Incredible Vintage Animated Gifs
Nearly 155 years before the first animated gif appeared in 1887, Belgian physicist Joseph Plateau unveiled an invention called the phenakistoscope, a device that is largely considered to be the first mechanism for true animation. The simple gadget relied on the persistence of the vision principle to create the illusion of images in motion.
The phenakistoscope used a spinning disc attached vertically to a handle. Arrayed around the disc’s center were a series of drawings showing phases of the animation, and cut through it were a series of equally spaced radial slits. The user would spin the disc and look through the moving slits at the disc’s reflection in a mirror. The scanning of the slits across the reflected images kept them from simply blurring together, so that the user would see a rapid succession of images that appeared to be a single moving picture.
Though Plateau is credited with inventing the device, there were numerous other mathematicians and physicists who were working on similar ideas around the same time, and they too were building on the works of Greek mathematician Euclid and Sir Isaac Newton who had also identified the principles behind the phenakistoscope.
The Electric Comma, 2013
c-prints, variable dimensions
The Electric Comma first began as a thirteen-line poem written in 2011.The writing of the poem was the first step towards its final realisation in visual form through the act of photographing. For this reason, the language of the poem served as a series of directives, and provided a set of circumstances, that informed the making of the project. “Dear Reader Comma” the poem begins, in a direct address to
the reader, and concludes by telling the reader to “go outside this time and plug in some really long chord / this will make your photographic dance the electric comma / and promptly disarrange the photographic universe / I state this comma / turn it around / turn it around.” Last autumn, Ebner rented a Portable Changeable Message Sign, typically used to announce roadside emergency information such as changing traffic patterns or accidents, detours and other unforeseen delays. She programmed the sign with the Electric Comma text, an act which served as the basis for the exhibition.