoetrope-like projecting mechanism and a set of photographic transparencies.”

The mirrored machine in “Making Progress” more closely resembles a praxinoscope, projecting sequential large format slides from a cabinet above a heart-shaped box on a table. (You can watch it here:

What I find most compelling about “Cinema Machines” is the quiet way the simple gestures evoke emotion and memory. They’re spectral, illusory, and stunning. (

For more information about the collection, and for more videos, you can visit Heidi Kumao’s website:

Have a filmtastic week!
Yay for film!!!